Brokerages demanding more-experienced agents

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Your rise up the corporate ladder may just have become steeper. New agents are increasingly finding brokerages that demand nothing less than two or three years’ experience.

“It’s a rule we’ve had for a while and although we’ve made exceptions in the past for some former bank employees, we’re looking to enforce our two-year minimum requirement,” Drew Donaldson, executive VP of sales for Verico SafeBridge Financial, told “It’s really about ensuring that our team is able to provide the level of service our clients require.”

The GTA brokerage, which twins wealth management and other services with mortgages, is not alone. Other brokerages are raising their own barriers to entry for agents, demanding they bring years of experience to the table.

The practice represents a change from the industry status quo, but better mirrors the standards of other industries where young professionals are forced to train at smaller firms in smaller markets before working their way up to positions with more-established or prestigious players.

Donaldson argues that SafeBridge’s requirement helps to advance the professional expectation for agents with the brokerage and, presumably, the good name it has actively garnered for itself as a premium firm.

Still, it’s important established brokers and brokerages continue to take new entrants under their wing, argue some mortgage professionals, pointing to a spotty retention record in parts of the industry.

In an increasingly competitive market, Ontario suffered a spike in the number of young agents quitting the industry with last year’s relicensing exercise.  

  • Paul - CENTUM on 2013-04-18 11:28:08 AM

    Although I understand the need for increasing the level of professionalism in the industry, I think that it is naive to believe that experience equals professionalism or higher production numbers. There are many examples of new agents who are highly professional and have the drive they need to succeed in this competitive marketplace. Just as there are examples of more experienced agents who are currently struggling to get volume or who lack the level of professionalism expected. Experience is important, but in the end it is the demonstrated dedication the agent has to building a quality business that counts the most. A good agent will be professional, ethical, be skilled in sales, and have a strong drive to succeed – regardless of time in the industry. We were all new once, and when someone takes a chance on a new person it builds loyalty and trust. I would caution that in closing the door on someone today, you could be turning away a top producer down the road. Why would they have any incentive to join you in the future if you would not give them a chance at the start?

  • sue -MACC Atlantic RSN on 2013-04-18 11:53:25 AM

    I agree with Paul , we all start somewhere. That is why we at MACC have excellent training programs for the new "green" agents to learn and be mentored. I will gladly take those newagentswith good sales ability aandteachthem the mortgage bokering business.

  • John Dearin on 2013-04-19 10:40:48 AM

    Agreed Paul & Sue, we have hired "experienced" people only to find they can't even spell the word '"mortgage" let alone put one together with any semblance of professionalism. The one I hired with absolutely no experience goes on to win a national award. You can't teach integrity, honor, professionalism, at least I can't.

  • Frank - Verico on 2014-01-09 6:51:05 AM

    I see both sides. Proper hiring practices will ensure good agents are brought on whether experienced or inexperienced. If one brings on experience and see them fail it was either poor hiring practices or support from the brokerage. New agents pose a threat of giving incorrect info or losing time finding the right lender. National Super Brokers need to do a better job training and monitoring their newbies.

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