Connect had been running monthly academy training at its offices since the beginning of 2019, and its session on 30 March was already scheduled.
When the country went into lockdown a week earlier on 23 March, the academy was adapted to be delivered virtually to its five attendees so they could still become network members following the course.
This involved putting together a full week of live training online delivered by 15 presenters.
The course covered how to fact find, research and present solutions. It also provided attendees with product knowledge in the areas of buy-to-let, bridging and commercial mortgages. Connect also held sessions on sales skills and how attendees can market their new businesses.
Liz Syms (pictured), CEO of Connect for Intermediaries and event organiser, said one of the challenges with the virtual set up was getting the academy members to remotely use software such as OMS and Knowledge Bank.
“However, we only had minor technical hitches and got some great feedback from our attendees and presenters alike,” she added.
Syms said: “It has made into reality, the possibility of reaching wider audiences for further academy weeks without the attendees having to travel. This means we will be able to run further academies in this way both while the lockdown continues and even when it is over.”
Jonathan Mann from Precise who delivered one of the presentations said it was “brilliant” to be able to support Connect and its new advisers.
The academies are designed to bring new advisers into the specialist mortgage industry and the only requirement is attendees join Connect’s network once they have completed the course.
It is open to brokers who are returning to the industry or others who work in the property market. The academy is also open to trainees or other new staff being taken on by existing members of Connect’s network.