Lisa is the Regional Sales Manager for the Alberta and Prairies Region. She reflects on what stood out to her most during these past few months, shares her perspectives on markets in the Prairies and explains why positivity is the most important aspect of relevance right now.
Reflecting back on the past few months, what stands out to you?
LB: The whole company and industry really came together. When COVID hit, and we went into lockdown, the communication from Scott and Jason to the team and to brokers kept us together when we were all working from home. Everyone really stepped up, so we felt united and connected.
What is happening now? Can you provide a sense of the industry in the Prairies?
LB: Surprisingly, we haven’t seen too much business interruption. When we went into lockdown, it could have been seen as another set back Albertans would have to endure. Based on what’s gone on in the past five years in Alberta, we had potential for a real slump. But people remained positive and resilient. Our attitude as an industry – brokers, lenders and real estate agents – has remained focused on consumer confidence. Instead of tearing us apart or tearing us down, the pandemic pulled us together.
How is your team mobilizing to support brokers given the current climate?
LB: Microsoft Teams has been a vital tool. It’s allowed us to stay really connected with brokers. I appreciate the fact that I can reach more people in a day, across all of the provinces that I manage. I feel like I’ve actually connected with more brokers. We’ve also been doing a lot of webinars and keeping up with our high standard of customer service – making sure brokers know we are here and how we can help them. My team mobilized really well from day one. I don’t think brokers missed us because we were present and engaged.
What is the most important aspect of relevance right now and how is your team helping brokers be relevant in that way?
LB: We were very fortunate because our industry has thrived. But even when there was uncertainty, everyone remained really positive. It was a definite “let’s make this work” attitude. We adjusted quickly to new processes like virtual signings and meetings. I firmly believe that the consistency and frequency of our communication to brokers helped them share positivity with their clients. We made sure they always knew what was going on. They felt a sense of comfort so they could comfort their clients. I really think that ongoing stream of communication and reassurance helped brokers bond with clients, support them and earn their business.
Any final thoughts?
LB: I’ve worked for First National for many years, but after enduring this pandemic as part of this team, I have a newfound sense of pride in our company and industry. I am so grateful for the continued support of the broker community and the faith they have in First National. Our industry is very strong. We stuck together, and failure just wasn’t an option. As we enter into what everyone is calling the “new normal,” I feel like not only will our industry survive, but we will be better and stronger as a result of this experience.