Brokerage director slams advisers for not being 'sales-y' enough

Brokerage director slams advisers for not being 'sales-y' enough


A large brokerage is set to incur the wrath of mortgage advisors all over the country, following comments about the lack of talent in the current market.

Homebank Financial Services, a national mortgage and general insurance brokerage, has said that it is planning to go outside the industry to find sales consultants because the standard of applicants is so poor.

George Dodds, Managing Director of Homebank, called sales people in the mortgage sector little more than ‘order takers’.

He said: “Two years ago our industry was going through one of its golden ages, thanks to a buoyant economy and booming housing market. However, with the abundance of opportunities available, sales people became order takers and the art of establishing need in a client and then filling that need seems to have been lost.”

He continued, saying that even ‘basic sales skills’ have taken a backseat, particularly in the mortgage market. 

“As a result, as the country comes out of recession and we are looking to expand our sales operation, many candidates brought up in the days of plenty, just do not seem to have not the skills or attitude we need to move forward in this changed environment, even though every adviser receives free fully qualified leads,” he added.

The Northampton based brokerage is now said to be preparing to ‘invest heavily’ in training new recruits, and for candidates coming from outside the industry, subsidise or pay for them to pass CeMap and other professional examinations.

Bridging and Commercial’s resident broker blogger, Bob Havenhand of Citri, hit back at the comments in his typical outspoken style, saying Mr Dodd has “probably set mortgage broker/customer relationships back a decade” with his “ill-informed” words.

He said: “Having read this recruitment jargon, with emphasis on ‘fully qualified leads’ and ‘sales techniques’ it seems to me that Mr Dodds is in fact looking for ‘sales people’ to sell mortgages and other products to the public.

“Unfortunately I wouldn't answer his proposition as I see myself as an adviser, not a sales person. The public aren't daft; they know a sell from a friendly but comprehensive advice session.”

Promising to expand more on his views in next week’s blog, for now Bob left the Homebank MD with the following words of advice: “Perhaps instead of looking to recruit sales people you should look for mortgage brokers that give advice, are comfortable with all the spectrum of financial products, and have a track record of providing that advice.”

The Homebank press release ends with Mr Dodd saying: “We have found with today’s crop of ‘experienced’ mortgage advisers, all the training in the world is of no value, if, there is no intention to learn or acquire even the most basic of skills to become successful in today’s market. Unless we can find advisers out there to prove me wrong, regretfully, we are going to have to look elsewhere for the right talent.”

Mr Dodd later called Bridging and Commercial, saying that the press release was intended to stir up some debate about whether brokers have become disheartened in the current market and are just “rolling over when they come up against lenders’ direct products”.

“There are a lot of good brokers out there,” he told us, “but the downturn has also left us with the rump of former subprime brokers who are now floating around, downtrodden by lenders and the FSA. They seem scared to give good advice, and it’s like they can’t even be bothered.”

• Do you agree with Mr Dodds’ comments, or is he completely off the mark? Email your views to Editor Louise Fernley ([email protected]) and Bridging and Commercial will look to publish your comments in next week’s newsletter. 


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