“Most new commercial mortgage brokers start out with very little training, no guaranteed salary and are given two months to sink or swim. Most of them sink,” said Petriella, who is well-known in the industry for building teams that have broken sales records at national brokerage companies.
“That shouldn’t be the case. People with great talent should be able to make a great living in commercial mortgage brokerage – if they get the proper training and work with a company providing personalized attention,” said Petriella, a 25-year veteran of the commercial brokerage industry and a former First Vice President with Marcus and Millichap, the largest investment real estate broker in the nation.
“The commercial mortgage broker industry is behind the times in terms of training people. You have to pick the right company and get trained properly. If you don’t, you’ll sink,” said Petriella, who formed his company on the boutique model because it allows more freedom and autonomy. In a boutique, employees get more training and support from top management.
“The established brands have legacy issues, politics, play favorites, limit territories or client contacts. It’s a great waste of talent,” he said. “Great brands like Four Seasons take pride in lifting all people to a higher standard. Having worked for Four Seasons, I get it and, I live it.”
Many commercial intermediaries ask Petriella:
How can I become a top performer as a commercial mortgage broker?
How can I get trained to be a successful commercial mortgage broker?
Do I have what it takes to be a commercial mortgage broker?
He advises young commercial mortgage brokers who want to be top performers to find a company, such as a boutique, that offers a training program.
Petriella opened his own firm in January in West Los Angles and is now opening an office in New York City and is looking to grow his team there. In the first 3 months of 2012, the company brokered 12 fundings for an aggregate value in excess of $50MM. He predicted The Real Estate Finance Group will double the 40 closings of 2011.
“Joining a boutique mortgage broker is better than working for a behemoth,” Petriella said.
“With a boutique, I can be sure that the systems, the style, the resources are in my control and directed at serving our borrowers and supporting the front-line mortgage brokers, who work so hard to provide the best advice and execution for our borrowers,” he said.
“We will stay focused on best recruits, best training, best management because the success of all of our originators means the success of our borrowers,” he said.
Novice mortgage brokers should be wary of large, national companies as a place to start their careers.
“A company striving for a broad geographic footprint looks good on paper but works well only for a small percentage of mortgage originators,” he said. (credit, sandra kenner)