Employment Ideas for Laid Off Mortgage Workers

Current estimates project the number of mortgage industry workers that will lose their jobs to be 100,000 or more. Here are some job hunting ideas for those resilient folks who love mortgage lending and want to ride out the storm by making a lateral move within the industry.

Consider looking deeper into the big three information service companies (we use to call them the title insurance companies: Firstam, Fidelity, Landam) and check out all the job openings in your state.

[photopress:fired_1_2.jpg,thumb,alignright]If you are an underwriter, consider becoming an independent mortgage compliance consultant. You can help existing mortgage firms move up a notch with training and compliance. But that would mean you will actually have to talk with retail mortgage salespeople and pretend like you are enjoying the conversation. This would be a daily thing and requires your blood pressure and HDL/LDL cholesterol readings to be at or within a healthy range or, alternatively, you should prepare to show an active prescription for Lipitor. If you can’t stomach working directly with retail mortgage salespeople, then consider a position in auditing and compliance at a major bank or lender in your hometown. Someone will have to help write and enforce the ever-changing tighter lending guidelines. However, your real talent may be of use as an independent expert witness for law firms in mortgage broker and shareholder lawsuits. Underwriters, don’t leave the business. We need you now more than ever. Besides, who’s going to help re-assess the risk on all those collateralized debt obligations? Nobody knows what anything is worth right now. You ought to be cashing in on those jobs.

If you are a loan processor, consider joining an independent contract processing company, or forming your own company. If you are a really good loan processor, consider becoming a retail mortgage salesperson yourself. The very best loan originators start out as processors. You will be better than the competition in your hometown because of your knowledge in state and federal laws governing mortgage lending. Trust me on this.

If you were an entry-level worker, such as an assistant or receptionist, you might seek employment as an assistant to a top-producing retail mortgage salesperson or real estate agent. Title companies routinely hire entry-level folks and a background in lending will help. In fact, you might even know more about title insurance than some of the sales reps. If you’re good looking, and by that I mean “hot,” consider a job as a title rep. Am I being too cynical? I don’t think so. But maybe title isn’t the place for you. If you have masochistic tendencies, perhaps escrow is more up your alley.

Traditionally, when the retail side of lending turns soft, jobs open up on the other side; the dark side of mortgage lending. Consider job openings with trustee service companies (these are the companies that help lenders foreclosure), or check out opportunities for jobs in the foreclosure and loss mitigation divisions of local banks and loan servicing companies. Also, there are bound to be job openings for default counselors with non-profit associations. Start by going to HUD.gov, click on the link “talk to a housing counselor

58 thoughts on “Employment Ideas for Laid Off Mortgage Workers

  1. Don’t forget working for a productive real estate team. There is always room for talent and experience, because they don’t cost money they generate revenue.

    I Sat in a lead generating clinic a few weeks ago, led by an agent from Florida. One of the hardest hit markets in the country. His team closed 39 units in July and they are on track to close 500 transactions for the year.

  2. Hi Rob,

    Yes, I did mention this! It’s inside of the long paragraph toward the top. I need to go back in and add some hard returns to make that stand out more. Many people in the mortgage industry who were laid off, were production workers. These folks were use to a 40 hour a week job with a regular paycheck and benefits. Many real estate teams pay a low base (if any) with a small percentage of the commission upon closing. Is this how it works in your area?

  3. Yes, I have heard of title companies laying off production staff here locally as well. That’s why a better idea is for folks to search through the job postings for all the ancilary companies that are owned by the national title insurance companies. I also believe that when times turn tough, a title company’s sales force must remain as strong as possible. If a person believes himself or herself to be a great candidate for a title rep job, then I say go for it. Sell yourself into that job!

  4. Pingback: Employment Digest » Blog Archive » Employment Ideas for Laid Off Mortgage Workers

  5. Diet pills at cheerleading camp? Thats hot/s/Paris.Could lead to some skinny realtors :)Thats the good news.The bad news is the rest of the country will soon be looking like Michigan+Florida.The for sale signs are like a mushroom patch here in Fl.Panic will set in,as they realize the renters,which arnt renting(for rent signs everywhere too),cant bail em out.The whole scam was dependent on more easy money and lemming re-fi/flippers/ buyers.So the rich got richer,same old story.The other good news is mega-yacht sales are up.Thats a suprise.Should be a big run on empty refrigerator boxes(make nice condos)

  6. Hi Jillayne,
    Yes there are some teams that have that structure. They are dependant on the production of those people. The high caliber teams I am talking about pay there buyer’s agents that way but there listing agents and admin people are paid good salaries. Simply because they understand if you want talent you have to pay for it. It is based on the model in the book “The Millionaire Real Estate Agent

  7. “I suppose any of these new schemes might make someone six figures during their first year. I also suppose Aaron Eckhart will knock on my door and ask me out on a date for Friday night.”

