How to hire the right loan writer for your mortgage brokerage

There’s a never-ending list of why brokers employ loan writers.

They may want to win more leads for business growth; spend less time ‘out-of-the-business’ and more time ‘in it’; or simply take a guilt-free holiday with peace-of-mind that deals are still getting done.

But, hold up! There’s a lot to think about before you make the decision to get a loan writer AKA The Broker’s Apprentice.

What’s your value proposition?

A workplace is a two-way street. There should be something in it for you, the head broker, and the loan writer. And if you think loan writers simply have $$ signs in their eyes, you’re wrong. (If the writer is all about the money, then they’re wrong for you).

You’ll know that starting out in broking is hard. Studies show 40 per cent of loan writers leave the industry after 18 months, citing:

  • insufficient help or support
  • no accountability
  • no source for leads

As a sole broker, you measure your success by customer feedback and volume. Volume can help bring keep a loan writer under your roof, but it isn’t enough for them to stay.

Loan writers want the opportunity to learn, develop and ultimately carve out a career for themselves and their family – just as you have. Choosing the right broker to learn under is a major decision for them … it’s an investment in their future.

Things that influence their decision are:

  • office space
  • A clear lead generation plan
  • assistance in building a referral network
  • back-end processes
  • administrative support
  • expert knowledge and training on policy and products
  • an enticing salary structure

It’s a lot to offer, but it’s what a loan writer with potential – one that will support your own goals – will want.

We help brokers through this new business relationship via half-yearly check-ins with the head broker and the loan writer. The check-ins ensure training, one-on-one mentoring, accountability to activity, the agreed business plan and minimum performance requirements are all on track. It’s a third-party analysis that provides objective feedback for both parties.

And, in response to industry churn, our training team developed an online program, Charge-Up. Tailored to anyone that’s spent less than six months in the industry, it’s a digital program that keeps new recruits accountable to development, educating them across marketing, compliance, lead generation, referral development and more. It’s accompanied by regular one-on-one face-to-face interaction with trainers to ensure accountability.

So you’re ready to grow – but who do you choose?

There’s a multitude of things to consider when employing a loan writer, even down to the personality type you’re looking for.

INSERT IMAGE

Image caption: What personalities do you get one with best? Do you seek out the ‘life of the party’ or do you like to surround yourself with the ‘quiet types’?

But beyond personality, there are traits you should look for when hiring a loan writer:

  • Do they have sales experience and a track record to support it?
  • Are they goal driven?
  • Are they proactive? Can they show how they’ve put promoted their services to customers?
  • Are they well-presented? Would you feel comfortable in them representing your business?

You’ve also got to choose a loan writer who holds the same business standards as yourself. And are their references from reputable, business-minded people like yourself? And, most importantly, do they stack-up?

What are the different types of loan writers?

There’s essentially three different types of loan writers:

  Level of experience Skills Benefits Why they’ll choose you
Independent contractor > 2 years

Liaise and stay in touch with their own clients
Generate their own leads
Process own deals

Run and pay for their own business
commission split of offset office costs

  • Office space (paying for their own desk)
  • Mentoring
  • Likes your brand/ environment
Independent contractor < 2 years

Keen to learn
May adapt existing sales skills

Financially stable
Can promote and build your business
Can take care of referrals

  • Needs support
  • May not want to run their own business
  • Needs assistance with leads / referrals
Employee Generally < 2 years  

Has KPIs to meet
Can be supplied clients / leads while head broker prospects

  • Needs support
  • May not want to run their own business
  • Needs assistance with leads / referrals

Covering you and your loan writer’s obligations

So, you’ve decided on some talent and shook on it – great work! But the process doesn’t end there.

You now need to formalise the agreement. And if you’re not a seasoned pro at delivering this, Loan Market can help you with templates and professional guidance.

A comprehensive contract will cover both you and your employee for any misadventures, underperformance, lack of support and other factor where the relationship doesn’t benefit either, or both. So forget about a few bullet points on the back of a drink coaster.

An employment contract should cover the many work-related issues that could come up during the course of employment; the role; the responsibilities of the employee; hours of work; and remuneration structure.

It should also include:

     
  • method / frequency of payment
  • intellectual property guidelines
  • property
  • probation specifications
  • restraint during employment
  • adherence to company policies
  • where the duties are to be conducted
  • restraint after employment ceases (ie non-compete)
  • privacy and the handling of confidential information
  • superannuation
  • termination clauses
  • leave entitlements and public holidays

You can find out more about contractual out more about contractual obligations at www.fairwork.gov.au

Find a loan writer the right way

The reasons for getting a loan writer are many. They can free up your time so you drive your business, enable you to adjust your priorities and even open up the opportunity to create a succession plan when you’re ready to exit. But failing to have a strategy for hiring your loan writer will cause more harm than good. Indeed, it could set your business back.

PUBLISHED September 27th, 2019 IN Stories and insights

Andrea McNaughton

Andrea is Loan Market’s Executive Director of Network Growth. Starting her career in real estate over 20-years ago, she has gained a wealth of experience and knowledge within the real estate and finance industries. Andrea's love for a challenge and restlessness for growth have made her an undeniable force of leadership within the Loan Market Group.