Cutting through the BS on what exactly a mentor is


I get asked a lot about mentorship from new to industry brokers and it has become clear that there are many misconceptions on what exactly are the requirements of a mentor. This post will seek to straighten things out for you by providing you with a clear understanding of what these requirements are, the current make up of the mentorship landscape and my thoughts on what is what is the best route for brokers.


Regardless of which aggregation group you are associated with, the vast majority align themselves with the MFAA who is the group that represents and lobbies for our professional interests. As such, for most aggregators, unless you are an MFAA member you will be unable to gain accreditation with them.

To ensure that brokers maintain professional standards, the MFAA have made it a requirement that for the first two years you are in the industry that you have a mentor to watch over you. Personally I think this is a wonderful idea as I am a strong believer in ‘on the job’ learning as I think it’s by far the best method to retain information.

But who are these mentors? Where do you find them? Are there any qualifications they need? How much do they cost?

It seems that only a few aggregators have an in house mentorship program but most leave it up to the broker to find their own mentor.

Setting the record straight

First up, the most common question I receive from brokers is, “Tim, are you an MFAA Accredited Mentor?”

My answer is no because the reality is, you don’t need to be an MFAA Accredited Mentor to be a mentor…

The MFAA actually allow brokers who have over four years industry experience to mentor new to industry brokers. However, the industry standard is that the mentee has already obtained the Diploma in Finance and Mortgage Broking Management before undertaking the mentor.

If a mentee was to take on an MFAA Accredited Mentor, they are allowed to only hold a Certificate IV in Finance and Mortgage Broking so long as they complete the Diploma once the two year mentorship has finished.

I made the decision at this stage not to be an MFAA Accredited Mentor for two reasons:

  1. Completing the full Diploma is not that big of a deal. It takes 6 days to complete and my preference is that you just get it out of the way as opposed to delaying it for later. My experience has been that brokers always regret breaking up their education in two steps.
  2. The MFAA Mentorship program whilst comprehensive is not suited for everyone…

What do brokers really want?

Probably my favourite media commentator is John Oliver who is the host of the Last Week Tonight show over in the US. He is basically the new Jon Stewart of satirical news and one of his best pieces has been on student debt. He notes that student debt in the US now tops one trillion dollars, which is bigger than both credit card and car loan debt and second only to mortgages.

I say this because a) it’s a very funny and interesting piece but more so because b) the mentorship requirement that the MFAA has placed on the industry has seen many business pop up offering mentorship services that charge exorbitant fees. For many, by the time their two years are up, brokers are often in significant debt with questionable real world broker skills.

From what I can see, the MFAA Mentor Program has both important and unimportant topics. The other thing is if mentors want to teach the program to mentees, they need to pay the MFAA a fee for their intellectual property, which in turn means that the fee a mentor charges a broker must increase as well.

As I said previously, a comprehensive, classroom like structure of mentoring has it’s place in the industry and for some is the best way they learn. However, for others, they don’t need help with things such as time management, business planning, sales skills, risk management, ethics etc.

My thoughts are the for some brokers they just need more of a business consultant that will do the following:

  1. Review their business every month and set goals one what they need to focus on for the next month
  2. Have unlimited access to phone and email, giving the mentee confidence that they always have someone to support them
  3. Constant work on different scenarios so they know how to package them all correctly
  4. Focus on systemising their business from the ground up
  5. How to effectively market and sell their services to attract more clients

Of course, that is what my mentoring services are all about. They are far less intense and time consuming then other providers and consequently the cost is significantly reduced. My program has been derived purely based on what I believe would be the most time efficient way for brokers to learn the most important topics in our industry to see them achieve the best results.

If you would like to learn more about the program, click on the link here.

Committed to your success,

Tim Russell