Training is a critical component of your business as a mortgage broker. You must complete your required courses to keep your license up to date and remain aware of new developments in the industry.
Here is a strategy to keep on top of your required training.
Take a Training Inventory
Your first step is to make sure you know all the training you need to complete.
Start with the required training. What courses and tests must you take to remain licensed as a broker in your state? How many times are those offered per year?
Then look at the training you’d like to take. What new elements of your job are you interested in or feel that you need to study? Who offers courses that will help you improve your knowledge in these areas? Consider your local community college and small business administration for low-cost options that can work around your schedule. Also, look into national and regional training groups.
When you’re making your lists, include dates and prices. Make sure you’re including travel, food, and lodging, if necessary. Then rank the non-required training to help you decide which will work this year and which will need to wait until a later date.
Create a Schedule and a Budget
Next up is a budget. Assess how much you can spend on training this year. Ensure that this number is at least the cost of your required training to renew your license.
Then, take a yearly calendar — either online or on paper — and fill in the required training. Try to choose the earliest offering, so you aren’t waiting until the last minute.
Add the costs of your required training, then see what you have left for additional training. Look at your ranked list and see which one fits your budget. Fill that training in on your calendar. Also, note the registration dates — and take advantage of early-bird registration discounts whenever possible. Do the same with travel and hotel bookings. Book early so you can get the best deals and maximize your budget.
You don’t want to set an amazing schedule, plan and then completely forget to follow it. Calendar reminders will be key to keeping your training on track.
If you did your main training calendar on paper, move it to your online calendar. Set reminders for registration dates, travel deadlines, and course dates. You don’t want to lose track of any of your important training opportunities.
Don’t be a slave to your plan. You never know when your school might offer an exciting new course. It’s also possible that a shift in the mortgage industry will require you to change your plans. Be flexible and allow your schedule to adapt as new training opportunities arise.
Training is essential. No one wants to lose a few weeks or more at the end of the year trying to fit it all in just to keep his or her license active. Spreading it out over the year can make it more manageable and minimize the effects on your workload.