Typecasting (acting): In television, film, and theatre, typecasting is the process by which a particular actor becomes strongly identified with a specific character; one or more particular roles; or, characters having the same traits or coming from the same social or ethnic groups.

Just like actors from television and film, loan originators and real estate agents can become typecast – stuck in their roles.

I recently met with a potential recruit who works with a lot of borrowers with lower credit scores and spotty employment history. He loves to help people, so he works hard and digs deep for his clients, and they love him for it. Now he’s stuck; he’s known as the guy who works with low credit scores and challenging borrowers – he’s become typecast.

One reason this happens is because people tend to hang around others with common interests. When happy clients send a referral it’s often a person with a similar profile to their own. When satisfied realtors refer a buyer, they’re thinking of this loan originator as the guy who does tough deals. In fact, they may even send their A+ referrals to another lender because this originator has become typecast.

Don’t get stuck playing the comedic sidekick when you want to be an action-adventure hero. Don’t allow your clients, co-workers, referral sources or friends and family to typecast you! This doesn’t mean that you can’t offer expertise in all areas of real estate sales or lending, but as markets shift and swing, being able to play multiple roles in your industry will create the financial and professional security you need for a lifetime career.