Mentoring the next generation of brokers amidst increased scrutiny

Compliance and commitment still work best according to this MFAA-certified mentor

Mentoring the next generation of brokers amidst increased scrutiny

Although Australia’s financial industry and lending sector have been subject to increased government scrutiny over the past several months, Nectar Mortgages regional manager Lee Middleton told MPA not much has changed with regard to mentorship programs.

For Middleton, an MFAA-certified mentor who’s supported more than 20 mentees, “importance is high around compliance in this day and age” in order to thrive in the industry.  Some of her mentees have gone on to win awards from organisations such as the MFAA and AMA.

Structuring the program
Middleton would one day like to see a school set up for brokers as regulations get tighter. While nothing like that currently exists, there are a number of mentorship programs and companies out there. Middleton attended two different “train-the-mentor” programs, and ended up creating her own.
She likes to see mentors check off a list of tasks their mentees need to complete in one year. The checklist may include compliance, completed accreditations, submitted and checked personal loans, and a minimum volume of home loans, submitted pricing requests, completed product switch and discharge forms. Once they’ve done that, they can move on to the second-year of the program. A checklist for the second year would be similar.

“To be truthful, the majority of what mentees learn is on the job,” Middleton said. “That includes regular meetings with mentors.” Meetings can be a time for coaching on finding and keeping businesses, or giving advice on deal submission and structure.

To follow through with one’s word, to keep a work diary, and to get involved in social media stand side by side as Middleton’s most important advice to mentees.

Choosing a mentor or mentee
Whether one is looking for a mentor or a mentee, Middleton’s advice is to look for one trait in both: commitment. Mentors should complete the mentoring agreement, which they and their mentee are accountable to. And brokers should find a mentor they can rely on; not necessarily someone at their beck and call, but someone who provides clear instruction on maintaining proper communication.
Middleton prefers not to put too much weight on experience when choosing a mentee because some of her best mentees had absolutely no finance experience at all. “I think people skills are the most important factor,” she said. 

When it comes to mentoring cost, mentees can expect to do some serious investing. Middleton has heard some organisations charge up to $20,000 per year. She prefers to split the commission until the two-year mentoring is done. “I get to push my mentees to do better by doing that. The more they succeed, the more I benefit,” she said. 


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