How brokers can help vulnerable customers

by Jayden Fennell 04 Aug 2022

The MFAA is running in-person skills-based training programs to support brokers’ customers who are experiencing difficult circumstances, such as financial hardship.

The Responding to Vulnerability professional development program offers brokerages the opportunity to upskill and access effective strategies to support their customers and their broker teams if they are experiencing tough times.

The topics include – “Aspects of Vulnerability”, “Elements of Self-Care” and “The Role of Accidental Counsellor” which will be discussed during training events in NSW, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania.

The program is delivered by Cutty Felton (pictured), the founder of Accidental Counsellor. Felton  delivers keynote addresses, consults, mentors and trains those that engage with colleagues or clients in distress or vulnerable circumstances.

“I cannot wait to be able to go around the country to see brokers face to face again,” Felton said. “It is always really exciting to deliver this sort of training in person and see so much optimism and positivity in one room.”

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Felton said there had been a lot of negativity in the media in recent months, which was having a negative effect on mortgage professionals.

“Suddenly interest rates are rising and rising, cost of living pressures are increasing and COVID-19 cases are making a resurgence, so brokers, their teams and their customers are all being bombarded with these negative issues,” she said. “Everyone is impacted in some way or another, so it is important to look after yourself and understand the importance of self-care.”

Felton said there was three boundaries she would discuss in her program to help brokers who might find themselves in a difficult situation.

“The first boundary is the role of a counsellor, what is my role and where is the boundary I cannot or should not cross as a broker,” she said. “The second is the boundary to have the conversation that I am having with a client which goes from being genuinely supportive and helpful to inadvertently potentially causing extra harm.

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“The third boundary exists because after having a difficult conversation with someone, there are policies and processes in place and brokers need to refer to these if they are speaking with someone who threatens violence or self-harm. All brokerages must have a process to follow in case of an event like this.”

Felton said the program would be suitable for anyone who works in the mortgage industry.

“Brokers, loan administrators, support staff and business development managers are all welcome to attend, plus MFAA members are eligible for 5.5 CPD hours for attending the entire program in their chosen venue,” she said. “I encourage anyone in the industry to attend and learn the importance of different aspects of vulnerability, elements of self-care and how to navigate the role of accidental counsellor.”

To register for the program, go to: Responding to Vulnerability