The broking franchise has rolled out a new digital professional development platform designed for brokers seeking to employ support staff.
Loan Market has launched a digitally housed meeting place, which it has called “The Hive”, designed to bring together approximately 200 Loan Market customer service managers (CSMs) across Australia to facilitate the collaboration, upskilling and sharing of resources to better support brokers.
Loan Market’s national manager for productivity and performance, Kristy Bartlett, said: “A lot of brokers would like to put on a support staffer, but they don’t know how to train them and worry what impact it will have on their own schedules.
“Equally, administration specialists can feel overwhelmed because they’re often on their own in the office while the brokers are super busy, moving from appointment to appointment on the road.
“The Hive addresses these two issues by setting monthly plans for CSMs that support their agency activities and enabling them to tap into the peer knowledge and resources any time they need. It creates a real sense of community.”
The brokerage said that The Hive’s inaugural digital forum attracted 88 per cent of all CSMs throughout the Loan Market network.
Ms Bartlett claimed that the positive response from Loan Market’s network is evidence that CSMs wanted to “learn together and that their employers supported them in upskilling to take on greater roles in the office”.
The brokerage noted that prior to each session on the digital platform, CSMs are invited to nominate topics they would like covered in the hour-long lunchtime digital forums. The forums also offer a question and answer session for CSMs to delve deeper into content.
Loan Market added that The Hive is supported with an internal recognition program, which, in consultation with their broker, enables CSMs to progress through the staged professional development program and enhance their capabilities and value to their employer.
Further, Loan Market noted that outside of the scheduled digital forums, The Hive offers ongoing collaboration between CSMs in a private forum.
“It allows CSMs to assist each other. For instance, someone might be urgently looking for a document checklist, but rather than trying to get hold of their broker who’s in back-to-back meetings, they can simply reach out through ‘AskaCMS’ group via the internet and they can get the answer they need in minutes,” Ms Bartlett said.
“The role of CSMs is integral to the success of a broking business. Gone are the days when administration specialists focused on data entry — they want to genuinely help their brokers’ everyday activities and we’re enhancing their skills sets to take on more client-facing services.”
Ms Bartlett concluded: “It’s obvious that lessening the time brokers need to spend on administrative duties enables them to better service their clients.
“With The Hive, Loan Market has invested in a platform that allows brokers to employ support staff with the peace of mind that their business will become more productive, as a result.
“We’re confident the number of CSMs within Loan Market will increase in the coming years, in turn increasing the presence of our brokers.”