Auckland-based Finax Mortgage & Insurance Advisory has welcomed ANZ’s decision to remove sales targets for front-line staff but cautions that this effectively puts the mortgage industry on “on notice.”
“The latest move by the ANZ is a signal to all of us operating in the financial advisory space that the ground is shifting under our very own feet,” Finax director Lucia Xiao said.
Xiao noted Finax mortgage clients are becoming more driven by rational thinking rather than an emotional response to the cheap thrills of low rates and promises of cash-backs.
She highlighted that the mortgage industry itself is still rife with outdated training for up-and-coming brokers. New brokers without a client base often get their start into the industry by cold-calling customers every day.
“And what choice do they have?” Xiao asked. “Many of these roles are commission-based. Most people have bills to pay and families to feed. If they don't make a sale that week then that puts them under tremendous pressure.”
Xiao said an industry overhaul is long overdue.
“I am seeing far too many young and impressionable brokers being trained to tele-sell when they should be learning how to give good financial advice,” she said.
“Not only is this incredibly dispiriting and a waste of young talent, but it is also incongruous with the current consumer culture.”
Xiao is urging mortgage brokers to demonstrate more financial competence than simply sales. She challenged industry veterans to train newcomers properly and not leave them to fend for themselves. She expects the mortgage industry to take out a leaf out of ANZ’s book and shift its focus from sales to financial advisory service.
“Last time I checked, we call ourselves financial advisors,” she said. “I, for one, would like to see us do more advising than sales.”
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