How many advisers and broker firms do you cover in your role?
It is still early days for Vida Homeloans as we grow distribution, so it is difficult to put an exact number on it. I work as a key account manager covering the East and West Midlands and currently look after around 75 firms.
How do you successfully organise and deal with business on a daily basis?
The key is to ensure that I leave enough time between meetings to respond to phone queries and catch up on my emails. Having a day of back to back meetings just wouldn’t work as I need to be on hand to respond to the firms I look after.
What issues come up time and time again?
“How do I register to introduce business to Vida Homeloans?”
What do you wish brokers understood about your job?
When I’m on the road and driving, I can’t see the information they are typing onto their computers.
What do you think is the most important attribute of a good BDM?
I make sure I always return the calls of my advisers, whether it’s good news, bad news or no news. It is always better to be in the know.
When you’re unavailable to be contacted by telephone, what’s the second-best way for brokers to get in touch?
I understand that brokers often need a quick response to an issue so I am happy to be contacted by email or text. Brokers also have the option to contact our experienced telephone BDM’s at our head office in Staines-Upon-Thames on 03300 246 246.
If you were head of the FCA for the day, what would you change about regulation in the mortgage industry?
I would implement a fairer levy for the FSCS.
What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career?
I made a conscious decision to choose a job that wasn’t sat behind a desk every day. I wanted a role that offered the variety of different meetings in different locations, constantly encountering different businesses and people.
How do you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers?
Vida Homeloans employs key account managers with many years experience to work closely in the field with our key accounts, while our BDMs are always available on the telephone for those accounts who – due to their geographical location or size – are better served by that particular service.
And how do you establish and maintain good relationships internally?
We have monthly sales meetings at our head office where we always make sure we take the time to sit face to face with all the teams we contact regularly. There are also regular phone calls made to colleagues out in the field to stay up to date with how they’re getting on so we can share cases and ways of working.
What’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?
“Do you want to wash your face?”
In 1987, on the first day of my job at Halifax, I’d been reading the paper in the morning. I met the branch manager and before he took me to meet the rest of the staff, he asked that question – it turned out I had newspaper print all my face.
And finally, what did you want to be growing up?
Centre forward for Aston Villa was the dream. If that didn’t work out, I wanted to be a teacher.