Deal Talk Podcast - Give Episode 2 A Listen!

Episode 2 of our Deal Talk podcast featuring Terry Luker is now available! "Getting a Better Deal the Second Time Around" is a pivotal deal from Terry Luker's first book, "Yes! How to Get the Funding You Need For Your Business," and is brought into even greater detail here on our podcast! Give it a listen below and be sure to Follow our podcast on Spotify and YouTube!

 

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The Right Strategy: Professional and personal development will help you find greater satisfaction

The Right Strategy: Professional and personal development will help you find greater satisfaction

By: Keely Pate, Alternative Capital Solutions: Director of Development

Published for The Scotsman Guide / July 2022

Commercial real estate professionals have diverse backgrounds and experiences. After the initial entry into the business — whether through an employer or a training program — lenders, brokers, credit officers and other industry professionals all navigate their own unique career, both professionally and personally.

Where these professionals find themselves at the beginning of their careers, however, is not the final destination. Expanding knowledge and building new capabilities can lead to increased effectiveness and personal satisfaction. With ongoing regulatory and economic changes, technical advancements, and shifts in personal preferences and priorities, savvy lending professionals continuously evaluate where they are and where they want to be.
Continuing education enables mortgage finance professionals to maintain existing certifications and licenses, keep up with industry trends, diversify skill sets and prepare for new growth opportunities. With so many options in the marketplace, and limited time and resources, it can be challenging to identify the right development path for each professional’s unique needs and future goals.
An ongoing and intentional continuing education strategy can help commercial real estate professionals connect activities to desired outcomes while generating increased effectiveness and satisfaction. To quote John C. Maxwell, the renowned leadership expert, speaker and author, “If you want to reach your goals and fulfill your potential, become intentional about your personal growth. It will change your life.”
You may be familiar with the concept of using a SWOT analysis to consider the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to a business or product. A personal SWOT analysis can help generate clarity about an individual’s current state of development, and the results can be used to map out an intentional path forward when it comes to professional development activities.

Evaluate your strengths

The first step is to evaluate current strengths in the areas of knowledge, skills and abilities. Then, through self-reflection and constructive feedback from others, consider weaknesses by identifying behaviors that could potentially jeopardize relationships, as well as gaps in knowledge or skills that could possibly lead to oversights or missed business opportunities.
After that, consider possible external threats that could hinder professional performance and results. Lastly, evaluate opportunities that are available within the industry and your community, as well as your professional network and other places.
The commercial mortgage industry, as those involved quickly learn, offers endless opportunity to specialize and diversify. The key for each professional is to identify which areas of specialization and diversification are right for them.
Your desired future might involve the identification of new clients within a current niche, expansion into a different geographic market, or even a new product launch or service offering. Painting the picture of a desired future expedites the decisionmaking process for professional development.
Once the current state and desired future state have been defined, it is time to explore specific continuing education options and evaluate how each initiative will lead to the desired result.
Resource constraints such as time, funds and logistics will largely factor into the selection process. The following programs and activities outline continuing education options that professionals in the commercial mortgage field have utilized, along with the connection to desired business results.

Licenses and certifications

When prioritizing continuing education, mortgage professionals should first understand the applicable state licensing requirements and the educational requirements to maintain that license. After that, optional certifications and other continuing education activities can be considered.
Jobs within the mortgage industry have varying licensing requirements, which also can differ from state to state. Currently, the distinction that drives licensing requirements is consumer lending versus commercial lending. Most consumer protection regulations are not applicable to loans made for business purposes. But regulatory changes may impact licensing requirements, subsequently affecting continuing education strategies for commercial mortgage brokers and other industry professionals.
Professional certifications are usually voluntary initiatives for individuals to gain proficiency and, particularly when granted with an exam, demonstrate mastery of related knowledge. Although some certifications require continuing education, most do not.
Colleges and universities offer a variety of adult continuing education programs. These are typically led by expert industry practitioners or faculty. Ranging in duration from a few days to several weeks, the programs usually include in-person learning, virtual learning and self-paced e-learning. This flexibility makes programs in other cities and states a possibility for professionals with busy schedules.

Networking opportunities

Another reason to take part in continuing education programs is the opportunity for networking. The adage, “It’s not only what you know, but also who you know,” rings true for those in the commercial mortgage industry. An active network of brokers, lenders, accountants, attorneys and business owners offers the expertise needed to meet your clients’ needs.
Establishing a greater presence on social media has enabled mortgage professionals to expand to new geographic markets and reach potential clients outside of their existing professional networks. Online sites offer a wealth of resources that show how to better utilize social media.
Videos on YouTube, posts on Reddit and simple Google searches offer step-by-step instructions and free online tools to help market your services on platforms such as LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook. Even if the decision is to outsource and have someone else manage your social media strategy, having a foundational knowledge of options and strategic considerations can lead to more informed decisions.

Skill expansion

Regardless of the industry, busy professionals can build capabilities through the expansion of skills outside of their direct job roles. For example, an experienced commercial mortgage professional dedicated time to the study of jiu jitsu. They found that it helped their ability to stay calm and solve problems under pressure.
Developing this skill relates to work situations, interacting with clients and troubleshooting challenging situations. As this person put it, there are many times in jiu jitsu where you are in a bad position with an opponent and panicking will only make it worse. You must learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable and to think through the solution, because overreacting will not help the situation.
A business coach also can help a mortgage professional develop new skills and strengths, including the ability to better understand situations and effectively respond to them. Many people use their own experiences and perceptions to interpret situations, then act without fully understanding the intent and motivation of others. Responding effectively, in a way that meets the needs of the situation, can make the difference in securing a client and closing a deal when the stakes are high.
In a dynamic industry such as commercial real estate finance, professionals who can listen to the client’s needs and develop effective solutions are better prepared for success. Increasing self-awareness and awareness of others helps to develop emotional intelligence or emotional quotient. Having emotional intelligence allows professionals to respond thoughtfully to situations. Utilizing a business coach, completing a personality assessment, and learning about conflict and communication styles are tools that can result in consensus building, clarity, and satisfied clients and stakeholders.
•••
Continuing education is not a one-way journey with a single destination. Instead, it serves as a resource to help professionals achieve desired results. It is one step within an ongoing strategic process of envisioning potential outcomes and then mapping a strategy of how to get there.
With changing external opportunities and obstacles — and with new programs and continuing education options — regular review and reassessment is a best practice for staying current and achieving fulfilling professional outcomes. After all, if you want to reach your goals and fulfill your potential, become intentional about your personal growth. It will change your life.

