10 Replies

I recently became a Certified Private Money Broker and my original plan was I thought I would use that business to build my Capital so that I could then become a Real Estate Investor. As I started out in my Broker business I realized it was going to take me a while to get things up and going because I was going to have to do everything manually, even though the company that I received my training from has a phenomenal software program that can help completely speed up and automate my entire business, the problem is I just don't have the funds to be able to afford that software (it is quite expensive upwards of like $4K+) so at the moment I just don't have the funds for that right now. But what I suddenly found was that I was getting bombarded with all kinds of Real Estate Investing training and opportunities from every direction so suddenly I felt like something was telling me to shift to RE Investing so suddenly I have been immersed in all kinds of RE training, websites that offer memberships, etc. so now I am thinking maybe I will go the REI plan first and use those profits to help fund my Broker business and there is also a phenomenal program that same company has that can automate my REI business too. So here is the reason for my post.

Should I be doing it this way? Are there any PMB out there, if so how did you start out your business when you began? Do you have any suggestions on ways to help get that up off the ground? Current REI, do you all have any suggestions? I am planning to start with Wholesaling, any Wholesalers out here, can you offer any advise or suggestions on how best to find, calculate an offer price, how do you present your offers, how long do you put in for closing your deals? Since I am so new to all of this side of RE I am not sure just how to start... I am also a Certified Paralegal and I worked in Law Firms for over 25 years doing the majority of my work within the Real Estate field so I understand a lot of how RE works and a lot of all the ins and outs of it but now that I am getting into the actual buying side of it, I know this is a different side of the entire process so I feel a bit lost starting out.

And I guess as an ender here I can say since we are all in the REI business here, since I have now said it and opened that door... If anyone is in need of finding funding for their Investing projects, please also feel free to reach out to me, I will be happy to discuss helping you out and helping you get the funding you need for your projects since you are great enough to help me out so it is a win - win!

And I thank anyone for any help, suggestions or help they can offer because I really want to do this right to help take care of my family, as right now I am a person on Disability and my Husband is of Retirement Age, but he also works for a company that is a seasonal only company (they have to shutdown every fall/winter) because they are an outdoor music venue and now since the pandemic he has not been able to go back to work.  We are trying hard not to have to pull his SS for retirement because the longer we can hold off the more he will get and lord knows we need every penny we can get now with the prices of everything going up except our income, I just decided I needed to do something to help us secure our own future and not depend on anyone else to promise us a paycheck all while making them rich....

Thanks for listening....

I am a licensed mortgage broker.  I own my company 100% and have been working in real estate since 2003.  I wouldn't even talk to some jokers that wanted me to take some paid certification class before I could lend their money.  Lenders give me free training if they have complicated products.  Tons of free training in the wholesale world because they all want me to lend their money vs someone else's.  They are competing to get my business and anyone asking me to pay for it just isn't paying attention to the industry or their target audience is someone else, likely people with zero experience.

"Certified Private Money Broker" is just a term they came up with for someone who took their class.  It's not recognized by any state or federal authority.  Be sure to check license laws in your state to protect yourself and don't do things that require a license, unless you get an actual MLO license through the NMLS and work for a state licensed brokerage.  Be careful not to do any type of "advertising" that would imply you are a licensed broker.  Anything where you mention that you're a broker, make sure to mention you ARE NOT licensed.  A "certification" from some private entity is not a license to be a mortgage broker.  Be very sure you are only engaging in activity that is legally allowed by an unlicensed person.

There are a ton of different real estate classes out there trying to take your hard earned money in exchange for their "education".  You likely got bombarded by "opportunities" and training because you showed yourself to be someone who would pay for it based on your "certified private broker" thing.  Those people who took your money and gave you that "certification" sold your contact information to all their affiliates and other companies to market their crap to you.  It's not the universe telling you something, it's just how they operate to sell more stuff.  

If it was that easy to get rich then why are the people "teaching" you in instead of out there making millions?  Because it's not nearly as easy as they make it out to be.  They make more money "teaching"/upselling you and getting you to "invest" with some large buy in, or buy some $4,000 piece of crap software system that they've billed as your ticket to financial freedom but wouldn't be worth it if it were free.

The best advice I can give is to find a mentor.  Not someone you pay to tell you stuff, someone you work for and who is personally invested in your success and makes money when you do.  Find someone who has experience and knowledge because you're going to get lost constantly if you don't have someone to lean on.  If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far go together.  Going fast might be a fast way to more financial struggles.  Be honest with yourself about the fact that you know next to nothing about brokering loans, and your chance of success alone is somewhere right around zero.  The turnover in the mortgage industry is ridiculous and it's that way for many reasons, originating mortgage loans is not an easy business.

