Whether you’re looking to buy a home or establish a profitable career as a mortgage broker or agent many people, young adults especially, are now the focus of those in the real estate industry. Why? Simple. After sitting on the sidelines for years Millennials are ready to buy their first homes and consider what could be an exciting new career.
New Theory sat down with Ralph DiBugnara, VP of Residential Home Funding in Parsipanny, New Jersey. He gives his expert analysis on what he sees as the beginning of a new real estate wave.
NEW THEORY: WHAT IS IT YOU DO AS VICE PRESIDENT OF RESIDENTIAL HOME FUNDING?
Ralph DiBugnara: Well, my job is all about finance and sales. The market is always fluctuating and people are looking for advice from those who understand profit and value. I manage over 100 loan officers who generate business and help connect clients to their dream homes. For the last 16 years, I have given of my time and passion by guiding those ready to invest their money wisely.
NT: WHY DO YOU THINK THIS IS A GOOD TIME FOR ANYONE, SPECIFICALLY MILLENNIALS, TO GET INTO THE REAL ESTATE MORTGAGE BUSINESS?
RD: In the mortgage business a person’s income reflects their work ethic and attitude. It’s competitive out there but the right person understands you get out of life what you put into it. There is no cap on your salary. The harder a person works – the more money ends up in his or her pocket. I find Millennials, in particular, have spirit and drive and a very entrepreneurial outlook. They want to be their own bosses. They are also self-starters and motivated.
NT: HOW COULD SOMEONE MAKE A CAREER OUT OF BEING A MORTGAGE BROKER?
RD: There is no better time than right now to take advantage of being a mortgage broker. With social media and online networking there are an overwhelming amount of tools at one’s disposal. With all the promotional avenues, marketing and advertising it makes it a lot easier to get the word out. Even less than stellar business savvy individuals know what it takes to grow and how to make it work. Best yet, average first year salaries with little to no experience, range from $65,000 and $70,000 a year.
NT: ARE TRADITIONAL FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS STILL THE BEST PLACE TO GO IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A MORTGAGE?
RD: There are definitely fewer mom & pop type outlets out there than there used to be and that has affected how people get loans. And, because there is more regulation, some people may feel more comfortable seeking information from traditional financial institutions. However people need to understand it is not where they work, but who the person is they are dealing with. I would never tell someone not to further their education, but this is a position where it’s more on the job training so a good broker should always possess equal amounts of street smarts, personality and drive.
NT: HOW DOES THE PERSONAL SERVICE OF A MORTGAGE BROKER MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
RD: People want open communication and they want it fast! Each person provides a different practice with a customized process for every client. It becomes a relationship. And what are the most important aspects of a relationship: communication and trust. They want to know they can count on you.
NT: DO YOU SEE MILLENNIALS SOON ENTERING THE HOME BUYING MARKET IN A BIG WAY?
RD: Absolutely! Many of them have stayed at home longer, they have more money saved and therefore more to work with. They are looking for ready-made homes that are ready to move into. That is why you do not see as many young adults moving into what people used to call “starter-homes”. They are also not as handy when it comes to owning a “fixer-upper”. In addition, when Millennials look to buy they assess everything. Many want to go bigger because they’re looking to settle into a home for the long haul.
NT: WHAT OPPORTUNITIES DO YOU SEE DOWN THE ROAD FOR SOMEONE GETTING INTO THE MORTGAGE BUSINESS NOW?
RD: Well, it has been pretty consistent over the last 4 or 5 years. However, the Northeast in particular has a bit of an inventory problem. There are more buyers than property. Since Millennials have an entrepreneurial spirit, many are even getting involved in the “flipping” business. I believe mortgage brokers will notice a rise in business but it will be gradual rather than a boom. Once the requirement of more ready-made homes catches up with the need, more building, more construction, more buying will follow. It’s simple – supply and demand.
NT: WHERE WILL WE BE WHEN IT COMES TO THE REAL ESTATE MARKET 5-YEARS FROM NOW? 10?
RD: I see resurgence in commuter towns – wherever there is a high volume of activity that borders on a major metropolitan area. All types of people in various stages of their lives are looking to ride the wave into home buying. From young couples to families, and even singles expanding their social lives.