Breaking Into The Mortgage Industry

Breaking Into The Mortgage Industry as a Loan Officer

Gustan Cho Associates are mortgage brokers licensed in 48 states

Have you ever considered breaking into the mortgage industry as a licensed loan officer? Have you ever considered a job as a licensed loan officer, loan officer assistant, mortgage processor, or underwriter? Or, maybe you are in a career you don’t like and would like to find something more fulfilling. Unfortunately, many people accept that they hate their jobs and continue with it anyway. Dustin Dumestre of Gustan Cho Associates shares how he got started in the mortgage industry and became a successful top-producing loan officer:

If you aren’t one of those types and would rather find a job that helps people realize their dreams, then you would do well as a loan officer. There is an assessment that can be done that will show you what matches your personality so you can figure out if it is the right job for you.

A professional does it with a that will open your eyes to the various possibilities you may not have considered beforehand.  In this article, I will review how this assessment can help you determine if you are right for a role as a mortgage loan officer or a similar position.  We will cover breaking into the mortgage industry as a new loan officer and becoming a successful top producer in no time. Dustin Dumestre has become a top-producing loan officer in months, and his production has kept increasing exponentially. Read on……

How Breaking Into The Mortgage Industry as a Loan Officer Changed My Life

As a  mortgage loan officer, I have spent the last three years of my professional life helping people improve their financial situation to achieve their goals with their most important asset, their home. It has been a challenging experience that has given me great accomplishment. In this post, I will share my experiences and insights on what it means to be a quality loan originator. Dustin Dumestre of Gustan Cho Associates shares his experience breaking into the mortgage industry as a loan officer.

There was a sharp learning curve during the first year of my career. I had just left the corporate world of wireless communications as an Area Director with one of the top three wireless carriers in the United States. I was excited to put my significant sales experience and management knowledge to the test in a new industry.

After completing all required mortgage education and passing the national licensing exam on the first attempt, I began finding the right brokerage for my existing skill set, along with the staff meant to help me progress quickly in this challenging industry. I was hired by a local boutique brokerage focusing on seven states to originate within.

My First Job Breaking Into The Mortgage Industry

I was initially hired as a transaction coordinator tasked with helping four experienced LOs with the minutia of the day-to-day follow-up and communication with their current clients in the process of a loan scenario. It was a daunting task, but I took to it immediately and learned how a loan moves through the loan process from the borrower to LO, to the lender, and so on quickly.

I am thankful to have had the opportunity to be a transaction coordinator in the beginning. It truly helped me expedite my mortgage knowledge.

About three months into my transaction coordination responsibilities, I arrived at work on a Monday morning, and the Principle Lending Manager was waiting for me at my cubicle. He stated he had let the lowest performing LO go on the Friday before, and I was ready to become an active LO in the office. He escorted me to the former LO’s office and said, “Here is your new office. Get ready… the phone is about to start ringing.

Breaking Into The Mortgage Industry: How I Began My Loan Officer Training Program

That day I took twenty-plus calls, leaned on my sales, management, and transaction coordination knowledge, and hit the ground running! I started by listening to my prospects’ needs and expectations and then telling them what I could do for them today and in the future. I do not believe in a one-time deal done” client. Dustin Dumestre shares his breaking into the mortgage industry as a loan officer and how quickly he learned the type of loan officer he wanted to become:

I firmly believe in converting a prospect into a lifelong client for all their mortgage needs. This has been crucial to my success over the past three years. I began to build a large client base quickly due to being able to talk to so many prospects weekly.

On average, I talked to over 60+ prospects every week and converted about 40% of those prospects into borrowers. Not all borrowers will make it to the finish line. But it is the job of a quality LO to do everything you can within federal regulation and ethically to get your borrower to the finish line. The remaining 60% of prospects would get added to my prospect list. That became my prospect drip campaign list. This piece is another key to my success over the past three years. I still reach out to all prospects through drip campaigns to this day. This is where a quality LO will ask for referrals (at least three) from closed borrowers and build a referral list that must be dripped on regularly.

The Key To Breaking Into The Mortgage Industry as a Loan Officer By Building Relationships With Wholesale Account Executives

Once I had a firm grasp of my day-to-day operations, I began to schedule Zoom meetings with the AEs (Account Executives) and the lenders I worked with. This was another crucial piece in my success over the past three years. Dustin Dumestre shares breaking into the mortgage industry as a loan officer as follows:

Build a quality relationship with your AE’s. They have a fountain of knowledge; usually, you only need to ask questions. Most Lenders have networking events and online classes to familiarize LOs with their loan products. Do not miss out on these opportunities!

I quickly learned that building relationships with AEs, real estate agents, and title professionals was key to my success in this industry. People want to do business with someone they trust and feel comfortable with. I rarely meet clients in person, so I have always made sure to make my clients and other professionals in this industry feel as if they are my only client or partner on the mortgage side.

