The mortgage industry isn’t short of successful agents and brokers, but there’s meager support for new hires who aspire to become top producers, let alone for those trying to keep their heads above water.
“I’ve talked to other newer agents who have voiced the same thing; a lot of them feel there’s a lack of support,” said an agent whose identity MortgageBrokerNews.ca is withholding so that she doesn’t suffer reprisals.
“Initially it starts off with ‘Thank you for coming to our organization,’ and a general meeting happens. Mortgages are unique to each individual and there needs to be proper training on how to navigate these waters. Nobody is asking to have their hand held, but for an agent to fully grasp what the job entails there needs to be more support.
“It’s hard when you have to pay the brokerages every month. Even when you don’t make money, you have to pay a ‘desk fee’ or ‘accommodation fee.’ Instead of them turning around and investing in you, it feels like you just hand them money without receiving anything adequate in return.”
In addition to scant training, the agent noted that very little of brokerages’ vast resources make their way to new hires.
“They don’t ask if you need support with marketing. On the back end of things, you should be supporting new agents with ongoing training, meaning week to week there should be sessions held to give newer agents homework so they understand all aspects, like, for example, determining the authenticity of documentation. Give them as much training as you think it will take to represent your company exceptionally, because every agent is a representation of your company, but you can’t hire en masse hoping that only some will stick. No one fosters new agents; everyone just fights for deals.”
The source added that agents and brokers who deal with high net worth clients enjoy favouritism, which may explain why neophytes are left to fend for themselves.
Another sore point is the industry’s lack of diversity, says the agent, who is black.
“There’s not a lot of diversity in the industry, and when you’re underrepresented to the public it creates the perception that you don’t belong.”
She isn’t the only one who feels that way. Laura Martin of Matrix Mortgage Global reckons most faces haven’t changed since she entered the industry.
“As someone who’s biracial and been in the industry for 10 years, it’s been very static demographically,” she said.
But she also says that could be changing.
“Brokers who are cognizant of the importance of culture and celebrating it should choose their brokerage based on cultural fit—and I don’t mean cultural heritage, I mean work culture. The language you speak shouldn’t matter; it’s how willing brokerages are to treat everybody with the same respect and same level of support.”
Matrix, added Martin, is a racially diverse company and it’s largely because it is tech savvy and forward thinking and, therefore, attracts likeminded people.
“Our company skews younger because we’re so tech savvy and passionate about working smart instead of hard,” she said. “At forward thinking brokerages, diversity happens naturally because it attracts forward thinking people who come from all walks of life.”