A mortgage brokerage has developed a professional development platform to help brokers employ support staff.
Unveiled last month by Loan Market, The Hive is a digitally-housed meeting place, which brings together almost 200 Loan Market customer service managers (CSMs) across Australia.
It allows the group to collaboratively upskill, share resources and better support their brokers.
Loan Market’s National Manager for Productivity & Performance Kristy Bartlett said The Hive came about from an industry-wide challenge.
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 Hive’s inaugural digital forum attracted 88% of all CSMs throughout the Loan Market network.
Bartlett said the attendance proved the fact CSMs wanted to learn together and that their employers supported them upskilling to take on greater roles in the office.
Before each session on The Hive, 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 dive deeper into content.
Outside of the scheduled digital forums, The Hive offers ongoing collaboration between CSMs in a private forum.
Bartlett said, “It allows CSMs to assist each other. For instance, someone might be urgently looking for a document check-list, 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.
“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.”
Across the Loan Market network, there is one support staffer for every two-and-a-half brokers.
Bartlett added, “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 coming years, in turn increasing the presence of our brokers.”
In addition to the digital forums, Loan Market has scheduled three one-day training workshops for CSMs in 2019.