It’s an added cost many brokerages aren’t prepared to bankroll, but a leading Ontario player is now identifying the benefits of a dedicated trainer for agents teaching soft as well as hard skills.
“I understand the challenges small brokerages would have in assigning someone to the kind of specific role I have,” Jason Doria, director of training and compliance for Northwood Mortgage told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “But, for medium to large firms, they may want to consider what creation of the position has done for Northwood in terms of substantially improving agent satisfaction and reducing the time it takes for new agents become full-time, self-supporting professionals.”
That may, in fact, be an understatement. In the year and a half Doria has been in the role, Northwood has nearly halved the average “onboarding) period for newbies from 12 months to a scant six.
While participation in Doria’s in-class and individual training sessions is voluntary, use has surpassed expectations, with new agents winning tutorials not only in underwriting and product information, but the nitty gritty on sales prospecting, conversational skills and overcoming client rejection.
It’s the kind of practical training new brokers simply aren’t getting enough of, according to new research from one of the industry’s leading course providers.
Brokerages have largely failed to give young agents the structure, training and mentorship they need to generate business for themselves, according to REMIC head Joe White, pointing to a survey of students over more than a year.
“I could find the right product and lender for a client,” writes one young agent cited in the REMIC research. “I just didn't know how to find a client.”
The REMIC study highlights the very practical training gaps in the education of new agents, often left to grapple with the kind of client opposition Doria is paid to address.
He’s hoping other large – and even medium-sized – brokerages will follow Northwood’s lead.
“Historically, this kind of practical training – beyond submitting and handing applications – has been missing in the industry,” said Doria, a former trainer with the banks. “But we have to raise the standards of training to encompass all area of the business, not just submitting an application to a lender.”