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How we can be better trainers

National Mortgage Professional
Mar 24, 2014

How we can be better trainersGary Opper, CPA, CFPeducation, effectiveness, mettle, ability, character, intelligence

Lessons from the Lipizzaner horses
"Anything forced and misunderstood can never be beautiful."
—Xenophon, Greek historian

As a mortgage business owner, do you want to know how to train strong, superior mortgage professionals? Alternatively, do you want to become an outstanding mortgage professional? Do you want to be the envy of your peers? Mortgage company owners can learn a lot about how to train mortgage professionals by examining the training of the famous Lipizzaners.

You can create loyal employees through education. Education will provide your employees with an attractive mixture of effectiveness, mettle, ability, character and intelligence. You can learn a lot about how to train. Read on to gain more than 400 years of knowledge.

History
The Lipizzaner horses are famous for their ability to perform amazingly complicated steps, leaps and jumps that other horses cannot do. This dressage, originally for the battlefield, is now for entertainment. With proper training and education, your employees will close loans other mortgage brokers cannot. Perhaps you have seen these white muscular horses perform or the 1963 Disney movie, The Miracle of the White Stallions.
Lipizzaners' outstanding performances are a combination of good stock and proper training. A mortgage company owner's good stock is an ethical person with a great attitude, a willingness to learn and good judgment. These individuals should be properly trained in your state's mortgage laws and procedures. Lipizzaners are top quality; so should you have top quality.
In 1562, the Austrian Archduke Maximilian bought some very fast Spanish horses and bred them at his farm at Kladrub, Austria. Ten years later, he began the Spanish Riding School. The equestrians taught the horses special parade drills and how to fight on horseback. In 1580, the emperor's brother, Archduke Charles II of Inner Austria, bought 33 Spanish horses and brought them to Lipizza, Slovenia. They produced a lighter horse impeccably suited for dressage.
In the 1700s and 1800s, the Spanish Riding School produced well trained great war horses that excelled in battle and protected their riders. These horses could rear up on their hind legs so the rider could see more of the battlefield. The horses could leap over the enemy's lines and kick enemy soldiers while it was leaping.
At the end of World War, II, General George S. Patton helped protect the Lipizzaners. Today, the Austrian government owns the Spanish Riding School and Lipizzaners are bred, raised and trained in various places in the world including Florida and California.

Continuing success
The world's oldest riding school is the Spanish Riding School. The continuing success of the school is due to the following:

•The school's unwavering high standards of horsemanship;
•The total commitment of the trainers and riders; and
•The use of only the most talented and gifted stallions.

A mortgage professional's success should follow in the footsteps of the Spanish Riding School:

•Unwavering high standards of mortgage professionalism;
•Total commitment of the mortgage company owners and mortgage professionals; and
•Use of only the most talented and gifted mortgage professionals.

The three training principles of the Spanish Riding School are kindness, patience and understanding. These should be the guiding principles of all mortgage learning.

Experienced trainers
Only experienced riders and trainers are allowed to work with new horses. Experienced horses teach new riders. Four to 10 years pass before a rider is ready to perform in public. A rider only works with a few horses so the horse and rider know, trust and understand each other. While most horses are fully trained within two years, Lipizzaners take four years to train.
Only experts in their fields should teach employees. Trainers should have practical experience and have the ability to educate employees. Your employees should constantly be learning through their job and independently. Training is a long-term commitment by the employer and the employee for the benefit of both parties and the consuming public. New advancements in our field are constantly evolving and so should your employees. True experts should be up to date on the latest trends, laws, practices and programs. Trainers that are constantly learning and improving themselves will be sure to keep workers knowledgeable and living up to their potential.

The lunge line
The first year is basic training. The horse learns the commands and how to move gracefully. This training is done with a 30-foot lunge line that attaches the horse and trainer. The horse learns how to properly walk, trot and canter with balance and coordination. After the horse has mastered this on lunge, an experienced rider teaches the horse how to maneuver with saddle and rider. Training sessions are short, lasting 45 minutes, and always ending on a positive note.
On-the-job training with an experienced mentor shows the trainee how to move gracefully through the company's procedures using proper and ethical methods of the mortgage profession. Brokers should also be sure to train their employees in quality customer service procedures in order to ensure their clients are receiving the best quality of care. Good customer service can also generate referrals—a key to increasing your business. Of course, training should not be too long and should end on a positive note.

Advanced training
In the second year, the horse grows stronger with gymnastic and stretching movements. The horse learns to deeply flex his joints and bend his body in compact circles. This learning phase is in preparation for the next two years.
The third and fourth years consist of learning the difficult movement such as passage, piaffe and pirouette. The passage is a suspended floating trot step. In the piaffe, the horse trots or prances in one spot. The stallion stands on his hind legs and turns in a circle in a pirouette.
Some horses advance to "airs above the ground," which include spectacular jumping, leaping, kicking and other maneuvers once used by riders protect and defend themselves in battle.
Only some horses can master the difficult airs above the ground. The successful horses become specialists in a particular maneuver. A horse usually only can master one or two airs above the ground.
Training is done so that a horse understands the exercises instead of learning by rote. The horses muscles are slowly and systematically trained over a long period of time to develop strength and elude any injury. The movements that the horses perform are an extension of natural horse movement. An equestrian trains a horse only trained to excel.
As training progresses and the trainee masters basic concepts, more advanced, complicated functions can be introduced. When you have a star student, teach him so well that all aspects of his mortgages are natural. Train your employees to excel. Be sure to encourage workers to subscribe to trade journals, magazines and newspapers so that they can open their eyes to various aspects of the industry.

Horse sense
How does all this horse business relate to the mortgage business? The Spanish Riding School training style can be applied to your training like the Nordstrom customer service can be applied to customer service.
Training is a continuous evolving ongoing process. Training is management's long-term commitment to its employees and its customers. The three principles of Lipizzaners' training are kindness, patience and understanding. These should be your principles too.
The Spanish Riding School is a great specialized school. Mortgage professionals who excel receive a combination of in-house and out-house training programs.

Conclusion
If you are the owner, you are responsible to your new and old employees for dressage. You are also responsible to consumers who you have educated your employees so that they can provide excellent, graceful and powerful service to the public.

Gary Opper, CPA, CFP is the president of Approved Financial Corporation and is past president of the Florida Association of Mortgage Brokers Miami Chapter. He may be reached at (954) 384-4557 or e-mail [email protected].

Published
Mar 24, 2014