Certified in-house training needed, says broker

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Brokers know there is a problem with a lack of training among agents, but it is time they took the lead and instituted a universal in-house training program, says one principal broker.

“There needs to be a course or a training program, a real tough one,” says David Alberda, broker managing-partner with Ultimate Mortgage Partners in Calgary. “Agents know the technical side of the business – anyone can submit a deal. But it is the human dynamic, the emotions of a client that need to be learned. The client is in a high-stress situation purchasing a home, and the only way you learn as a broker is to do real sales training with an experienced broker.”

Alberda shares the frustration among his peers in the broker channel at the lack of real training for agents entering the industry, but would like to see some action taken instead of just more griping.

“There needs to be some sort of regulation from one of the regulatory bodies, whether it is national or provincial. It’s the only real way to try and control this, because the way things are now, it looks bad on all of us,” he says. “I saw the tweets and postings online complaining of the lack of training of agents. But nobody ever comes up with a solution for the problem.”

In an earlier article on MortgageBrokerNews.ca, Principal Broker Paul Mangion of The Mortgage Centre MortgageOne Solutions estimated that “probably 75 per cent of brokerages are operated by unsuccessful mortgage professionals,” laying most of the blame at the feet of FSCO for lax standards, suggesting that “if you really want to protect the consumer, get stricter on who can open a brokerage.” 

Mangion said that there’s simply insufficient screening of individuals coming into the broker channel, where only their knowledge of product is tested, not their aptitude or passion for the job.

“Some brokers just are not equipped to take them on,” agrees Alberda. “And when they do there is no training or support. The bar needs to be raised, and newcomers need a chance.”

Alberda suggests brokerages that have successful training programs be held up as examples to follow – eventually sharing their techniques with others nationwide under certification from a body like CAAMP.

“Most brokerages have CAAMP membership, and CAAMP offers the basic training now – these brokerages could be certified to train under some sort of apprenticeship program,” says Alberda.

Alberda gives the example of one agent currently working at Ultimate Mortgage Partners as to how training should be done.

“We hired her on as an assistant, and she began with the filing and we then helped her get her license,” he says. “She still does the filing, but will accompany a broker out on deals and learn how it is done. Is it hand holding? Absolutely; but it has to be done.”

  • Brian Matthey on 2013-04-30 8:33:13 AM

    We have successfully trained 6 agents by having them fulfill an underwriters role for 2 years prior to going out on their own.They are allowed to bring in deals and they learn hands on with their broker/trainer.Commission on sourced deals is split 50/50 with the trainer and the trainees share is accumulated until their training has finished.They then have a pool of funds to draw upon when they hit the street on their own.In our last trainees case that amounted to 20K as a fund to draw upon until commission flowed in .
    5 of our past trainees are in the top ten in our firm and one is our top agent last year and we always have one or two new agents in this role.
    In my opinion,too many brokers hire for the sake of numbers and don't make the necessary investment in the future of their company.
    Too many risk their reputation and the reputation of the industry on untrained agents.
    There is a perception in the industry that this is get rich quick scenario.New agents expect the highest splits and don't think they have to put in the time to learn their craft.
    It's all the in expectations of the brokerage in giving them a real life expectation of what they need to do to be successful and there is no short cut.There is no substitute for time spent in an underwriting role to learn the technical aspects of the business while working with an experienced agent in learning the human client and lender dynamics of each individual situation.
    I have said previously that there should be an recognized apprenticeship program administered both in licencing and supported through provincial or national associations.Nobody should be allowed to write an exam and be an instant agent.There should also be a great responsibility attached to the brokerage for supervision of new agents through this program.Finally, there needs to be responsibility in the hands of super/brokers to set a standard of acceptance in new hires and training.As long as they continue to brag about numbers and volume instead of quality of their people,there will never be a solid solution.

  • Chris Leader on 2013-04-30 9:18:40 AM

    While I have trained several of the major mortgage brands, my experience has been that mortgage companies and mortgage professionals are less interested in investing in themselves when it comes to sales training. There is certainly a need for it though.

    Leader's Edge Training offers a comprehensive sales training program for mortgage professionals, covering all of the sales and business skills that are needed: generating leads and marketing yourself, presentations to clients and realtors, handling objections and communicating effectively, selling yourself on more than just your rate, managing your business and your time, and a lot more. All the information about the course is available online here - http://leadersedgetraining.com/mo_courses.php

    I welcome any company or regional organization to contact us about arranging a course. 866-607-7999

    Chris Leader
    President & Master Trainer
    Leader's Edge Training

  • Ron Butler on 2013-04-30 2:55:50 PM

    I know we get push back all the time on the apprenticeship concept but I have to say Brian's idea of an underwriter working two years training on real files and also accumulating some commissions to fall back on when they go 100% commissions seems like a very strong program to build a community based brokerage.

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