Comment of the Week goes to...

by AB16 Jun 2014
A topic which got brokers heated last week was on mentoring – more specifically, mentors charging ‘exorbitant amounts’ for their services to new brokers.
The discussion was started by FBAA’s Peter White, who told Australian Broker he is passionate about the issue as he does not want to see new brokers be ripped off and the industry’s reputation tattered.
Reaction from those in the industry has been mixed.
Some attacked White personally for bringing the issue up – to be put in place by Stephen Dinte, who said:
“One of the great aspects of our industry is the ability for all of us to have differing points of view on every subject, including this one regarding mentors and mentees. What I do find sad however is the constant put downs in blogs like this one by brokers… It is the Peter Whites and Phil Naylors of this world who are the ones trying to improve our industry. This does not mean that they are always correct, but at least they stand behind their beliefs and put themselves out there for one and all.”
BradQ advised new brokers to shop around before taking on a mentor.
“…New brokers shouldn't be pillaged of their income, just to start in the industry. It’s hard enough as it is, starting out with no income for 3, 6 or even 12 months... If you are new to the industry, look for somewhere that you can be trained and mentored without having to pay such fees. They are out there!”
Regional Broker suggested MFAA should set up a fee structure for new entrants’ mentoring that is fair and regulated, and Robert Knight said while mentors are a good idea in principle, those who are simply ripping off new entrants is disgusting. “I would like to see these so called mentors named and shamed.”
Kath agreed she had heard of new brokers being ripped off.
“As a new broker, I have heard some horror stories from others that I did my Cert IV and Diploma with. Most aren't even in the industry any more. They had to pay a $5000 up front fee, 50% of their commission and all their trail! Some brokers are mentors just to build up their trail books. It’s terrible and it’s no wonder that we have an older/aging industry - it is too hard to get started and succeed!”
But Sticky Tape, who got Comment of the Week, was not so taken aback that some mentors were charging high fees.
“No surprises that some are charging those sort of fees. It is becoming the world as we know it.
I do NOT condone them, but on the other side there needs to be something fair and equable between mentor and mentee. Only those 2 parties can decide what is fair for each of them respectively.

If a mentee finds it too much from the start, find another mentor (yes, it is harder in regional areas etc), but the decision still rests with each individual. They are supposed to be intelligent adults.

Myself, I won't be a mentor. Too much time, cost and effort for an unknown quantity, no matter how good a mentor you are.

Kath's example of someone being charged a $5,000 upfront fee and 50% commission and all trail, probably fair for the first 12 months, then charge 30% & 50% for next 12 months.

The problem I see with it all is that after 2 years there is no guarantee the mentee will stay working for you, and that afterall, that is potentially what you want by being a mentor.

I would, obviously, after the 2 years offer normal splits and then after 5 years they get the initial $5,000 back.

To me, they would be minimums if I was to do it. Some will find that fair, some will not. Again, it is an individual decision.

The role of the MFAA & FBAA, to my mind, should be ensuring the mentees are happy with their arrangement with the mentor or helping them shop around for good mentors or giving guidelines on reasonable fees and allowing them to then make their own decision.”
Read the article and more comments here.

*** Highly commended was Incognito’s poetic comment on Australia’s house prices second-highest in the world.
“Australia's property market is ill.

Yet the racket continues.

Vested interests love it.

Young families are dying on the vine.”