Independent brokers and net branch managers have two companies, a national net branch and a wholesaler, offering improved mortgage education and training for them.
On Monday, 1st Metropolitan Mortgage Group Inc. said it expanded its Charlotte, N.C., headquarters by 65 percent, including an in-house training facility, to meet the needs of its growing operation.
Noting the "healthy growth" experienced during the last year through acquisitions -- the broker recently acquired 71 NovaStar branches -- and new business development activities, 1st Metro chief executive Daniel Jacobs commented the company needs "to be properly outfitted" to meet the needs of branches from a central location.
"Rather than shuttling trainees and meeting participants to local hotels for training sessions and back here for meetings, we built a state-of-the-art facility here," he said in a prepared statement.
The on-site facility will accommodate "18 fully-automated training stations that have laptops and T1 Internet connection, so that training and meeting participants have the opportunity to experience the hands-on-training that has proven most effective," the division of Empire Equity Group reported. And because focus groups revealed people learn better, absorb more details and feel more comfortable with interaction in small groups, the training sessions will have limited seating.
Jacobs said 1st Metro, which operates its Web site at www.1stMetro.com, has "created an environment conducive to learning more about our industry, more about compliance, sales, and our company's policies and procedures."
Having an in-house training center also enables training and meeting participants to interact with corporate staff and gain a real understanding of the corporate culture, the net branch said.
Also on Monday, wholesaler American Brokers Conduit announced it has extended its highly demanded Advisor Seminar Series with plans to continue into 2006.
Noting his company is "the fastest growing wholesaler in the nation," American Brokers President Donald Henig said, "Due to the overwhelming positive response we have received from mortgage brokers throughout the United States, after a short summer break the Advisor Seminar Series will resume." Additionally, "we are in the process of scheduling additional seminar sites across the country during the fourth quarter of 2005 and into 2006."
Over 2,000 mortgage brokers have attended the seminars, which kicked off Jan. 25 in Orlando, Fla., and have been conducted in 21 cities throughout the country, according to the announcement.
The brokers have "learned how to increase their loan volume and market share, while improving their closed loan ratio in the current market environment," as well as gained knowledge about the product portfolio of the New York-based company.
According to the wholesaler, one of the attendants commented that the seminar "presented real tools that I can immediately use in my business. Instead of the usual hard-sell message, American Brokers Conduit's seminar gave us the tools to approach our client in a more service-oriented way that can deliver real results."
American Brokers touts its broker training at www.ABC-Advisor.com.