Be very careful out there on your own.  It's a minefield full of people with veiled intentions that are good at making others feel like they're trying to help and you've already fallen victim to them once.

How much did you spend on the certification?

@Daniel Hennek

Daniel I appreciate your thoughts and opinion on my post and I do agree I should have been a bit clearer in my post but I must say that by the mere tone of your response I clearly am assuming that you carry a huge grudge towards other lending options outside of your own. And as anyone knows and understands the word “certified” in any business doesn’t have any kind of a bearing on a state or federal licensing matter but that is not why the word certified is used in any business, it is used to indicate to customers/clients that this person has undergone specialized or more in-depth training than an the average person who may have just taken the basic training to just barely get an understanding of the subject, it is a way for customers to feel or have a little more confidence in the person they are working with will know and/or have a better understanding of the subject you have come to see them about. Quite frankly, one could say the same about you and/or your business, licensed or not, you are nothing better than a bank on any street corner that loans money to home buyers, so what makes you or your “mortgage broker” business so special.

I must say though that I am very surprised to see a mortgage broker not have a clue as to what a Private Money Broker is or that in your many years now as a mortgage broker that you have not heard of one, because your assuming attack on me that I need to watch out how I represent myself, and that my certification means nothing and that some how I was (again as the tone of your comments imply) too dumb or too gullible and fell for these lies that these sham of these companies who couldn’t possibly be real businesses because they dare charge you for their time and efforts of building their businesses... So I’m guessing that you work for free as well and you volunteer to do all the work for your customers for free too...

The places I have received all of my training from have all been highly regarded real estate investment businesses that are world renowned and when you are asking the experts to teach you what they know or how to do something you bet your you know what you are going to pay for it, and as far as the software goes you are full of it, because as a former IT Specialist I can tell you emphatically that no business out there that has a program worthy of any real chance at being an effective product that the mass consumer will be will to use continually in a given field would ever just give their software away constantly because if they did they would be bankrupt in less than their first year.

And finally, I know the laws and rules on marketing and such, because believe it or not those worthless companies made sure they added those important notes within their training, such as we can’t even advertise in CA, AZ, ID, ND, NC, NJ, and NY because those are the states that require the broker “license” you mentioned.

So trust me I know my laws and where I can and can not do certain things but here is the ultimate answer, even if I connect with someone that, for instance, lives in one of those states like say NY, all that means is I can not directly advertise in or handle the paperwork or processing myself, that does not mean that I cannot help someone in one of those states it just means I would have to make sure that one of my other team members who is a licensed broker handles their deal that’s all. And as far as advertising, I live in a state where I am allowed to advertise so therefore as long as I am not purposely posting in a market that is restricted to one or any combo of those areas then I have broken no laws.

So as I initially stated, I appreciate your reply, thoughts and opinions, you may want to get to know someone first before you assumingely, come down heavy on what they posted, because I know the laws and such as I am also a Certified Paralegal too... Oh Wait I Forgot, that doesn’t mean crap....

I don’t think you did anything wrong, @Robin Hopkins , but believe you were taken advantage of. Here, you spent what I suspect was a lot of money for some sort of training and still have to ask how to “… get off the ground.” It’s difficult to know whether the information you received was accurate or worth the money (and I bet many of us know who you bought it from), but I do know there are other ways to become a private lender like this for free.

Many of the legitimate larger private lending companies, easily found through Scotsman Guide, the AAPL, or even here on BP, offer affiliate programs you can join at no cost. As an affiliate of these companies, you are their sales representative, and they will train you in their processes for free. I suspect many of those who call themselves lenders on this board are affiliates. There’s nothing wrong with that. (My step-dad was a sales rep in a different industry.)

Affiliates are obviously not brokers, do not hold the legal credentials, and are not employees of their associated lenders. Nor are they able to lend in some states. Nonetheless, they can earn fees for loans that close, and some do well. The problem when you call yourself a “Broker,” which you know is a legal term, is that qualified with the term “Certified” or not, it smacks of deception. This legitimately raises the hackles of some here, and likely with many licensing bodies across the country. It has nothing to do with lending. That is, just because you are making business purpose real estate loans in a state that doesn’t require a license to do so, doesn’t mean you can call yourself a broker in that state.

The solution is super easy. Don’t call yourself a broker in any form.

