1. How long have you been in the business?
Unlike any other time you’re hiring someone on your team, length of time in the business is not necessarily an asset. We don’t want a mortgage broker who has a full book of business and won’t be hungry to close your deals. We need full participation from your mortgage broker. We need them in the backend, working to kick leads out of the bushes. If they are already busy, they’re going to call your leads once and then go on to better and easier business. However, your business is the key to better and easier business. We want you and your broker to grow together and build a big, beautiful book of business together. You want them to have done a minimum of 6 or more deals so they’re not totally green, but you don’t want someone who is well on their way to a bankable business.
2. How many lenders do you have access to?
You don’t want to hire a broker who only has access to a few different banks or institutions. My broker has access to over 40 different lenders. She has options based on the client, and she is very versatile. Some lenders pay her better than others, but she will consistently do what needs to be done to get clients approved, even if she has to use a non-preferred lender.
3. What tools do you have available to you to approve someone who is hard to approve?
Listen, if you can be the only agent in town who has a broker that is able to approve the unapprovable, word will spread fast. You will have a dedicated client for life who will give you all their referrals. More often than not, I found that the difference between being approved and being declined is how hard the broker is willing to work, both in asking for help from superiors to learn how to position a file well, and in finding unorthodox ways to get income from unusual sources. A great broker will be able to dig it out from somewhere.
4. Walk me through a plan you could put a client on who had no downpayment but wanted to purchase in a year.
When you’re working with online leads, it’s a certainty that many of your clients will be pipeline clients! Your broker has to learn how to develop a relationship up front, and follow through until they get a pre-approval.
5. Are you comfortable calling leads up to 10 times until you contact them?
Can you give me an example of how to engage clients who are looking to buy a home?
6. Who is in charge of you? Who is your boss and what is their record? This is super important! Since we’re hiring a broker who is fairly new, we need them to have access to the knowledge and ideas of a strong and competent senior mortgage broker. Make sure your broker isn’t on their own island and has access to the big dogs if s/he needs it.
Picking your broker is absolutely THE most important decision you will make. Remember, you’ll be giving this person a very big gift. Make sure they have the character qualities to deserve it.