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Mortgage Broker Specialist


Description

A mortgage broker specialist is an independent real estate financing professional who specializes in helping consumers through the selection, processing and closing of a mortgage loan. They act as the mediator between a prospective buyer of a property, or borrower and the lending institution. A mortgage broker provides consumers with the most efficient and cost-effective method of suitable financing options tailored specifically to the consumer's financial goals.

Brokers work in either the residential or commercial sectors of mortgage brokering. In the residential field, they meet with clients acquiring information about income, liabilities and assets, price and condition of property to be mortgaged, negotiate mortgage loans, and make application for mortgage to lenders or lending institutions on behalf of clients. Those who work in the commercial sector must do research about the company and decide if the start up warrants a mortgage. Is a particular company worth investing in? It is important to do this research ahead of time as the broker is working on behalf of the commercial organization to help them receive the mortgage money needed to start up a company.

Initially, a mortgage broker specialist helps set up a mortgage to best suit a client's needs, but there is often an ongoing relationship where a mortgage broker is called back to re-finance a mortgage. For example, a client may need to borrow more money if they want to purchase additional products or they may want to change the terms of their mortgage. Sometimes people mistake mortgage broker specialists for the bank and think brokers are the ones lending the money. Yet mortgage brokers perform all of the services to those needing loans up to the point of funding.

Mortgage brokers often manage real estate offices and provide a number of services for the agents who work with them. For example, a real estate agent may have a prospective buyer for a house who needs the help of a mortgage broker. Therefore, the mortgage broker and real estate agents "scratch each other's backs" by creating business for each other. Also, when an agent closes a deal, the commission from the deal goes directly to the broker, who then gives the agent a pre-negotiated percentage of the commission.

Mortgage broker specialists say the best part about the job is helping first-time home buyers through the buying process and making it as easy as possible for them. Buying a house (especially one's first house) is one of the biggest things some people will ever do in their lives, so seeing the look on an individual's face when their mortgage has been approved, knowing they are going to get the house they really want, is extremely satisfying. Many people move to this profession from other sectors because they like helping people instead of just working with finances.
 
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  Interests and Skills  
The most important characteristics of a mortgage broker specialist are good listening and communication skills. Since a majority of the work deals with communicating with clients, in person and on the phone, and making new contacts, mortgage brokers must possess superior people skills. They must also respect client confidentiality, have the ability to understand complicated financial documents such as wills, pension plans and bank statements. Many clients will be very emotional, so mortgage brokers must be sympathetic and understanding yet firm in their decision making.

Mortgage brokers need to have numerical skills, time management and sales skills. They also need to have up-to-date computer skills as most brokering can be done on the computer now. Further, they need to be unbiased, trustworthy, well organized, able to work to deadlines and able to work well under pressure.
 

  Typical Tasks  
  • Assess whether or not a client is eligible to borrow money for a house or commercial property
  • Explain the different types of mortgages to the client and find the one best suited to a client's individual needs
  • Discuss the mortgage options available from various banks
  • Calculate mortgage repayments
  • Answer clients' questions about the home-buying process
  • Liaise with the bank on the client's behalf
  • Fill out an application form, collect supporting documents, like bank statements, and submit the application to the bank
  • Inform the client if their home loan has been approved or not
  • Help organize other home loan requirements, such as a valuation of the client's home
  • May also act as a financial advisor and offer investment advice
  • Mortgage broker specialists often work irregular hours according to the schedules of their clients. If a client can only meet at night, a meeting will take place at night. Those working for commercial firms may work steadier hours because work complies with the business hours of an organization. Longer working hours may occur during peak real estate times, when more people want to move or when the market is in favor of the buyer. A typical day will take place in an office setting, with some travel to client's offices and houses for meetings.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • Mortgage broker specialists work for brokerage firms throughout the private sector. Many have their own offices which includes real estate sales. They also work alongside lending institutions including banks, trust companies, credit unions, insurance companies, real estate agencies, and other brokerage firms.

  Long Term Career Potential  
Many people do not begin their careers as mortgage broker specialists but move into the job from other financial, insurance or real estate fields. Advancement in the mortgage brokering field depends almost entirely on the individuals' initiative, success and ability. In this field, the more clients one has, the better.

Generally, mortgage brokers are not young and fresh out of university seeing as more people tend to entrust their money with older, more experienced investors. Also, it takes years to build up a wealth of clients therefore this career takes many years to achieve fully. Experienced mortgage brokers may move into supervisory or senior management positions in larger companies or professional real estate associations. More established brokers might even open up their own mortgage lending firms or real estate agencies.
 

  Educational Paths  
Mortgage broker specialists require a college or university degree with a concentration in finance or business-related discipline. Courses in computers and information technology are also important in this field. Many brokers have Master of Business Administration (MBAs) degrees, but it is not an absolute requirement. Some start in the real estate field and others have sales experience, both of which a great starting points. Many brokers recommend a strong background in law, especially property law, since the job deals with mortgaging property.
 

Sources:
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2002/oes_nat.htm

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