New agents to brokers: We have a bone to pick with you

New agents to brokers: We have a bone to pick with you

New agents to brokers: We have a bone to pick with you

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 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.”

  • Gale Tracey AMP, Lead Planner, Mortgage Architects 2012-06-09 4:58:00 AM
    That is a great idea Brian has. In BC our assistants have to be licensed to work on our files and view confidential client information.The broker decides they can broker a deal depending on experience level as we are fully responsible for them. Most of us veterans are former bankers with years of experience whereas todays agents more often than not do not come from a banking background. Just like a trade, an apprenticeship program is definitely worth considering.
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  • Ron Price / DLC Fergus 2012-06-09 4:59:07 AM
    Finally the lack of training 'of the business' has been sighted as a short coming at the brokerage level. I'm all for 'apprenticeship' and would like to see more practicle education especially of the marketing side. Changes along theses lines will further improve our 'quality' as a whole.
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  • Suz - Team Leader 2012-06-09 5:02:55 AM
    I agree that it would be great for all new brokers to join a team for the first couple of years, to get proper training... I have a team of my own that has experienced and new brokers BUT I do not agree that they should not be "licensed" . Licensing is required to do 99% of this job aside from some of the administration. The Team Leaders would not benefit from all new Team Members being un-licensed, How do you train a broker who is not allowed to talk to a client - How do the new brokers get new clients if they are un-licensed. Licencing is a requirement of FICOM to do this job...
    I suggest what we do in our team, which is work with the new brokers on every deal that comes in, start to finish, and assist them in going out and getting those new clients...meeting the clients with them, weekly training on different topics, and work deals together... Follow a proper plan, and move them into the industry with real hands on deal training. Don't just let them sit at home in a corner on a computer, losing their self esteem and getting frustrated. Get them in the office every day learning and watching and listening and interacting with other team members and other brokers.
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