How many advisers and broker firms do you cover in your role?
That’s tricky. The intermediary market continues to grow and more brokers and advisers seem to start every day.
I cover all the firms within the CO, CM, DA, ME, RM, SS & TN postcodes in Essex and Kent.
How do you successfully organise and deal with business on a daily basis?
Organisation is the key, I make sure that I structure and plan each day to reply to enquiries from existing brokers, as well as to pro-actively contact and meet ones with whom I can create, build and maintain relationships.
I used to work as a broker and I know the importance of getting through to your BDM when time is tight and I make sure all calls and emails are returned quickly.
Getting back to my broker in a timely manner with a workable solution is the real key to winning that business.
What issues come up time and time again?
Brokers want to know much more about Family BS and its propositions and offerings and, as a niche player, where we fit in the marketplace.
What do you wish brokers understood about your job?
Brokers I have met understand the value that a good BDM can offer to them and to their clients, be it to just “double check” an application or following up with the underwriters to problem solve.
I wish (and my job is to inform) brokers knew more about the Family’s offerings.
A number of those I have met so far have been surprised by the types of cases that we will consider.
We have managed to resurrect a number of deals that previously had been written off, so increasing the brokers’ income and providing the right solutions for their clients.
What do you think is the most important attribute of a good BDM?
You must be contactable.
There is nothing more frustrating than leaving a message for a BDM and not hearing back until the next day or sometimes not at all.
When you’re unavailable to be contacted by telephone, what’s the second-best way for brokers to get in touch?
I ask brokers to email any case queries if I am unavailable or leave a detailed message.
It helps when presenting a case that it is written and I can respond with a solution. Alternatively, call our new business team at the Epsom head office.
If you were head of the FCA for the day, what would you change about regulation in the mortgage industry?
It would be nice to have a break from changes in legislation, regulation and taxation for a while; keeping up with it all can sometimes feel like a full time job!
Also I would review some of the recent buy-to-let changes. They have been too restrictive.
What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career?
When I worked as a broker I looked forward to BDMs’ visits as they gave me confidence to place cases with a lender.
As a broker you only know what you know.
Finding a solution for a tricky case that you have never come across before can be hard.
Now I am able to go out and actively promote Family Building Society and its offerings and also educate brokers.
The look of surprise and excitement when they realise we can solve a problem case that they have had for some months and previously couldn’t be placed, is a great feeling and very rewarding.
How do you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers?
Be polite and courteous and deliver on promises.
Trust is the foundation of what we do and the relationships that we build.
I will catch up with a broker for an informal chat, when I am passing by. It can be nice to have a slight break from business from time to time.
And how do you establish and maintain good relationships internally?
I spend a lot of time on the road and away from our head office.
But I always make sure that I am free to answer any queries on an application, I am courteous and listen carefully to what my colleagues at head office have to say.
We have regular meetings and we attend events such as broker road shows as a team.
And finally, what did you want to be growing up?
Growing up I wanted to be a vet. We have always had dogs in the family and felt it would be something I would love to do.
However biology wasn’t my strongest subject, but as it turned out I have found a career that I am enjoying greatly.