The basics of being an adviser at L&C
How much can I earn in my first year?
This depends on what time of year you start due to our bonus and commission structure. The average adviser would earn around £25,000 in their first full year advising, although this could potentially be much higher and the bonus scheme is uncapped.
What Training do you offer?
You will initially attend 6 week training course which will encompass the CeMAP 1 qualification along with in-depth training on our systems and processes. Following the successful completion of the training course you receive ongoing development from Industry experts, sales coaches, and management with on the job training and regular performance reviews. London and Country will also fund the full CeMAP Qualification once you have been signed off of probation and become a permanent member of staff.
How long is the probation period?
All advisers initially start on an 8 month probation period, which consists of 2 months of initial training followed by 6 targeted months advising. It is possible to be signed off of probation after around 6 months subject to hitting all required targets and demonstrating competency in the role.
How Many Hours will I need to work?
The contracted hours are 39.2 per week which includes 1 in 8 Saturdays and 1 in 8 Sundays. However many advisers when learning the role will work beyond these hours to fast track their time within the Academy and on probation.
What Products will I advise on?
You will be primarily advising your clients on the most suitable mortgage for them based on their personal circumstances along with the best possible way to protect themselves, the mortgage and their family. You will also be encouraging your clients to take advantage of our excellent conveyancing partners along with our market leading General Insurance offering.
What Qualifications do I need?
We would normally take applicants forward who hold a minimum of 5 GCSE’s including English and Maths along with 2 A Levels or the equivalent. A Degree qualification is preferred and some sales experience is desirable but neither are essential.
What is the recruitment Process?
CV’s will be scrutinised and if successful you will be asked to complete an online IQ test. If the IQ test score is above our desired level we will invite you to complete a telephone interview with one of our sales managers. Should you successfully complete the telephone interview we will ask you to visit our Bath office to complete the final part of the process. This consists of a telephone based sales role play followed by a second and final interview.
Still interested? These are the questions that people ask us the most during their interviews.
What do you like most about working here?
I like the people, and to see people doing well. When I see that we’ve taken someone on who’s new to the industry, trained them and they are succeeding it’s a really rewarding feeling. For example we’ve had loads of fresh university graduates buy their own house within a couple of years of starting with us and when I hear things like that you can’t help but feel you’ve helped them make it happen. The other thing to mention is we genuinely do a good thing for our customers, helping them to achieve real goals and doing it the right way. You get to sleep easy at night doing what we do, not all jobs are like that.
What do people find hardest when they start?
There is the obvious first one of passing the exam to do the job. We have a great hit rate of getting people through it, but it does require some serious study. When people get through that and the initial training they face 2 big things. Firstly the learning curve, the induction course teaches you a lot, but it can’t prepare you for every different client situation that comes up so you have to learn on your feet and be prepared to take on a huge amount of information. Secondly as a new advisor you have lots of clients with lots of different situations to deal with and you need to manage all of these as well as taking on new customers all the time. It’s a big job and so it’s important to be prepared for a challenge.
What is the environment like?
It’s busy. Fundamentally although we look like a call centre with a lot of people in rows of desks on PC’s and headsets, the reality is very different to that. You will spend a lot of time on the phone talking to clients, but we don’t measure individual call times or such like. A lot of your time will be spent researching and talking to lenders or insurers learning about how to solve client scenarios, so there is a fair bit of variety. The environment is professional as ultimately we are sorting out a massive part of clients lives, so we’re not sat around on bean bags having creative thinking sessions, but you are working in teams so we try and encourage an environment where people can have a bit of fun at the same time.
Are any of the targets team based or all individual?
Your targets are all individual in terms of rewards, recognition and performance. The team leaders obviously have team targets so they will encourage team work and there will often be team competitions on various things, but fundamentally you are responsible for your own results and success.
What is the training like/how does it work?
The initial induction course falls into 2 distinct halves. The first part is all about passing the CeMAP exam, so after you’ve completed the pre-course work and studied the book a bit before starting, there is around 2 weeks of classroom based learning for the exam prior to taking it. We use external trainers who are experts in this area to help you with this. After the exam we get on to teaching you how to do the job itself, with a lot more interactive training working through sample cases, role-playing customer calls and building up your knowledge about the product ranges before we sign you off to get out there and talk to customers.
Of course the training doesn’t end there, both your supervisor and our in house coaching team will offer you lots of support going forwards (particularly in the first year) with regular reviews, call feedback and other coaching. There are also further industry exams to study for and qualifications to be gained, alongside regular meetings with lenders and insurers to make sure your product knowledge is right on top of things. It’s a constantly changing market so you will literally never stop learning in this role.
How many people pass the exam and probation
Over 95% pass the exam, the training for it is excellent and as long as people pass our initial tests in the recruitment process, they are bright enough to pass the exam. It needs to be given a degree of respect as it’s a lot to learn, but as long as people apply themselves they are fine.
We lose around 15% of advisers in the probation period. Very few to the probation targets themselves but more that people decide it’s just not for them. That can happen in any role and sometimes it just doesn’t work out. Our turnover is very low as a whole for this kind of career.
Why are you recruiting? Is it down to high turnover or expansion?
L&C is a growing business. In July 2012 the Newcastle office had 2 people working on it, now there are over 160. We first put advisers into London in 2015 and we’ve continued to grow the numbers in the original Bath office as well and only want to take more.