Monday, March 5, 2012
Last week I interviewed my uncle, Jaime Garza Sr., who is a certified real estate loan officer. He has been practicing in this line of work since 2004 and remains certified to this day. However since the housing market fall out has left many homeowners in unfavorable positions, my uncle has not participated in the market as of late. This interview is based off his last business transactions even though he has not assisted in the loan process in over a year. He specialized in single-family residential and multi-family residential such as duplexes and fourplexes.
I was informed by the interviewee that you don't necessarily need a four year degree to be a loan officer. Some education is required however and you must be able to pass the courses required to obtain and maintain a license. Once you earn a license it is good for up to 6 years and you must take classes periodically in order to renew the license and keep it active. In order to be a successful loan officer you need a little more than a license. Due to the fact that you are responsible for recruiting your own clientele, a favorable personality trait is being a good people person. Also as in any type of sale person's position, "you need to be able to sell ice to an Eskimo"
1.) How did you get started in this field? What was your educational background? What are your major responsibilities?
"I was looking for a part-time job that was easy to get into and I could make a good amount of money considering I only earned a two-year degree. On an average loan I could make 1800 dollars"
Some of his responsibilities, in brief, include recruiting business, pre-qualifying that person, and finding out what they can afford
2.) What i the most rewarding aspect of your job, least rewarding? Would you choose this career agian?
"The most rewarding aspect of my job was helping people get into their new home where they can establish roots. The least rewarding aspect is dealing with people who have bad credit. Mot of the time you can't them a realistic loan and then your time becomes wasted due to the fact that as a loan officer you do not get paid until the loan is closed. I would choose the career again but it is extremely stressful."
3.) What obligations does your work put on you outside of the actual job?
I was informed that as a loan officer you are on the job 24/7. People are calling you at 8am on a Sunday morning because they are passing by a house they like. Or you may be on vacation and people are calling you asking about their loan. An average loan takes a min. of 60 days so during that time frame you are open to any questions/ phone calls.
4.) What are some common entry-level positions in the field?/ What kind of salary range and benefits are typical?
You can enter the industry/ profession as a secretary or loan processor. The pay is 10-15 dollars an hour and do not include benefits. A loan processor take the loan packet and makes sure everything is there. They need to verify the application, credit report, appraisal report, escrow and title report, bank approval or denial, and lastly the insurance documents. Skills and talent for entry-level positions include a high attention to detail.
5.) What is the best educational preparation for a career in this field?
"I'd would recommend some type of business and math classes as well as some experience in sociology and psychology. Psychology will help you if you are lacking the in the people-person department"