Featuring: David Youngs, Sr. Loan Consultant & Assistant Vice President at Progressive Lending Solutions
“It’s amazing to me that more people don’t choose to work in this business.”
Whether you’re starting a new career or an established Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO), it’s helpful to hear stories from those who have been in your shoes! There are many benefits to working as an MLO, as David Youngs elaborates on. We caught up with David to learn more about his journey working as a mortgage consultant, and here’s what he had to share with us!
Why is working as a Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO) rewarding?
David mentioned three key reasons:
Making a difference helping families.
Being a broker with a “consultative approach” and being able to give people what they need to be successful in home ownership is rewarding. When you can help families save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on their mortgage financing in comparison to other loan options, it makes a massive difference in that family’s life. When a family refinances their home there is often a large financial benefit they receive as well, such as saving money on their mortgage payments, paying off large higher interest debt, remodeling to increase the property value and much more. Getting to help families move into homes and eliminating stress for them in the process is very enjoyable.
Freedom of flexibility.
Although you need discipline and structure to be successful, most mortgage loan originators can set their own hours and choose how to work their days. “If I want to go meet a business professional for lunch, I can. If I need to take time off to care for a family matter, I can”, David noted.
The sky is the limit. Doctors, surgeons, and lawyers all make 6 figures, yet most of them have tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of dollars in student loans and have 50-60+ hour work weeks. David mentioned that one does not need a college degree to become a successful mortgage loan originator. “You can work a flexible schedule and do not need to acquire any student loan debt to get into this business.”
Was it easy to become a Mortgage Loan Officer (MLO)?
Although this industry is physically less demanding than a lot of other professions, it is not easy. It takes a serious commitment to hard work and learning how to become an expert. It doesn’t happen overnight.
Out of all daily tasks, prospecting is the single most important area you need to focus on. If you really want to become a producing loan originator and make 6 figures/year, you must invest time into prospecting for new clients and business partnerships every day. “You’re not telemarketing, you’re a licensed consultant bringing real advice to people,” David advised. After you build your reputation, you also must work hard to maintain a client base and referral partnerships with other professionals.
What is a typical day like as a Mortgage Loan Officer (MLO)?
Most mornings, David tries to schedule one-on-one coffee meetings with new and existing business professionals, such as realtors, financial advisors, insurance agents, CPA’s and other bankers.
From there, David starts working on returning emails and calls, managing files in process, preparing closings and completing new pre-approvals. He schedules most of his client consultations and other calls in the afternoons through the early evenings – as he’s found that’s when he’s had the greatest success in reaching people. After finishing his calls for the day, he takes a few minutes to review the day’s activity and create notes for the following day. This time is also when he typically works on less intensive tasks, such as scheduling/posting social media content, analyzing guidelines, exploring marketing ideas, delegating tasks to his virtual assistant and other miscellaneous items. Most days this work schedule would be a 10 AM – 7 PM time frame, with Fridays being closer to a half day.
What are some challenges an MLO might face through their journey?
The #1 challenge to work at overcoming every day is DISCIPLINE. Many loan originators have a lot of flexibility in their schedules. Because of this, in many ways you’re essentially your own boss. Whether you work as a 1099 contractor or a W-2 employee – this is your business and you will only get out what you put into it.
When things get hard (and they will), you must remind yourself why you chose this career, why it’s the better option between anything else you could be doing and then make yourself go to work. You can’t lose momentum, because if you slow down, that could affect your business for the next month or longer. Establish your “WHY” and keep that in front of you.
What advice would you share with others considering mortgage loan origination as a career?
Before you start in this business, David advised to do research about what it’s like to work in this industry. Find a mentor to bounce ideas off. Learn in advance what you’ll need to do in order to be successful and decide if you believe you have the commitment level you need to do so. In most cases, any company that you work with will require you to get state licensed, so start preparing early for that pre-licensing process. While you take this journey over what may be many years, continue to hone your skills, stay in touch with your past clients and build stronger referral partnerships. Find ways to bring value to others, so it’s not always about you – the more you give, the more you get. Eventually you should reach a level where you’ll have a steady flow of referrals each week, which is when this business really becomes rewarding.
With new technology coming out every year, David hopes to utilize these tools to work more effectively. David wants to continue to enhance what he’s doing, improve existing relationships and find ways to offer value back to others. He wants to help more families navigate their financing options, so that in turn he can support his own family well. “I firmly believe the more you give, the more you will get in life. When you put people first and always strive to do the right thing for others, the business will take care of itself.”
David Youngs started working as a licensed mortgage consultant with a financial advising firm after high school. In addition to mortgage lending, David obtained additional licensing and training in other areas of finance and later assisted in the training of new consultants. After several years working in this role, he moved to Progressive Lending Solutions in Roseville, MN to work as a Wholesale Mortgage Broker. In November 2012, David was promoted to Sr. Loan Consultant, and again in July 2015 to Assistant Vice President. He still works here today, alongside his wife, who is employed as the company’s Operations Manager. He is currently licensed in both Minnesota and Wisconsin.