Mortgage Sales Managers – Be Careful of Non-solicitation Clauses in Your Employment Agreements
When you are considering making a career change, how thoroughly do you review your offer and employment agreement? Do you just focus on the compensation section and believe the rest is boilerplate?
Well, focusing solely on compensation can be a poor career decision. While it isn’t common to look at the end of your employment before you start, the reality is, you are in the mortgage industry and change regularly happens. If you don’t understand your employment agreement, you could be jeopardizing your career goals.
One clause in your employment agreement that you should pay close attention to yet is often overlooked or misunderstood, is the non-solicitation clause. This clause states that you cannot solicit other company employees to leave if you decide to move on. This time frame is usually one year and includes loan officers and sales managers you may have initially brought to the company or recruited after you started.
In reality, the non-solicitation clause may be fair. Many companies invest heavily in their employees, branches, recruiting, marketing, and businesses. The non-solicitation clause protects the company from individuals raiding their staff and investments. On the other hand, these clauses can allow the company to change their pricing, compensation, marketing, operations, management, or business model without your knowledge or ability to do anything except leave.
While most companies have non-solicitation clauses in their employment agreements, not all of them do. I find the companies that don’t, are the most transparent, employee-focused, and have the strongest operations. These companies tend to have the lowest turnover and highest employee satisfaction.
Whether it is a better opportunity you’d like to pursue or you are frustrated with your current employer and want to make a change, most prospective employers will ask about your current employee agreement and restrictions. The value managers (regional, area, branch, or sales) bring to a new employer is your experience, ability to grow a sales team/branch office, and your current team. What you accomplished in the past and your potential is important, however, most companies focus on immediate expectations and what you will bring to their company.
As an independent mortgage-recruiting firm, we are privy to a lot of information, opportunities, and see many bad decisions. However, two of the toughest situations we see mortgage sales managers put themselves/their careers in are:
They are a non-producing manager without a team. These individuals are experienced, but find it hard to get solid opportunities because they lack immediate production and usually have higher salary requirements.
They are a producing manager with a team; however, they have a non-solicitation clause in their employment agreement. These individuals find it difficult to leave because they’ve worked hard to build a solid branch/team, however they would have to start over if they moved on. Often, they are unhappy with the operations, pricing, and compensation at their current company, yet the risks of starting over (primarily short-term compensation) overshadows the rewards of a better career opportunity.
The bottom line, use caution and understand how this decision will affect your short-term and long-term goals. What you don’t know or pay attention to could derail your career plans.
Read and understand the employment agreement
Seek independent advice on the opportunity
Search for online reviews
Pay attention to the turnover rate at the prospective company
Loan Academy is an independent mortgage recruiting and consulting company. We specialize in connecting exceptional managers and loan officers with leading mortgage companies that maintain a culture of excellence, trust, and transparency.
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