First National Financial LP

Personal Perspectives: Shannon Parker

  • Fist National Financial LP

Shannon is an Account Manager in the Ottawa region. She shares her experiences from the past few weeks, what she’s doing to communicate proactively with brokers and how she’s supporting them in their efforts to remain relevant during this crisis.

What have the past few weeks been like for you?

SP: My personal and professional lives have blurred. I think we’re all still in shock that this is really happening. In the first few weeks, it was the busiest I can ever remember. I was fielding approximately 70 calls per day for two weeks, non-stop. I had both brokers and clients contacting me. My help seemed to alleviate a lot of stress. Now that we’ve addressed the majority of the technical changes, the pace has slowed down somewhat.

What are you hearing most from brokers? How are they feeling?

SP: We start every conversation checking in personally. How are you feeling? How is your family? Brokers, like everyone else, are under a lot of stress during this time. They want to make sure they have the right information to pass to clients to help them during this difficult time.  In the beginning, I spent most of my time reassuring brokers that we will be getting things done, but it might take some time. My brokers are concerned about their businesses and continuing to meet client demands. Some feel secure moving into this time and some do not. I have one broker with several clients who have been pre-qualified but haven’t found properties. Most of those clients are still employed because they work in government or essential services. She feels she should be able to sustain her business through the shut down, even if other revenue streams are affected.

How have you been responding to brokers?

SP: I try to be a sounding board and provide perspective. Now that we have working policies and procedures in place, people seem to be adjusting to this new normal. I do feel very blessed. I have known and had the pleasure of working with my brokers for 15 years. They are amazing people, and I am proud to call many of them my friends. Besides supporting them in my role, I want them to know that I am here to listen. We are all feeling the same things and are in the same boat. We are trying to work things out together, with a lot of patience and understanding.

What are you doing personally, in your role, to help brokers stay relevant and resonate during this crisis?

SP: I am trying to be proactive. There is a lot of information coming at brokers. So I’m getting back to basics, getting on the phone and staying in touch consistently. In December, I created a chat group on Messenger for each broker office. Interestingly, before this crisis, I only used it twice. Now, I am posting daily. I’m doing short voice recordings, communicating key information. It’s been working well because it’s immediate and direct, brokers can hear my voice, and they can respond to each other. It is a very quick, easy way to feel connected.  

Any final thoughts?

SP: We are in this together. And that’s not just our message. Brokers feel the same way. We will get through this by relying on each other and working together