Breaking Into The Mortgage Industry as a Loan Officer By Learning Mortgage Loan Programs

Be knowledgeable, professional, and courteous to everyone you encounter! By the end of my first year, I became proficient in finding the best loan options for each client by researching loan programs, guidelines, and lenders. By doing so,  I could provide accurate information during the first interaction with a prospect.

Breaking into the mortgage industry as a loan officer, I learned that every client has unique financial goals and circumstances that create unique daily scenarios. Quality LOs are responsible for finding the best loan for their client’s needs. In my second year of breaking into the mortgage industry, I focused on the process from start to finish. This included mastering my LOS (Loan Origination System).

The Importance of Learning The Loan Origination System and Other LO Tools

I cannot express how important learning the loan origination system is to any new loan officer, whether the loan officer is new to the industry or an experienced originator. This is what separates a quality LO from all the others, in my opinion. If an LO uses an LOA (Loan Officer Assistant) and delegates this key skill and responsibility to anyone else, this is a recipe for failure. Dustin Dumetre shares breaking into the mortgage industry by getting educated on the loan origination system and other software to help him originate loans.

I use Lendingpad; I have learned more through mastering this LOS than perhaps any other tool in the industry. Credit issues are one of the most challenging aspects of an LO’s responsibility to their clients. Dealing with a client’s credit history or financial aspects can be challenging. This is where clear and simple communication is an asset. It is for me daily.

My responsibility is to help borrowers understand their options and find a possible solution. Answering a borrower’s questions and providing guidance without steering them in a particular direction, letting them come to a decision on their own as a family or team is challenging. It can be incredibly rewarding to help someone achieve their dream of homeownership, a refinance for a lower interest rate, or getting cash out from built-up equity in their most valuable asset, their home.

Being on Top of The Lastest Mortgage Industry News To Become a Successful Loan Officer

I began to attend industry conferences and seminars online and follow experienced mortgage and finance professionals on social media who have been in the industry for over a decade to gain insight into what the future could look like in the mortgage industry. I kept adding states to my licensing portfolio. I began with one license, Utah. By the end of my second year, I had completed enough continuing education classes to be actively licensed in seven states. UT, CO, ID, TN, MI, MS & FL. In this 21st-century mortgage market, I needed to watch which states had opportunities for specific loan programs. I was competent with and maximized my opportunity in those states.

Experience Breaking Into The Mortgage Industry With Buyers and Sellers’ Markets

This was all achieved through continuing education, social media, and understanding which communities were underserved, what loan products they could use, and helping these prospects access these loan products to become borrowers.

I wanted to stay current on industry trends, regulations, and how interest rates and the FED (The Federal Reserve) operate. This helped me and the intern help my prospects and borrowers navigate the mortgage game.

I am glad I did. This was when the effects of the COVID pandemic reared its ugly head, and rates began to climb rapidly. This sent shockwaves through the entire U.S. economy, especially the mortgage industry. I could lean on the prospects I had created drip campaigns for and the referrals I have received from satisfied borrowers whom I helped achieve their mortgage goals.

Marketing and Branding Myself as a Loan Officer

I also started to improve and manage my workflow. I found free applications (Trello and others) to streamline the loan application process, which helped me stay organized and efficient. I also started to use technology more, such as online application portals and digital document management systems. This helped me provide faster and more convenient service for my clients.

The most important factor in breaking into the mortgage industry to  become a successful loan officer is to start branding yourself starting day one. Consumers want knowledgeable loan officers to represent them.

In my third year, I began to focus on expansion. I started to explore new ways to grow my business by investing a percentage of my earnings back into my business with proven lead generation systems, a focused social media presence, and my content via YouTube. I created my Friday’s Mortgage Minutes, a weekly video post explaining the current mortgage events and what may be right around the corner. Then, I made the decision that changed everything.

Breaking Into The Mortgage Industry and Being on the Hunt For The Best Lender to Work With

I decided to leave the boutique brokerage I began this mortgage journey with, and look for a brokerage that could provide a far greater reach as far as lender availability, LO support in all aspects of my LO business, and, of course, the opportunity to make more money and help a larger borrower pool nationally. This decision allowed me to add a tool to my mortgage tool belt.

Building relationships in my home state, Utah, with more quality real estate agents. This was very scary as I made the transition. I felt like I had to start all over, but it was just another step in the mortgage industry, and I have been walking over the past three years. Looking back on the past three years, I am grateful for the experience and the lessons I have learned.

Being a loan originator is not an easy job, but it is a rewarding one. It requires a unique combination of skills, including knowledge of finance, strong communication skills, and the ability to build relationships. It also requires a lot of hard work and dedication. One of my most important lessons is honesty and transparency with clients. People trust us to help them make one of the most significant decisions in their lives.

Contact Dustin Dumestre at if you have any questions about the content of this guide on breaking into the mortgage industry as a licensed loan officer.

Per Dustin Dumestre: Let’s Make Your Mortgage Work For You! 

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