“When they come in they feel like they need it be guided by someone and I think it’s great to have a mentor just like lawyers have a mentor, CAs have mentors, notaries have mentors; mortgage brokers and real estate agents should have an obligation to have a mentor at least for a year,” Sean Chouman, founder and president of Landmark Financial Group told MortgageBrokerNews.ca.
Chouman, whose agency is partnered with Mortgage Architects
, employs a rigorous internship program that throws fresh agents right into the deep end by explaining just how much work is required in this shark-infested industry.
“I try to scare them as much as I can to see if their feedback would be and see if they come back. I provide a strong and harsh way of making sure they are interested or otherwise it is not worth it,” Chouman said. “Getting a certification is one of the easiest things; the hardest thing is going out into the marketplace to get the business but you can always teach them, do the tutorship, educate them on how to attack the market, how to be knowledgeable.”
His method trains apprentices to become full-fledged, independent agents within a matter of months; an approach that may not be viewed as inefficient by brokers who believe the training cuts into the business development and sales side of the business.
“We are autonomous, self-employed and we do have to look after ourselves in the first place,” Chouman said. “Sometimes (brokers) feel that we may waste too much time with an internship and what happens when, afterwards, the intern leaves and goes work elsewhere.”
To aid in retaining the best candidates, Chouman employs a tiered compensation structure that allows interns to earn 35 per cent of the commission for their first three months with the company and up to 95 per cent within a year.
Along the way, Chouman and the rest of his agency groom brokers to eventually succeed on their own. And succeed they do, according to Chouman, who estimates that one third of those who enter his unique apprenticeship program go on to be succeed in the industry.
“They exceed the expectations of what (lenders) expect brokers to gross,” Chouman said. “Normally (grossing) over $5 million a year.”
A year on, one industry player boasts his unique internship program has a success rate that rivals more traditional methods of grooming brokers.