Years as an independent broker: 2
2016 volume: $139 million
Number of employees: 3

Why did you decide to be independent?
The reason I switched is to have more control in terms of policy and procedures, of income, and also more exposure in what I’m able to do in terms of connecting with other lenders and operating with other lenders and brokers.

Would you ever join a broker network?
I don’t think we need to be with a network for branding or anything, but if they have a product – for example, maybe an insurance product – that can add value to what we’re doing, then maybe there could be a collaboration. Other than that, for the brokering side, I don’t think there is any reason for us to join a network.

What advice would you give to other brokers who are looking to branch out on their own?
You can’t just become independent by yourself. You have to have a proper team for compliance, underwriting, accounting setup, an external auditor – you have to have your foundation and manpower set up in order to brand yourself. Also, meet with lenders to know what the requirements are if you go independent.

If you’re looking to grow a team, if your pay structure will be based on the volume, would you be able to grow into a team? It’s so competitive out there that others are offering 90% or 100% commission. Are you going to be able to operate independently and match that in order to grow your brokerage? If that’s going to be something that’s going to take time to grow, then maybe it’s a good idea to stay under a brokerage platform to just brand yourself, establish that rapport and build a team as a team lead.

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