It goes without saying that the past 12 months have been a tumultuous time for the mortgage market – but has this year brought unexpected benefits like no other?
When it comes to customer training, the answer could only be “yes”.
“The pandemic had a silver lining,” muses Natasha Nikulina, customer training coordinator at RCN Capital. “At the beginning of the pandemic, we had a lot of time to specify our program and decide what we can do with it.”
The program she is referring to is Amplify – RCN’s new and effective advancement in customer education, an online resourceful portal that Nikulina has practically worked with since its inception.
“I am so incredibly proud of what we have achieved with the program,” she said of her journey from business development coordinator to her current position last year. “We kept talking back and forth: What can we do to offer more education? And then we started Amplify last year. I was immersed headlong into creating online courses. “
“We can offer that. We are capable of that. So why not? “
Amplify’s courses are aimed at training brokers in the topics that are most important to them. It started with a more traditional structure – “giving people the opportunity to take a course, repeat it if they need extra time, mini-quizzes to test themselves” – before evolving into a central resource center.
“We started thinking seriously as a team and developing outlines to create other types of content. We have document content where people have the option to download various templates and different documents that they may come across during the loan process. We develop content that discusses the basic habits of a good broker. We also look into things like general industry knowledge, like definitions of various terms that might be new to people.
“An online program is perfect because we can offer it to a wide variety of people who don’t necessarily have the time to sit down to talk on the phone, and they can do it in their spare time. And when they come to us, they will know better what we can offer them.
“I need to be aware of the level of knowledge of the person I’m talking to. Are you new? Have you ever done something similar? So if it’s someone who is very experienced, I don’t necessarily need to explain industry terms – but for someone who is just getting started or has no prior knowledge of the industry, I may need to spend more time doing it. Everyone is different. And you just have to be particularly aware of that. “
While the online courses are currently only available to brokers, investor courses are “not off the table”. A more measured approach to new content introduction, Nikulina adds, enables RCN to “deliver more meaningful content rather than trying to do it all at once.”
And while Amplify is a relatively new venture, Nikulina and RCN’s passion for customer training is already well established.
“I think you really have to try new things and grow and see where your talents are,” she mused. “I think education and its delivery are in the back of everyone’s mind. We take a proactive approach and say: Hey, we are developing this educational content and it is available for you here, come and get it! “