Residential Magazine

Quitting Time

Consider these factors before deciding to pursue another job

By Alvaro Moreira

It’s the end of the month and you’re frustrated with the company where you’re employed. It’s getting more difficult to get loans approved, the ones that are approved aren’t closing quickly, and your phone calls and e-mails aren’t getting returned promptly. It seems that the company doesn’t value you as an employee. Is finding a different company to work for the answer? 

You work hard to build relationships. You dig and fight to get the deals through the door. If your company doesn’t have the same values that you do, however, tensions can run high and relationships can suffer. The most important question to answer is whether you should be looking for a different company. There are pros and cons with this type of lending. For some residential mortgage originators, it makes sense to go this route, especially for clients who need to have their loans funded quickly. This will, however, likely cost the borrower more in interest and fees.

How do you know when it’s the right time to make a move? Career changes can be challenging as you learn new systems and create new relationships.

The most important aspect when considering a move is to identify the issues that are non-negotiables and differentiate them from the ones that are just a normal part of doing business. This is crucial because, at the end of the day, you have a job to do and so does your company. If they aren’t doing their part, you have to protect what you’ve worked hard to build, as well as your ability to continue to earn a living for yourself and your family. 

Although there is a seemingly endless list of bad reasons to make a move, there are really only three great business-related reasons why you should ever fire your current company and find a new home for your origination business. Here is what you need to weigh to clarify whether a move might make sense for you.

The most important aspect when considering a move is to identify the issues that are non-negotiables and differentiate them from the ones that are just a normal part of doing business.

Better pay

Plain and simple, if you can make more money by making a move, you should do it. This seems like a no-brainer, but some originators stick around companies and make less than they are worth because they either don’t know what else is out there for them or they just don’t want to make a change. If you can earn more basis points (BPS) on every loan you close, that’s a definite reason to start looking now. 

Access to lower rates also means that you can offer lower rates to your clients, which opens up your ability to close more loans every month. That’s a huge win in terms of making more money. What you want to avoid is taking a high-BPS compensation plan at the expense of much higher rates. That’s a loss disguised as a win because, in the long term, you will hurt your business due to borrower costs. You want a company that will give you a high BPS payout and comparative mortgage rates. 

Exploring different compensation structures can provide a significant pay increase almost overnight. If your company won’t allow you to go to a more aggressive compensation plan, such as a true profit-and-loss model, then you should definitely be talking to other companies that will. It’s important to note that not all profit-and-loss opportunities are created equal, and you should definitely shop around for the one that pays you the most BPS. 

Finally, not getting paid what you were promised upfront and not getting paid on time means you have the ability to get more somewhere else. If this is happening at your company, you need to drop what you’re doing and go find somewhere else to work.  

Loan problems

Your reputation and your ability to earn a living for yourself is made or broken by whether your company closes loans on time, and your future success depends on how well you and your company manage this component. Loan operations is one of the primary jobs of your parent company and missing a closing date — no matter whose fault it is — destroys your income-earning ability. 

Even if only a few of your loan closings are late or last minute, this has a huge impact on your local brand and it’s definitely time to make a move. Missed and stressed closing dates can single-handedly destroy your brand, and regaining trust later is difficult at best. 

If getting your deals approved is a nightmare, that’s hard on everyone. It’s going to wear you out, and it’s also going to have an effect on your team and your referral partners. Your clients can even feel the difficulty in getting their loan closed, and in these days of online reviews, this is simply too important to ignore. A difficult loan origination process is going to take a toll on your existing team, and it also will affect your ability to recruit and retain great people, making the closing process even harder. To be your best, you need to work for a company that has a smooth loan process.

Approving and closing loans is how your company makes money, and you are judged based on what you can get approved versus what your competition can get done. You work too hard to bring your deals through the door and not have them close. If your company is unable to close the same loans that your competitor down the street does, it won’t take long for your referral partners to figure out the same. You have to be able to get challenging loans approved in this business — it’s what we do. If your company can’t approve loans that other companies can, it’s time to go. 

Issues are going to arise and that’s just a part of the deal, but you should be able to expect that upper management will be available to help you work through these challenges.

Lacking support

Employees are the lifeblood of any company. Successfully supporting loan originators and branch managers is what every great mortgage company should strive for. Without these people, they don’t get paid either. 

Your ability to earn a living and make money for everyone involved is based on the support that you can offer, and this is highly dependent on the support you receive from your company. If you aren’t receiving the support you feel you need, then it’s time to consider a move. But what does “good” and “bad” support look like?

Let’s work through what a basic level of support should look like. At a minimum, your support team should answer the phone whenever you call. If someone is on the other line, you should expect a call back within 10 to 15 minutes or they are considered understaffed. You also should generally expect a response to your e-mails within five minutes. If it’s an issue that might take a while, you should expect a clear timeline that gets followed as promised. 

Issues are going to arise and that’s just a part of the deal, but you should be able to expect that upper management will be available to help you work through these challenges. Bottom line, if your company is unable to support you as grow your business, then it’s time to start looking for someone who can.

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In the high-stress world of mortgages, it can sometimes be easy to point fingers and find fault when things don’t go the way they’re supposed to go. Keeping your clients, referral partners and employees happy at the same time can be a major problem if you’re with a company that doesn’t share the same passion and drive that you bring each day. 

When evaluating what’s best for you, your business and, ultimately, your family, it’s of critical importance to know when it’s time to start shopping for a new home for your mortgage origination business. Small issues should be worked through together and compromises are sometimes necessary. But if you’re not getting paid what you could be earning, if your loans aren’t closing on time or if you aren’t receiving the level of support you need to run an excellent business, it’s time to look for a new place to call home. 


  • Alvaro Moreira

    Alvaro Moreira is director of strategic growth at Mortgage Right, where he has helped many mortgage producers significantly increase their income. Moreira helps branch managers and loan originators reach their true potential by helping them grow their businesses with marketing, recruiting and increased efficiency. If you’ve been considering making a change and you’re looking for someone who can help you reach your goals while overcoming obstacles, contact Moreira at (404) 808-4842 or

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