Brokerages have largely failed to give young agents the structure, training and mentorship they need to make business for themselves – that criticism from none other than the newcomers themselves, according to research.
"After completing the course I enthusiastically sought out a brokerage that would continue my training through a mentorship program,” says one young agent, cited in the report from industry trainer REMIC. “I could find the right product and lender for a client, I just didn't know how to find a client. And I couldn't find a brokerage to teach me that in a concrete, structured way that would produce meaningful results."
The story is but one of many gleaned over the course of several months and through ongoing discussions and feedback, according to REMIC’s Joe White. As a group they expose the very practical training gaps in the education of new agents as they embark on a new career path.
Many of Canada's next generation of mortgage brokers enter the biz coming straight from university or college, says White. They’re “hungry” for that kind of structure in the brokering industry.
That model would treat agents to more-formalized post-hiring training and mentorship.
Although several brokerages already provide that kind of nuts-and-bolts instruction, concedes White, it isn’t the norm.
Brokerages tend to focus on providing hard-skills training so that the industry has technically proficient practitioners, "which is fantastic for consumers," said White, voicing some of those concerns as a panellist at last week’s CMP Mortgage Summit. However, "young entrants in this industry are craving more in depth, soft skills training to learn how to manage their business, incorporate technology, grow that business ethically and flourish as a young professional in what can be a fantastic life-long career."
Other industry players have touched upon graduated licensing as a possible solution to what many charge is an educational gap.
Inexperienced part-timers and newcomers to the industry should undergo a two-year apprenticeship before being eligible for licensing as agents, said a respected veteran broker.
“Allow part-timers and new agents, with no experience who wish to develop into full time agents, but do not allow them to be licensed,” Brian Matthey, head of Verico The Mortgage Professionals in Kingston, Ont., told MortgageBrokerNews.ca last fall. “Have a minimum two-year supervisory period during which they have to work for a licensed broker who has a minimum of five years’ experience. That broker (would then) have to sign off on everything they do and assume responsibility.”