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Are you a good mentor?
Hank Hong 4 minute read
One of the most positive changes in our industry was the introduction of the mentorship requirement for all brokers with less than two years of broking experience.
Prior to this it was always a running joke of how many brokers entered the market and disappeared in their first year.
My belief was that the previously high drop-out rate was largely due to not having enough day-to-day support for these new brokers, but happily now that is no longer the case.
So what makes a good mentor?
Before I answer that question, I think it’s important to state from the onset that a broker wears many hats. The job is not the cookie-cutter variety.
Our life is a combination of sales, running a business, being self-employed, paying bills, budgeting to keep afloat, constant education, working alone, sourcing business, motivation... The list goes on.
And although you may be a good broker yourself, this doesn’t necessarily mean you will be a good mentor, as you still need to manage the juggling act of working on your own business.
Therefore, what I would say to any prospective mentees is this: don’t take on a mentor if you don’t have time to guide and oversee them, as this then just becomes a cash grab. However, if you are seriously considering being a mentor, you need to know your obligations and refer to the MFAA or FBAA website.
Some particularly pertinent points from the FBAA and MFAA websites are:
Coach the mentee to manage issues, queries, business management, lending and finance broking
Be on-call for the mentee and make sure they know you are always available. If you are never available then the mentee may feel they can’t ask you and will look elsewhere for help
Walk through scenarios and open their mind to new things
Assist the mentee with ongoing education requirements
If you have the opportunity of seeing a BDM and having training, bring your mentee. As they are new to the industry, they will rarely get this opportunity
Make sure your mentee goes to the PD days with you
Check over their files and run through their mistakes
Invite them to client meetings so they can watch you in action
Have the mentee join the Facebook group Finance and Coffee, which is a fantastic playground for scenarios with brokers nationwide helping each other
Facilitate the mentee’s growth by sharing resources and networks
Share your business practices
Share your templates, processes and time-frames
Daily routines – how the day is broken up e.g. dealing with escalations in the morning
Goals training – what they need to do each day to get to their own personal goals
Challenge the mentee to grow beyond their comfort zone
The mentee will need to learn how to do everything once, so they build experience. This means the mentee will need to be open-minded and may need to do some new things as well
Open their eyes to specialist lending, asset finance, commercial, self-employed and other niches
Assist with real world scenarios
Again, the Facebook group Finance and Coffee will expose them to so many other scenarios
Have them use Brokerpedia, which is an excellent resource
Your aggregator may also have their own forum to ask about scenarios
Provide guidance and compliance
As a mentor the most important job you need to teach is what is right, and what is wrong – there are no grey areas
Make sure they understand the risk they have for AML/CTF, ID and fraud
Your duty as a mentor
Contact the mentee no less than once a week, whether this is face-to-face, over Skype, email or phone
Your benefit is income, but your duty is to help develop and support the incoming breed of brokers
I am in contact with one mentee every single day – he is actually my business partner, and I am in close contact every few days with my other mentee as well
A mentor is not just there to run through scenarios, but is also central to our industry’s ongoing development to ensure the success of the new generation of brokers. It can be one of the most valuable roles you can play, provided you have the discipline, dedication and commitment to invest back into the industry you love.
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