We made it! We’ve reached the end of another year and what a year it has been.
The past few months have taught us all a lot, from general trivia for Zoom quizzes to how to create a sourdough starter. And for those of us in the mortgage and protection industry, we’ve had to learn new working methods to adapt to the unusual circumstances of 2020.
Continuing to support the brokers in our mortgage network and mortgage club while working from afar was certainly a challenge. However, we rose to the occasion and the skills we developed in the process will benefit us going forward. So, we asked some of the Mortgage Intelligence team to share what has been the biggest lesson for their department in 2020.
Stephen Adams – Head of Compliance
During the past year we have certainly learnt a lot in the compliance department. The thing that probably stands out the most for me is how we have been able to quickly adapt our support and monitoring.
While working at a distance, we have been able to amend our procedures so that advisers can work efficiently with their customers and at the same time maintain high quality standards. This has been particularly important this year because fraudsters (as always) look to exploit any period of upheaval and chaos.
Andrea Rollett – Head of Business Assurance
We have definitely had to learn to adapt quickly across all of the Business Assurance department this year, particularly in the way we monitor, supervise and provide training and development to our appointed representative firms and their advisers.
The Business Assurance teams have adopted their approach and processes by learning to utilise technology in new ways in order to be more flexible and efficient. All of this has been to ensure our interactions with our advisers remain consistent, supportive and we continue to maintain our high-quality standards.
Sharon Mawby – Head of Sales & Marketing
The overnight move to remote working made clear, consistent and compassionate communication essential. Usually as a manager, you take individual members on a gradual journey and meet them at their own pace, but that just wasn’t possible. So, we had to offer the encouragement and support after the changes happened, rather than in the lead up to them.
I found that our daily morning video calls became surprisingly important. As well as making sure everyone knew what they were doing workwise, they boosted our sense of community. That was especially important for people who did not enjoy working from home and found the isolation and the technology a challenge. But the most important lesson that 2020 has taught me is the importance of embracing change rather than fighting it, leaning into the challenges makes everything a little bit easier.
Jason Bryant – National Account Manager
Reacting to AR enquiries has become easier and a lot quicker for me. Normally the recruitment journey would take days, maybe weeks. However, the use of virtual meetings means I can now potentially sign someone up within hours, certainly on the same day or as quickly as they have the documentation ready.
Efficiency has gone up and time scales brought down, but there has been the sacrifice of not being able to get to know the prospective ARs face to face.
Craig Bryce – National Account Manager For Protection
In my opinion, the biggest lesson in the protection market in 2020 is an obvious one, it should now be so easy to overcome the objection of “I don’t need insurance because that won’t happen to me”. A generation of clients will now remember lockdown and sadly some will have lost jobs and even loved ones.
I think, as the L & G campaign states, advisers are the “superheroes in the middle” of everything. This year, there have been lots of stories from people who sadly lost their lives or a loved one to covid-19 but didn’t have to worry about money because their adviser had sorted an appropriate policy which paid out. It’ll be interesting looking back on claims statistics for 2020 and seeing the impact it has had because I suspect the “they won’t pay out argument” against getting cover will be wiped away by those figures!
Rob Drayton – Head of IT & Systems Development
This year has really taught us lots of lessons about how we use technology in the business. Firstly, cloud services are the key to a mobile and flexible workforce and this applies whether you have 1 or 10,000 employees. Getting the right tools for your business is essential and will allow you to scale and adapt at pace.
Secondly, make sure that you take time for training to ensure you are reaping all of the benefits of new technology. Some investment in the short term will give great long-term benefit.
Lastly, there will always be people looking to take advantage of disruption, so extra vigilance and a focus on security is key!
We hope that you’ve enjoyed hearing from our Mortgage Intelligence team, but if there is anything you’ve learnt in 2020 that we’ve not mentioned, do share it with us! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or let us know on social media. It’s been a year to remember and who knows what next year will bring, so for now, take some time to rest and recover over the holiday season. See you in 2021!
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