After assisting dozens of entrepreneurs in starting their own successful mortgage brokerages, I‘ve cultivated comprehensive advice so you can avoid pitfalls and maximize your probability of prosperity in this growing industry.
Qualifications – More Than Just Licenses
While state-administered licensing exams are mandatory, truly mastering the profession requires deeper expertise. Savvy brokers continue expanding their education through courses in real estate valuation, financial risk management, mediation skills, and staying atop the latest fintech lending innovations.
Joining local and national associations also provides networking opportunities and continuing education credits needed to maintain active licenses over time. Consider memberships with groups like the National Association of Mortgage Brokers (NAMB) and Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) to bolster your credibility.
Business Entity Selection – All Factors Considered
Most prospective brokers are torn deciding between sole proprietorships, limited liability companies (LLCs), S corporations and C corporations. While pass-through taxation and simpler tax filing serves as advantages for sole proprietors and S corps, the unlimited liability poses an excessive risk should legal issues emerge. Registering as an LLC or C corp better shields your personal assets. Furthermore, incorporating fosters higher perceived legitimacy among both consumers and lending institutions. Just be aware regulations limit commission sharing with non-licensed mortgage loan originators under most corporate structures.
Realistic Cost Expectations
Budget more than our earlier $10,000-100,000 estimate which presumed merely a single operator business with minimum staff and equipment expenses. Beyond the $3,000 average fees for bonding, licensing, legal and insurance, most successful brokerages require at least ~$250,000 to fund operations during the long ramp-up period until commission revenue flows steadily. These sums allow hiring teams to manage increased capacity, marketing budgets to accelerate client acquisition, and IT infrastructure to streamline cumbersome paperwork.
Undercapitalization constitutes the biggest downfall I‘ve witnessed for rookie brokers. Take your time fundraising from investors rather than accruing unserviceable debt. With proper planning and patient execution, 60-75% profit margins become reasonably attainable within 3 years.
Distinguishing Your Value
With over 70,000 mortgage licensees countrywide and an average brokerage lifespan around 5 years before shutting down or selling out, enduring success requires differentiation…