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Branch Manager Tip: Find Your Lending Niche

mortgage branch manager tips: finding your lending niche

Rising home values, fluctuating mortgage rates, and below-average inventory have left would-be homebuyers in a state of frustrated limbo. Many can’t find homes that fit their budget and others can’t get approved for the loan they need. Last year saw a 13.2% rejection rate for mortgages and 20.8% rejection rate for refinancing. 

These economic challenges are also problematic for lenders. Many are seeing fewer clients that meet their standard criteria, which means a slump in revenue. However, there’s still a way to make the mortgage branch manager salary you need. It may be time to find your niche and go after it. 

Niches exist because the general lending community can’t meet the needs of borrowers in specific situations. This creates a gap – and a chance for you to learn more about a certain type of homebuyer so you can provide solutions other lenders can’t. 

Once you start opening doors for a specific type of borrower, word gets out and your book of business grows. But how do you find your niche? 

Keep reading to learn where to start and how to take advantage of a branch manager opportunity that’s truly unique. 

Find Your Niche Client

The first step in finding your lending niche is pinpointing groups with specific pain points or unique challenges. Once you determine your target group, you can concentrate on providing value through innovative solutions and the right mortgage products. 

Here are some audience segments to consider: 

Small Business Owners 

Many self-employed small business owners don’t receive a paycheck. This can make it hard for them to qualify for a loan. 

Non-qualified mortgages and bank statement lending programs are two ways around this problem. If you have a deep understanding of these and other products, you can turn a small business owner’s problem into an advantage. 


If you have experience with VA loans, targeting veterans and active-duty military personnel makes sense. Many of these borrowers are in similar life stages and qualify for specific benefits and loan programs. 

House Flippers 

If you consider yourself a versatile lender who likes to explore interesting solutions for borrowers, house flippers may be your perfect niche. These individuals have different investment goals and need a dynamic mortgage lender to help them navigate the process with speed and confidence. 

Rural Homebuyers

People in rural communities often have different needs than those in big cities or suburbs. They may also want different types of properties, meaning they could benefit from programs like USDA loans. Understanding the eligibility criteria and rules surrounding these loans could be your ticket to targeting this homebuyer segment. 

There are plenty of other niche groups to consider, such as first-time homebuyers, alternative credit borrowers, and retirees. When determining your niche, consider your experience and do a little market research to identify borrowers who are underserved in your area. 

Nailing down a segment will unlock a branch manager opportunity that will boost your business’s reputation and revenue. 

Find Your Niche Mortgage Products

Your target audience will inform what mortgage products you should specialize in. However, like finding your target audience, you need to do a little market research. Look at demographic trends in your area and emerging homebuyer needs that you could turn into opportunities. 

It’s also important to consider traditional mortgage products as well as those that suit borrowers with unique goals. If you have the experience and staff, you can target your niche and also serve the needs of homebuyers looking for straightforward loans. 

FHA Loans

Common for first-time homebuyers, FHA loans offer flexible down payments and qualification requirements. Most lenders offer them, so they’re not considered niche. However, if you enjoy working with young people, FHA loans are a great way to form long-term relationships and help people start new chapters in their lives. 

Fixer-Upper Loans

Officially called an FHA 203(k) renovation loan, this mortgage program provides funding for purchasing and repairing property. It’s perfect for those who want to renovate a dream house or are on a strict budget. It’s also a good solution if the home’s condition prevents it from meeting conventional loan requirements. 

Relocation Loans

Also referred to as a RELO, this loan makes it easier for a buyer to purchase a home in another state. This is perfect for individuals or families who must relocate for work. In fact, some employers offer them to help cover the costs associated with relocation. 

DSCR Loans

This mortgage product offers real estate investors who are unable to qualify for traditional mortgages a way to secure property. A DSCR loan is repaid through the revenue generated by renting the property and the debt service coverage ratio. As a lender, you must gather rent rolls or tenant lease agreements during the application process. 

Reverse Mortgages 

Different from other home loans, this mortgage product offers financing and uses property ownership and equity as collateral. It allows a homeowner to borrow cash from the equity they’ve built up without the obligation to make monthly payments on that money. While reverse mortgages provide solutions to people in unique situations, they’re challenging and even predatory. Consider this before deciding to offer them. 

Once you start pursuing a branch manager opportunity offering niche loans, you should seek feedback from borrowers and monitor the performance of your products to ensure they’re working for you. 

The Right Partners

When targeting a specific segment in a given area, building a strong network is crucial. Partnering with local groups and professionals can help identify borrowers’ needs in your marketplace. 

First and foremost, you need strong relationships with real estate professionals like agents, attorneys, home builders, and inspectors. Forming a trusted network will help you provide better service, obtain referrals, and make the most out of your branch manager opportunity.  

Forming relationships with CPAs is also a smart move. Their clients have varying financial backgrounds and often come to them when problems arise. A strong partnership could mean quality referrals. 

Small business support groups help local business owners with financial advice. These groups often want mortgage professionals who can help members with real estate issues or questions. 

Most communities have VA groups that connect members with business and financial resources. If you’re targeting veterans, partnering with these groups will put you in contact with people seeking VA loans for purchasing real estate. 

Groups for young professionals work with individuals who are taking control of their finances and settling down to start a family. If you want to work with first-time homebuyers, these groups offer ways to meet potential clients ready to take the first step. 

A Branch Manager Opportunity Offering the Support You Need

If you’re ready to finally take control of your career and target your niche, you need a trusted mortgage company on your side. MortgageRight’s platform is unlike any other due to our extensive range of products. Whether you want to work with conventional loans or provide more complex solutions, our services have you covered. 

We also offer expert support services that give you the freedom to do what you do best – originate loans. These services include marketing, technology, underwriting, HR, and much more. You choose which ones you need when you need them. 

Launch your next branch manager opportunity with MortgageRight and start doing business on your terms. Schedule a live demo to learn more.

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