Only 20% speak a second language

As many of the mortgage industry’s loan officers get ready to retire, a recent survey shows upcoming loan officers may be unprepared.

A recent survey by XINNIX, which helps to train mortgage lending professionals, shows that only 20% of loan officers entering the workforce indicated they spoke a language other than English.

“That number does seem a little low,” said Frank Fuentes, newamerican vice president of Multicultural Community Lending. “I would have thought that would be a higher percentage.”

Fuentes emphasized that the need for bilingual loan officers is strong and increasing.

“There is a need and there is going to be more of a need especially in the South and the Midwest,” Fuentes said.

In fact, overall, out of the mortgage professionals who are Hispanic, the figures are substantially lower in the Midwest and the South where the Hispanic population is growing the fastest, Fuentes said.

About 55% of the Hispanic population comes from Texas, Florida and California, according to the NAHREP 2015 State of Hispanic Homeownership report.

“We see an obvious opportunity to hire and train talented, bilingual sales professionals to capture the rapidly expanding, new homebuyer market,” XINNIX stated in their survey report. “Recently we have been hearing that executives around the country are seriously looking at the diversity needs of the future homebuyer, but it has not yet shown up in our student population.”

Over the next decade, it’s estimated that the industry will need to replace roughly 200,000 loan officers, according to a new white paper by XINNIX CEO Casey Cunningham.

Given these recent numbers, could it be that this new generation of mortgage officers will need to catch up in order to service one of America’s fastest growing homebuyer populations?

Only time will tell.