    I look like a madman here in the office. laughing by myself. ‘Thank-you for smoking’ is an awesome movie

  8. Hi Rob,

    Thanks for the insight. Readers who are considering taking a job on a real estate team can, perhaps turn the tables and be the one to interview the real estate agent to probe into the structure and business mindset of the person leading the team.

  9. Jillayne – smart, funny, great advice. I am back in real estate after working for a mortgage company (marketing) and property management in years’ past. Real estate may not be a good place to be right now, either, but my broker mostly does right-of-way and relocation work on contract so we are a bit more stable. We are very busy with new road projects these days, and will be even busier if everyone votes YES FOR ROADS in November.

    Thanks for a great post! Looking forward to your next class…

  10. Hi Jillayne,
    Absolutely and if you are talented why not. This could actually be good for the industry at large. When there is a contraction like we are seeing now, it is the higher quality that survives.

    As for RE not being a good place to be right now (from above), the opposite is true. Wealth and market share is transferred during a down market. Right now there are lots of people in the industry (Agents, lenders, title, inspectors, appraisers…) heading for the hills. Now is the time to be aggressive and take over market share that might not otherwise available for the taking. I am investing heavily in expanding my business, this is just a part of a cycle and it is not new.

  11. I know of one smallish escorw Co. closing its doors and going out of bizz for good, they still have a lot of closings still so i cant name names, i wonder how many more

  12. Hi bigdollardog,

    Escrow, title, loan originators….production people too like loan processors, underwriters. Layoffs are no fun. It’s a different kind of stress: coming into the office and there are no files to work on….people sitting around playing solitare on the computer waiting for the ax to fall on one of their friends….I have empathy for everyone in our industry who is facing a possible job loss.

  13. Hi rob,

    You have what Matt Foley calls, a PMA: “That’s Positive Mental Attitude.” Readers in Salt Lake? Somebody’s taking life by the tail down there! Look out, rob, you may end up with some resumes coming your way.

  14. Hi Wendy,

    The head counts in the short sale and foreclosure classes are very high right now! You’ve been to RE2.0 and the New Media blogging class, right? The topics of short sales and foreclosures are suddenly very hot. Go figure.

    Readers, Wendy’s offering some insight: Consider jobs for companies that work under government contracts, that might be related to real estate. For example, skills in title insurance like title examining could net you an interview at a local county or city planning dept.

  15. I think we all need a little more Matt Foley sage advice… thanks Jillayane Jillayne – otherwise more of us will be living “in a van down by the river.”

    I have been pretty impressed with many of the real estate professionals that I know who are still making it happen under some relatively tough conditions. I say “relative” because it really is not so bad, just a lot worse than we have grown accustomed to.

    I also think that it will be the real estate professionals who go out into their markets and continue to broker transactions and keep things moving along who will ulitmately pull us out of this funk. That is what happened in Colorado Springs in the late 80’s and I think it will happen again.

    Brian Wilson, http://www.zolve.com

  16. Hi Brian,

    Thanks for stopping by raincityguide.com It will be interesting to see if Web2.0 applications like zolve are able to survive and thrive during this historic housing recession. In any event, I just signed up for a charter membership to help you along.

  17. Jillayne, you sound like my wife except that it goes something like this, “What makes you think Zolve will survive now of all times??? And who’s going remind you to iron your shirt when I’m gone?”

    Okay, that’s not true but my wife doesn’t read blogs so I can get away with it.

    I do not know if it will be to my benefit or detriment, but I have not really considered the industry climate in developing our business. It is one of those things that I cannot affect, so I try to not to worry about it. I genuinely believe that our success will be based on whether we can create value for real estae professionals or not. If we can, to the degree that we think can, then Zolve will be a big contender in our industry.

    Thank you for your support, Jillayne. I will send you an invite to our closed beta here in a few days. Your perspective would be valuable.

    Brian Wilson, http://www.zolve.com

  18. Sure. I can’t remember where I read about this idea, but I think it was Marc Davidson, the guy who writes for Inman once a week with the Jack Nicholson sunglasses. Did I get his name correct?

    He suggested a myspace.com for Realtors. What a FAB idea. Count me in.

  19. Jillayne:

    Have any of your rain city guider gotten my email yet about lani? Just wondering as no one from here has responded yet. I was hoping maybe you guys could join in and maybe add a ribbon or something to RCG.

  20. great information there is always more opportunities if someone is willing to look and do things different.

Leave a Reply