This board is historically anti-guru. No one, including me, likes to see anyone get ripped off by self-appointed experts who charge large sums of money to provide training that is freely available elsewhere. Nor would I ever blame a victim. And for heaven’s sake, you don’t need specialized software for $4k. Jeeze. They really got their hooks into you, didn’t they?

If you want to find real estate borrowers, got to where real estate borrowers hang out. That would typically be local real estate clubs. One advantage during these times, with all clubs now online, is that you can attend any club nationwide. Those that offer a "haves and needs" period, might allow you to market yourself (ask the club organizer before you waste your time). Since it’s difficult now to form relationships -- the best marketing in my view -- make sure you at least offer a competitive advantage. That is, only represent lenders who offer particularly attractive lending terms. This is rarely price.

Good luck to you, Robin.

@Jeff S

Thank you, I appreciate you explaining what he might have meant, my feelings as to his tone was that he was outright attacking me for my post, which apparently some folks do not understand.  Nowhere in my post did I claim to be a "Broker" in the terms of what everyone so far believes the term Broker regularly means, as I always state and refer to myself, I am a Private Money Broker, what that means is I broker funding deals between those that are private lenders (or private money lenders) and the borrowers/investors that need the money.  That is essentially the definition of a broker, no it is not a real estate broker or a licensed mortgage broker, but I never made any statement or claim or misconception that I was either one of those.  So in my second reply to him. that was what I was trying to state to him.  But it was as if he was implying that I was somehow advertising that I was a "mortgage" broker and that was why I sort of snapped back, just because he may not understand what exactly a private money broker was or did, does not necessarily mean I was crossing some kind of legal line or breaking any kind of laws. I just felt as if he was unjustly attacking me when he could have asked me about what I do or just asking the questions rather than stating the violations I was potentially committing, I would have then wrote back (a lot calmer and nicer just as you and I are doing here) and explained in better detail that despite popular belief as long as I make sure to include those words in the title (i.e. Private Money) then stating the word broker with those words isn't necessarily against the law.

And on the matter of the training and the cost stuff, yes I guess it probably did sound like maybe I was complaining, but I didn't mean for it to sound like that because yes admittedly there were costs that I have paid for some training sessions, and yes there have been many places I have taken training type sessions from, that were also completely free. but I do not care what kind of training or classes you take, no amount of classes or training can take the place of being able to talk to others that are new or at the same level as you or actually maybe bit ahead of you that you can connect with and they are able to share their experiences or things they learned themselves along the way.  But no matter where you go, if you want access to the "cool" tools or toys, you are going to pay for them.  Right here on BP is a perfect example unless you join the PRO membership (or the Premium or whatever it is called, one) you can not access a lot of the real estate tools or the better tools.  So that other company is just no different, they have really good tools available but to gain access you will have to pay for those, and yes they charge more probably than a lot of others but they still are not doing anything "out of the norm".  When I made that post it wasn't my intention to have it sound as if I was complaining or "begging" for help as he try to imply, I was just trying to share my journey, how I arrived at my current point now and what I am currently doing to break into the field and actually, more to the point how ironic I thought it was because I thought I was going in one direction with real estate business but the "signs" or indicators were pushing me in a completely different direction instead.

But ultimately, it is situations like this that usually keep me from ever putting myself out there.  Anyway, I guess it may likely be the last time I ever try posting anything again. it so not worth even trying anymore someone is always looking to knock you down.

Again, thank you Jeff for taking time to explain what the heck was going on here.

@Robin Hopkins  What I have come to realize after reading many post for quite some time and even making a number myself is that people can be blunt here. When I read the post that you took offensively I did not read any offense or attack in your direction, but you interpreted it as a personal attack. I’m not sure how long you have been reading and following post, but what you described as offensive was extremely mild.
Hope you do well.:)
Best regard and happy new year.

In no way was I trying to recharacterize anything @Daniel Hennek wrote. He seems to be a big boy with no problem expressing himself. I actually agree with his post and voted for it. Just trying to lower the tone and provide some actionable advice.

You, or possibly your teacher (???), have redefined the word broker. There is a legal definition and it’s not even close to what you wrote. Brokers are also fiduciaries -- another legal term involving tremendous responsibilities. There are additional duties with the associated risks on top of that. You don’t seem to understand this and want to be something you’re not.

You seem to insist on playing with fire, @Robin Hopkins, when your real goal is to make money from real estate loans. There are many legal and honorable ways to do this without twisting and redefining a legal title because someone charged you a lot of money to bequeath it to you.


