One of the top challenges facing organizations across all sectors right now is hiring and retention. Finding and keeping top talent is more difficult than ever in a fiercely competitive hiring environment. For the real estate and mortgage industry, the issue is exasperated by a general lack of people pursuing careers in mortgage and title & escrow.
Paul Gigliotti felt the impact of the mortgage talent dilemma first-hand and also noticed a broader lack of training in the industry that empowered practitioners with holistic knowledge about the entirety of the mortgage process. Instead of sitting back, Paul launched Axis Lending Academy. Axis aims to bring the next generation of mortgage talent into the industry through dynamic training programs that equip highly-driven learners with the skills they need to succeed in operations roles within the mortgage lending industry.
Gigliotti will join us at Qualia’s Future of Real Estate Summit (FORES22) taking place April 4-6th. We caught up with Gigliotti ahead of the event to learn more about his perspective on how learning and development (L&D) programs can help transform the mortgage industry.
Qualia: What inspired you to launch Axis Lending Academy?
Gigliotti: As I grew in my career and moved into management roles within the mortgage lending industry, I began to notice a growing opportunity. While the industry is very skilled in training individuals for specific job functions, there was a gap when it came to formalized, holistic education. And what I mean by that is there was a lack of training that provided the complete view by combining the practical knowledge of the industry and the contextual application for each job function. This applied to both new talent as well as seasoned professionals. I believe that comprehensive education and training can empower innovation since individuals will have a broader understanding of how they fit into the bigger picture within the industry.
That’s why at Axis Lending Academy, we’ve created an engaging program that meets our learners where they are at in their career stage to lift them far beyond what they thought was possible. We believe that our educational program empowers learners to perform better in their jobs and equips them with a sense of greater purpose in the companies and teams they join and the clients they serve. This holistic educational approach creates the lift.
Qualia: The real estate industry is very fragmented and siloed in terms of how people work. How do you think this inhibits the industry and what are you/Axis doing to solve this problem?
Gigliotti: Firstly, it’s important to remember that the creation of a mortgage note is a cycle and typically moves in the same way for every mortgage note created. It is critical to the entire process that each team member understands the cycle as a whole rather than just being trained on performing one solitary function. Job function training is essential. However, not having a holistic educational approach causes fragmentation. It limits team members’ ability to understand other functions and their contribution to the entire process. As a result, it can cause stagnation, lack of productivity, and stimulation.
We strive to remove fragmentation with our unique learning program. We educate individuals about the mortgage lending industry and how to apply their new education and experiences toward developing a prosperous, healthy, and harmonious life. Siloed no more, but rather an expansion of the entire process for further growth, development, and innovation.
Qualia: What is one thing you wish employers would understand about the value of educating staff?
Gigliotti: As Sir Francis Bacon stated, “knowledge is power.” To create knowledge, you must educate, not simply train. At Axis, we start with the fundamentals of education, building a strong, expansive, detailed foundation of the ins and outs of the closing process—for a comprehensive understanding of the individual functions that make up the whole. Next, interactive lab sessions help apply principles to the new role. Then, continuing to build on that foundation, real-time experience through an internship reinforces those learnings. The result is more knowledgeable, thoughtful, and engaged team members.
Qualia: The theme of Qualia’s Future of Real Estate Summit is “connectivity.” What does that word mean to you?
Gigliotti: Connectivity is about a deeper sense of partnership. It’s about coming together with our energy and passion—sharing ideas, creating, and innovating together with the drive for evolution.
For Axis, interconnectivity has been an integral part from the start. When forming our Axis brand, we were intentional about our logo as it nods to the importance of connection. Like in a beehive, we interconnect with others to create something much larger and stronger.