How many advisers and broker firms do you cover in your role?
I currently cover all of Scotland where we have over 1,000 advisers.
How do you successfully organise and deal with business on a daily basis?
Planning is one of the top skills a relationship manager needs to have. I spend Monday’s in the office booking broker meetings and clearing any admin. Tuesday to Friday mornings are for checking figures, travelling to meetings, and speaking to my colleagues on plans for the region. I visit three intermediaries daily and finish off returning calls and emails.
What issues come up time and time again?
I spend a lot of my time discussing the process of an underwriter with brokers. When a case arrives we aim to underwrite it within 48 hours. Sometimes we find the basic documents are not there, such as payslips and bank statements. These are then uploaded after underwriting, go into the post queue, and are then asked to be prioritised over packaged cases. I would suggest that a case should only be submitted if the basic documents are all in place.
What do you wish brokers understood about your job?
Overall, how many plates you need to keep spinning without taking the focus away from that one broker who needs your support at that moment, which is why we have multiple touch points for an intermediary to speak to the Bank.
What do you think is the most important attribute of a good BDM?
Passion, positivity, planning and knowledge of not just your proposition, but of the marketplace as well.
When you’re unavailable to be contacted by telephone, what’s the second-best way for brokers to get in touch?
We have multiple touch points within Aldermore. If I cannot be contacted by phone, brokers normally email me or ring our telephone BDM for Scotland. There is also a generic new business line if we are ever both unavailable.
If you were head of the FCA for the day, what would you change about regulation in the mortgage industry?
I would involve the broker community more and set out clear timescales of what is changing, as well as why and when it must change by. Recently we have seen good examples of this on the changes with portfolio landlords.
What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career?
I have always been a people person. I take great satisfaction from sharing my knowledge and experience of the market to help brokers grow their business and place cases that are criteria driven.
How do you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers?
Open and honest communication. If I say I will do something, I do it. If we can’t help on a case, a quick “no” is better than dragging the broker through multiple hoops.
And how do you establish and maintain good relationships internally?
Internally we have a saying, “One Aldermore” which we passionately believe in. I communicate with multiple departments daily. It is vital when you are on the front line and remote based that you ensure you build and maintain strong relationships internally to help grow your business in as efficient a way possible.
What’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?
It was probably: “Would you lend on a static caravan as a holiday let to a client who lives on a canal boat?” I don’t think anything will ever top it.
And finally, what did you want to be growing up?
A dustman. And if you could see the back of my car sometimes you would say I am achieving my childhood dreams on a daily basis.