How many brokers and broker firms do you cover in your role?
I currently cover all brokers and broker firms in the North West of England. On the last count I look after the buy-to-let and let-to-buy needs of almost 500 firms and around 950 individual brokers.
How do you successfully organise and deal with business on a daily basis?
The priority is to see as many brokers as possible face-to-face while also balancing my diary to be available to return messages and respond to any urgent broker needs. I am also very pleased that our head office and other teams work so hard to support me.
What issues come up time and time again?
Cases that have been declined or not met other lenders’ criteria and also brokers looking for a new lender who can consider the deal but with a quick turnaround time. I always say to brokers I will try my best to help if they are struggling with a buy-to-let or let-to-buy case.
What do you wish brokers understood about your job?
Most brokers understand the BDM job and demands of the role. On the flipside, I understand a lot of the pressures my brokers can often be under and I feel that together we work very well to achieve our common goal.
What do you think is the most important attribute in a good BDM?
Honesty – my brokers are looking for the right answer as quickly as possible. If the answer is a no, most brokers would prefer you to be open up-front rather than ‘give it a try’ or ‘we might consider that.’
All my brokers know my aim is to help them with any query and if that is something we can’t accommodate then I will also point them elsewhere to have their case considered, supporting my broker wherever possible.
When you’re unavailable to contact via telephone, what’s the second-best way for brokers to get in touch?
At BM we have two BDMs covering every broker, a face-to-face BDM and a telephone BDM who work together.
For my area, all brokers are looked after by Claire Wales and I. This works extremely well and gives them a point of contact as soon as one of us is available. I always encourage brokers to send emails to both of us.
If you were head of the FCA for the day, what would you change about regulation in the mortgage industry?
I’d improve the communication to the market. I think there is still a bit of work to be done on the clarity of the information that comes from the regulator, make things a little more black and white and easier to understand.
What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career?
I have been in the mortgage arena for over 15 years and have held a number of different positions each side of the mortgage process, including business development manager, serious and complex fraud investigator, underwriting manager and mortgage consultant. In that time I also had a 12-month spell working for the FSA (now FCA) in its financial crime and intelligence division.
Business development is the role I have enjoyed the most and the role still gives me a spring in my step every morning. I enjoy helping brokers work through changes in the market, problem solving on a case that needs to be placed or resolving any issues that have arisen on an existing case.
How do you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers?
It’s very important to understand how a broker works and to identify where you as a BDM can add value, ensuring you don’t over promise and/or underdeliver.
Brokers want us to:
- Give the right answer as quickly as possible;
- Be available as much as possible;
- Solve any issues with existing cases;
- Keep them up-to-date with market changes;
- Point out any business opportunities.
If you can tick every point above I believe you can add value to your broker’s business.
And how do you establish and maintain good relationships internally?
Sweets and cakes seem to do the trick.
More seriously, at BM Solutions our operation is built on a huge team effort. The trick is knowing the right people at each stage of the process and keeping in tune with any changes that may happen.
What’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?
I really can’t tell you… weird and a little alarming to say the least.
And finally, what did you want to be growing up?
A boxer. Oscar de la Hoya and Ricky Hatton were idols of mine growing up. Mild mannered and quick witted, neither needed to trash talk and people loved them. I used to box when I was a child, however there was one pretty big problem; I didn’t particularly like getting hit.