How many advisers and broker firms do you cover in your role?
I have more than 1,200 advisers within my area who are either directly authorised or appointed representatives of networks. I also have 20 to 25 key accounts. With that number, it takes me some time to get around them all.
How do you successfully organise and deal with business on a daily basis?
I generally try to have my appointment diary scheduled for one to two weeks in advance. However, my challenge is that as well as booked appointments, I also need time to respond to urgent enquiries and reply to e-mails and voicemails. I also try, where possible, to have an hour free during the middle of the day to action anything urgent.
What issues come up time and time again?
The top four issues that seem to arise on a regular basis are:
- Chasing up surveyor appointments
- Chasing up offers to be issued
- Chasing up missing documents
- Challenging the status quo
What do you wish brokers understood about your job?
That I am on their side and will do everything possible to help their client’s application successfully make it through to completion.
If we do ask for additional information or documentation, there is always a genuine reason and we never ask simply for the sake of it or to introduce delays on purpose. Why would we do that?
However, sometimes not everything is within our control, which is why we want to work with brokers to resolve outstanding issues.
What do you think is the most important attribute of a good BDM?
Doing everything that is expected from a BDM which includes getting back to brokers in a timely manner, being available when brokers need you, responding out of normal office hours, explaining why cases have been declined and not forgetting there is a customer at the end of every DIP, app and offer.
Being a good BDM is about more than just helping generate business for the company you work for. It’s also about helping brokers grow their businesses. This can be done by sharing added value ideas, such as explaining how to generate new leads and giving tips about where to find more clients.
A good BDM should be able to clearly explain a company’s lending criteria and processes, as well as help assess if a case fits criteria. We can then help with packaging the case and liaising with underwriters as appropriate.
It’s easy being a BDM when things are going well, but a BDM really comes into their own when things go wrong and this is when brokers and lenders needs them most.
When you’re unavailable to be contacted by telephone, what’s the second-best way for brokers to get in touch?
I’m flexible, whichever way works best for brokers: voicemail, email or text. I really don’t mind. My full contact details are on the Magellan website: www.magellanhomeloans.co.uk/intermediaries
If you were head of the FCA for the day, what would you change about regulation in the mortgage industry?
I would try to find a way to be able to accurately measure lender service standards, so that they could be compared against each other on a true like-for-like basis.
What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career?
I have worked in the financial services sector throughout my career and really enjoy being part of the intermediary mortgage market and problem solving with difficult cases.
I like taking responsibility for the whole front-end application process from liaising with brokers, to helping them submit cases, resolving any issues and then ensuring cases move quickly through to completion.
Brokers are fun to work with and it’s rewarding to win their trust and be recognised as a valuable business partner.
How do you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers?
I’m always available to talk to brokers, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year. I have even taken a call on Christmas Day.
I always endeavour to be clear, explain decisions quickly and let brokers know as soon as possible if we are unable to help, so that they can submit the case to another lender.
And how do you establish and maintain good relationships internally?
Although I am based away from head office, I still try and make time to speak to the office-based team on a regular basis. We have a regular monthly meeting where I get the opportunity to spend time with our underwriting and processing teams to discuss cases, as well as get to know them all a bit better.
What’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?
“Can the mortgage funds be paid into my personal account so that I can pay for the house myself?”
During a mortgage application interview, a borrower asked me: “What happens if I decide not to pay?”
And finally, what did you want to be growing up?
I quite fancied being a DJ, but realised that I was perhaps not as good as I thought I was when an old gentleman walked past me as I was DJ-ing in a pub and put money in the juke box next to me – he obviously wasn’t very impressed with my choice of music.
Like most kids, I wanted to be a professional footballer, but as that dream faded I decided that being a policeman sounded like good fun – The Bill was my favourite TV show.