You got really defensive when no offense was intended; I promise you that my intentions are always good when I take the time to write out 5-6 paragraphs.  I'll assume you didn't mean to insult me and certain things you said were just a product of emotions bubbled over, and my intentions in this response are also good.  I'm trying to help you see the picture.  Here's my tough love so I'll ask you to read this with an open mind.

The wholesale lending channel includes all types of loans. That means, commercial, conventional, FHA/VA/USDA, private money, bank portfolio, whatever you want to call it, a Broker can do it. So to be clear, I can broker "private" money. Unlike you I have a crystal clear picture of where exactly "private money" fits into the overall mortgage market. Yes I'm blunt, but do you want kid gloves or do you want the cold hard facts? This is a place where people come to talk seriously and that's how I approach the conversations most of the time.

It's very difficult to make good money brokering private money to the small market that consumes it.  It would be much easier to start as a residential MLO because everyone you talk to is a potential client; the market is so much larger that finding clients when you're new and know nothing is actually something that can happen regularly.  With a background as a paralegal you might make a great MLO with good attention to detail and document handling skills.

Trying to make a living doing only loans that can be done without a license to only companies that will allow it with this certification means you have an extremely small part of the market to work.  People will get any type of loan that is best for them so anyone that can get another type of loan isn't going private.  So if you do this Certified PMB thing your clients will also be talking to licensed MLOs who can offer them different types of loans with lower rates and you'll waste a lot of time and effort.  

I said the things I said because people have been trying to sell me certifications for 17 years.  Most of them are not worth the paper they are printed on.  There are all kinds of certifications and all they mean is you sat in a class or in front of a screen for so many hours.  They don't equal repetitions/closings and closings are all that matter when it comes to the knowledge needed to do the job.  Do you think clients would value someone with a certification who just cut their teeth on their first closing over someone who has thousands of repetitions?  Myself and other executives recruiting MLOs don't even care about certifications, we want MLO's that know what they are doing and have the repetitions under their belts.  As I said before, certifications are not repetitions.

However you take this I do wish you well and encourage you to continue engaging here on Bigger Pockets as you can find many valuable conversations.

@Daniel Hennek, Daniel first I would like to apologize for my emotionally charged response to you, you and @Jeff S are correct, your comments to my post were done in the manner and fashion in which members of BP expect and that is whether they are hard to hear or praising comments everything and everyone is just trying to help each other out in this vast world of Real Estate.  I believe though that besides this post becoming something I never intended it to look like, I would like to (if you will bare with me a moment to explain) I really want to explain that I think the whole point of my original post may have gotten lost in the translation somewhere.  First off when I spoke of the PMB, what I meant by that was yes I did take some training "courses" in that field and yes one of them was in fact a certification course, and yes I do understand (as I mentioned to Jeff earlier) that being certified in something really doesn't mean anything,  but the whole point of my post had nothing to do with the private money brokering thing, if you go back and re-read my post you can see that yes I mentioned and talked about how I became a PMB (and I understand I need to be careful how I toss the last word around) but the actual point I was trying to make was that I was just getting started into RE Investing and just asking if anyone had any suggestions on that stuff.  I know I did throw in there a "plug" if you will about helping investors with their funding if anyone needed it through the private money, and yes I do understand that private money is a narrow avenue in the lending area, but it still works for those that cannot get loans with conventional lenders because of credit issues or other factors.  But I wanted you to understand that when I mentioned about being a Paralegal for more than 25 years, I was referring to being completely immersed in almost everything in the Lending process, including many different lender's products, how they managed their loans, what their fees structures were, what their policies were, their payment policies were, and I worked with residential lenders, commercial lenders, local banks, major banks/lenders, title companies, mortgage brokers, of course RE brokers, all the nuts and bolts.  No I just wanted to explain that I am not new to Real Estate or Real Estate Lending whatsoever, the only thing here that I am new to is actually being a RE Investor and that is why I am really here on BP, that is why I want to network and such the private money stuff is an afterthought because although I know it can bring in some "finder fee" type income, what I really want to do is the real estate side, I want to learn wholesaling and then fix and flipping and fix and renting, that it.  

So, Daniel I do thank you for your candidness and your (as you called it..LOL) tough love.  Sometimes I get a bit overly emotional when someone "points out" something I know to be true but (like many people) it's just hard to hear.  But as you guys said we are all supposed to be adults here so again, I apologize for my nasty attitude and I thank you guys for your feedback.