 


Broker’s Playbook: New Year, New Game Plan — Why You Should Incorporate eLearning in 2022

Broker’s Playbook: New Year, New Game Plan — Why You Should Incorporate eLearning in 2022

Welcome to 2022! Raise your hand if you have a fresh list of goals written and your new book list created — ready to rock the year ahead. Just like the start of each new year before it, we make grand plans about our professional growth every year and set goals. We are certain 2022 is no different, however, and it will be easier than ever to revert back to familiar tactics when day-to-day life picks back up as the holiday fog subsides. One thing 2020 taught us was that you can either adapt to your goals and how to achieve them, or you can abandon ship. We would like to help you avoid the latter.

Thinking back on the past year, was continued learning or professional development a part of your list to conquer for the year? Was it something you streamlined into your daily to-do list or dedicated time to each week or month? The truth is, we don’t always achieve our goals or prioritize continued learning and professional development.

We’ve all been there. And we may be asking ourselves questions such as, “What book do I read now?” or “Which conference do I want to attend this year?” These are excellent paths to pursue and questions to ask no matter the time of year, but, when building a true strategy for obtaining your goals, you must ensure you’re adding the right content, with the accessibility and flexibility that fits your needs. A strong e-learning strategy allows you to access the information you need wherever you are and at your own pace.

Investing time and resources into industry education and continued learning will not only strengthen your foundation as a broker or lender, but will also enable you to reach success more easily — especially when the continued education you are incorporating is e-learning-based or tech-driven. According to data from the Research Institute of America, e-learning can boost the retention of content by 25% to 60% compared to 8% to 10% in traditional training and learning settings.1 Not only will you retain information more easily due to learning at your own pace, but you also have the opportunity to complete the training or education curriculum more quickly — saving time and money in the long-run over an in-person education curriculum.

The number of individuals continuing their education and increasing their industry knowledge — specifically via e-learning programs — continues to climb and 2022 is proving to be no different. Online education across an array of industries is being viewed as a primary way for professionals to build on their foundation of knowledge while also working to propel their industry forward. E-learning is giving individuals the ability to up their game in and out of the “e-classroom” and it’s proving successful for individuals and teams alike.

Planting the Seeds of 2022

So, what does this information mean to you as a commercial loan broker who is proactively planting the seeds of knowledge and seeking fruitful outcomes in 2022?

Several platforms, tools and programs are available to those seeking new skills or looking to brush up on their arsenal of current knowledge. Taking the time to decipher which programs will best serve your time and finances to produce the end results you’re looking to achieve will allow you to select the e-learning path that suits you best.

The teams at Alternative Capital Solutions and Commercial Capital BIDCO have just launched an e-learning tool, The Commercial Broker Playbook, to assist commercial loan brokers by providing in-depth knowledge of the industry, a look into the different types of commercial lending as well as how to take the reins when it comes to marketing their businesses.

Terry Luker, founder and CEO of Alternative Capital Solutions as well as Commercial Capital BIDCO, has long desired to build a platform for commercial lending brokers to tap into so they may glean the knowledge required to face what he encountered when he found his footing in the industry.

Luker has been a mentor to broker peers around the country for years — especially those who come from his broker training school alma mater — The Commercial Capital Training Group (CCTG). He knew building an online learning tool would be more sustainable and feasible while allowing brokers to work at their own pace and not be bound to limited meeting times or traveling restraints for in-person meetings. Thus, The Commercial Broker Playbook was born.

It can be difficult for some individuals to retain their focus with internet-based learning. However, unlike other e-learning platforms and programs, The Commercial Broker Playbook consists of an industry-leading team ready to assist you with comprehending the content, enabling you to stay focused and engaged while helping you to reach your professional development goals.

The Commercial Broker Playbook curriculum is robust, consisting of 10 different lessons, or modules, with content including:

  • Networking

  • Bridge loans

  • Government-backed lending

  • Underwriting

  • Sales skill development training

  • Marketing strategy

Self-paced learning offers 24/7 content access for users to utilize at their own pace. Packages range in pricing based on content level and duration of online access. Live virtual learning enhances a broker’s experience by way of exclusive monthly group webinars, live Q&A opportunities with content experts and one-on-one virtual office hours with the Commercial Broker Playbook team.

The Commercial Broker Playbook team welcomes commercial lending brokers who have attended a broker training school, such as CCTG, and have a current foundation of knowledge about the industry they can build upon. Whether you have minimal experience in this industry or you’re looking to build on your knowledge and work with a leader in the commercial loan industry, The Commercial Broker Playbook is an excellent fit for you in 2022. Visit thecommercialbrokerplaybook.com to learn more.

Don’t let 2022 be another year of abandoned goals and missed opportunities. Work with The Commercial Broker Playbook on a game plan that will drive your success!

1 Pezold, Stacey, “LMS 101: Rethinking Your Approach to Employee Training,” Forbes, Feb. 14, 2017.

 

Be sure to check out this published article on DealMaker Magazine's website by clicking here!