How many brokers and broker firms do you cover in your role?
I look after brokers in eight different postcode areas from Leicester across to Norwich, which I share with two field BDMs. As part of our contact strategy we offer every broker nationwide access to both field and telephone-based BDMs.
How do you successfully organise and deal with business on a daily basis?
For me to be successful, I need to be extremely organised. I update my calendar and workload daily to ensure that I am available to meet brokers’ needs and respond to their enquiries as quickly as possible.
What issues come up time and time again?
One issue that pops up regularly is applicants not having a tenancy agreement on a remortgage application. For us at BM Solutions, the security address needs to have a valid tenancy agreement in place as our application asks for the achieved monthly rental figure. The solicitor will ask for a copy of the tenancy agreement before requesting funds, so it’s key that our brokers request this up front and retain a copy on file.
What do you wish brokers understood about your job?
I genuinely enjoy helping brokers place business and helping to resolve complex queries. However, at times it is very busy, and if brokers have to leave a message I’ll always respond as soon as I am able. All too often brokers leave a message and wait 10 minutes before leaving another message. I will always get back as quickly as possible, I promise.
What do you think is the most important attribute in a good BDM?
I feel that it’s not a single important attribute, but several. Being knowledgeable about what the market offers and what you offer is key. So is being dependable – brokers need to know that the information they receive is correct and that if a certain outcome is discussed then it is delivered. Lastly, being available – you can’t be considered a good BDM if brokers can’t get hold of you.
When you’re unavailable to contact via telephone, what’s the second-best way for brokers to get in touch?
We pride ourselves on having two dedicated points of contact for BDM support – an office BDM and a field BDM aligned to all our brokers. If brokers need an update or support with the processing of a case, then we also have a broker support team who work on cases while the broker is on the phone, generating instant piece of mind.
If you were head of the FCA for the day, what would you change about regulation in the mortgage industry?
I would keep things simple, focused around providing a competitive loan and proposition that’s affordable for the customer, a good level of underwriting standards and evidence of a history of good credit conduct. Changes over the last couple of years have led to the market becoming increasingly complicated.
What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career?
It’s a role that’s suited to my personality so my motivation was; if the glove fits – wear it.
How do you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers?
Being available and willing to invest in building a relationship is the first part, and the second is maintaining the relationship by delivering positive outcomes and being dependable.
And how do you establish and maintain good relationships internally?
Internal and external working relationships, to me, should have the same approach for the most part.
What’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?
Being South African by birth, people often pick up on my accent. After telling a person that I was born in South Africa I was then asked: ‘Do they have houses there?’
And finally, what did you want to be growing up?