Whether you’re a budding mortgage professional or a veteran loan officer who’s been in the business for decades, every LO can afford to expand their learning. Although you may feel you have a handle on your work methods and the in’s and out’s of the industry, there is always space for growth. Often, what sets the most successful people apart from the rest is their dedication to continue learning. If you understand the connection between success and seeking more education, you’ll have the upper hand — especially in the mortgage industry, with an ever-changing market and continually shifting trends. While professional development can take different shapes and forms, LOs have plenty of opportunities to invest in their success. Here are 4 strategies to help LOs continue to educate themselves:
Take advantage of online content
One of the major ways to grow as a mortgage professional happens to cost nothing at all — using free online resources. By following informative blogs and reading useful articles, LOs can tap into a great source of inspiration and further education. Start following blogs that will keep you up to date and inspired. Blogs about sales, the mortgage industry, and entrepreneurs are a great place to start. Keeping up with articles can help you stay current with the latest in marketing trends and tips to boost your business.
Listen to podcasts
Another completely free and accessible resource to take advantage of is podcasts. These are free audio files that you can download onto your mobile device to listen to anywhere. They are shows put on by successful people who typically seek to share their own tips or advice, often through interviewing other successful guests. There are podcast shows and episodes on just about every subject you can think of. LOs should start downloading episodes from LO-based podcasts as well as more general sales-focused ones to take full advantage of the information out there. The best part about podcasts is that they lend themselves to multitasking, and as many busy LOs know, multitasking is often necessary. You can download a podcast and listen while on your morning commute, at the gym, or on your lunch break. It’s a great way to soak up new information that can help supercharging your business.
Learn from mortgage experts
Aside from reading useful articles and listening to insightful podcasts, there are more personal ways to learn from other mortgage professionals. LOs should first take advantage of their network, determining which successful mortgage professionals they know and starting to pick their brains. They may have a lot of valuable information to share, so invest in these kinds of connections. Set up appointments to talk over coffee or lunch sometime, and come prepared with questions and ideas. Start getting better connected with industry peers who you look up to and learn what you can from their experience and know-how. If you’ve exhausted your immediate network, you can also utilize online means of networking to access the insight and support of others. Using LinkedIn is a very effective way to engage with mortgage experts and have meaningful conversations. Start joining online mortgage groups and forums where you can make useful connections and learn directly from those in the field.
Seek professional development
Other ways to invest in your education are through professional development courses and conferences. Since LOs are required to have continuing education hours each year to maintain their license, this is important to keep up with. Often these mortgage training courses will go over changes in state and federal laws and allow professionals to refresh their skills. Aside from the obligatory education, there are added ways to continue learning. For example, LOs could take courses in underwriting, which not only makes them more marketable in the field, but also increases their software literacy. By increasing your own credentials, you’ll help yourself to stand out among the competition.
Over time, you learn through experience, and this is where many people fall into habitual patterns and ruts. It’s crucial that even experienced professionals continue to value educating themselves along the way. Simple forms of learning, like listening to a podcast, reading a current mortgage article, or getting connected with successful mortgage professionals, can be your answer to building your skills and business over time. If you want your growth to continue, make education a priority, and be open to the many different ways of accessing valuable knowledge.