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Keeping hold of the best brokers in your business – Marketwatch

by: Mortgage Solutions
  • 11/06/2015
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Keeping hold of the best brokers in your business – Marketwatch
Recruitment drives can be seen in all areas of the financial services industry as firms attempt to snap up leading professionals to gain the competitive edge.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) looked as far afield as Hong Kong for its head of enforcement while others, like Spicerhaart, look to the ranks of their competitors for roadtested experience in the appointment of John Phillips from Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward.

The same can be said for mortgage brokers whose stock, at last, is rising again. Several networks are running academies to bring in young professionals and train them up but those with experience are sparse and consequently much sought after.

The challenge for brokerages now is keeping hold of their best brokers while maintaining a profitable business.

Lea Karasavvas, managing director of Prolific Mortgage Finance, says that salary is not always the failsafe way to retain talent – a lot boils down to supporting career aspirations.

Gemma Harle, managing director TenetLime, explains how to make your staff feel like valued individuals instead of a commodity.

Dominik Lipnicki, director, Your Mortgage Decisions, discusses the importance of trust in the employer employee relationship and the benefits of aligning the interests of all staff in the firm.


Lea KarasavvasLea Karasavvas is managing director of Prolific Mortgage Finance

The retention of quality staff in a thriving, active market is possibly one of the hardest challenges of a growing business. As we grow, so too do our competitors and everyone is after new additions that will help take their business to the next level.

However, retaining your key members of staff is not always down to margins or salaries. There is much to be said about the working environment, the location and the support you can afford your brokers to allow them to be working at full capacity. Much of it comes down to motivation and the brokers own individual requirement to meet self-actualisation in their career.

Our emphasis is to create an environment where everyone is pushing in the same direction. We work on team goals, and team lending, not individual targets. Naming and shaming simply creates resentment or embarrassment and this hindrance can affect everyone’s bottom line.

By working together on team goals it creates more of a sense of achievement for everyone.

I don’t believe there is a magic formula for salary or split. I believe that every individual has a different business plan, and everyone has their own five-year goal. Retention of your staff is about helping them to implement this to the best of their ability.

A couple of thousand pounds more here, 5% more there, is all irrelevant. It is about having a belief that you will reach your end goal and a belief that you have the support around you to help you achieve that, in a helpful environment.

All we can do is ensure that our brokers are working in an environment that helps them excel, whilst also ensuring the salary and splits maintain a profit for the business. Without profit there is no business, and it is finding a balance that satisfies both employer and employee that will be key to retention of staff.


Gemma HarleGemma Harle is managing director TenetLime

A lot of broker staff will be self-employed even in larger firms which in itself presents a particular set of challenges.

Sometimes this leads to them not being appreciated for being part of the team or the long-term value they bring to a business.

So to get the best from them and retain their services, their talent and potential must be recognised. Do not just treat them as a commodity.

Instead, engage with them and agree personal targets to strive for and measure against. Provide them with professional development and training opportunities, appraise their performance, discuss their aspirations and maintain meaningful dialogue with them. Take the time to get involved and keep them involved at the same time.

It may also seem an obvious statement but give them the tools they need to do the job especially if they work from home and cannot automatically replenish such basic items as stationery.

In addition to pure remuneration, build in a complementary system of reward and recognition. Repeat customers and persistency are also worthy considerations and help avoid any disconnect or feeling of being an ‘outsider’.

It is important to understand what motivates them outside purely being paid for what they do. Could their contribution to the business be rewarded with a long-term incentive plan which could include a shareholding for example?

And that doesn’t just apply to the ‘headliners’ who generate the best sales revenues. It should permeate throughout the team and encourage staff at all levels to feel involved and play their part.

Some form of contract is also a good two-way benefit. It can help self-employed brokers feel part of the team whilst giving principals valuable protection and clearly-defined areas of responsibility and ‘ownership’ in any disputes or when an adviser leaves.

It’s quite simple and straightforward really: look after them and they, in turn, will look after you.


Dominik LipnickiDominik Lipnicki is director of Your Mortgage Decisions

Trust is paramount in any relationship. People who work for you must know that you always mean what you say and that you keep your promises.

Sadly there are many instances where employers lose that trust and brokers feel cheated. I am always shocked when I meet candidates whose previous firms failed to pay their commission. This is unforgivable, especially in a sales role.

Our mantra is simple. Employ people with the grit and determination to succeed, treat them well and everyone reaps the rewards. We enable our advisers to get on with the job, whilst our telemarketing people book appointments and our compliance team maintains an irreproachable record for all.

Our whole ethos is to create an environment where everyone’s interests are aligned. A good example of this is the way that our telemarketing team is remunerated. They do not get paid for booking fact finds but instead get paid on second appointments only.

Therefore it is only ever in their interest to book a fact find if they are convinced that the call is placeable, sellable and of course ethical. What matters to our brokers is that we have done everything possible to make sure that their appointments are with genuinely promising potential clients. We respect their time and in return find that they respect the company.



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