In the midst of the pervasive influence of COVID-19, it becomes essential to contemplate a positive evolution that has unfolded amidst this challenging period. The year 2020 witnessed the ascension and sustained need for a mortgage network to host a virtual Academy. This phenomenon appears to be firmly establishing its presence in the continuity of servicing would-be mortgage brokers during such challenging periods.
As we navigate through the repercussions of the pandemic, Connect’s virtual academy emerges as a beacon of innovation, offering a dynamic platform for learning and collaboration. The shift towards virtual education is not merely a temporary adaptation; it signifies a lasting transformation in how we approach education and skill development. The virtual academy is set to redefine the contours of traditional learning, providing accessible and interactive avenues for individuals to enhance their knowledge and expertise.
With that said, Connect for Intermediaries has successfully concluded its first training program for aspiring brokers in a virtual academy setting. The mortgage network is optimistic about the potential for additional academies in the future, marking a significant step in the evolution of broker education and development during a time of isolation.
The virtual format not only enhances mortgage advisers’ accessibility but also opens doors for a broader audience to partake in similar programs. This achievement signifies a new era for Connect for Intermediaries and underscores their commitment to innovation in broker training.
Connect initiated its monthly academy training sessions at its headquarters in early 2019, with the upcoming session slated for March 30th. However, when the nation imposed a lockdown on March 23rd, necessitating a swift response, the academy seamlessly transitioned to a virtual format to cater to its five eager participants.
In the face of adversity, Connect orchestrated a comprehensive week of interactive online training skillfully conducted by a team of 15 adept presenters. The virtual course retained its core elements and expanded to offer an enriched learning experience.
The course encompassed crucial topics such as effective fact-finding techniques, advanced research methodologies, and dynamic presentation skills. Attendees were also equipped with in-depth product knowledge spanning buy-to-let, bridging, and commercial mortgages. Not stopping there, Connect went above and beyond by hosting specialised sessions on honing sales skills and enlightening participants on strategic marketing approaches for their burgeoning businesses.
This innovative adaptation not only ensured the continuity of the academy but also showcased Connect’s commitment to fostering a thriving community of network members, even in the face of unforeseen challenges. The virtual academy training initiative served as a testament to the organisation’s adaptability and dedication to empowering its members with a diverse skill set.
Liz Syms, CEO of Connect for Intermediaries and the brains behind the event, acknowledged that orchestrating a virtual setup posed its own set of challenges, particularly in encouraging academy members to navigate software like OMS and Knowledge Bank from remote locations.
Despite encountering only minor technical glitches, the positive feedback received from both attendees and presenters was heartening, according to Syms. She emphasised that the virtual format has transformed the potential for reaching broader audiences during future academy weeks, eliminating the need for attendees to travel. This newfound flexibility allows them to continue running academies in this manner, whether during ongoing lockdowns or even after they have lifted.
Jonathan Mann, a presenter from Precise, expressed his enthusiasm, describing the experience as “brilliant” and highlighting the value of supporting Connect and its new advisers.
These academies serve as a gateway for individuals seeking to enter the specialised mortgage industry, with the only prerequisite being the commitment to join Connect’s network upon course completion.
The initiative is available to brokers re-entering the field and extends its welcome to those involved in the property market, including trainees and new staff recruited by existing Connect network members. This adaptive approach aims to foster a diverse and skilled pool of professionals within the industry.
We’ve come to the end of our article on “Virtual Academy.” Until next time, stay connected!