Know Your BDM: Chris Duckworth, Together

  • 18/10/2016
  • 0
Know Your BDM: Chris Duckworth, Together
This week, Chris Duckworth, Together's regional BDM for the North West, sits in Specialist Lending Solutions' Know Your BDM hot seat to talk buy to let and life in general.

How many brokers and broker firms do you cover in your role?

I cover the whole of the North West for all things residential and commercial, so as far north as Carlisle, reaching across North Wales and Cheshire. It’s a big patch and full of great opportunities.

How do you successfully organise and deal with business on a daily basis?

The first thing I have to deal with everyday is the traffic on the M60 so I always get an early start to avoid the worst of this. I have two young boys who wake me up early so this is never a problem. In between appointments I make any phone calls I need to and return any messages. I often pick up on my emails in the early evening once the children are in bed, as it’s difficult to get through them when you’re on the road, then it’s usually a late night run to finish the day which helps me unwind.

What issues come up time and time again?

I like to think I help my brokers find solutions for their clients’ needs and circumstances, giving them the confidence to proceed, regardless of the issue. Our buy-to-let proposition allows flexibility on the way we assess different property types and income assessments, because we allow a customer to top up if needed. Our flexible and commonsense approach to lending often allows us to navigate around any issues.

What do you think is the most important attribute in a good BDM?

Great customer service – I make sure I respond to everyone and that I am contactable and there when my clients need me. I’ve also worked at Together for almost 12 years now, so my experience and knowledge means I can give a quick response, so brokers know what next steps are needed.

When you’re unavailable to contact via telephone, what’s the second-best way for brokers to get in touch?

Just leave me a message or drop me an email. You’ll always get a response the same day. We also have a great new business team based at our headquarters who work closely with us to help with enquiries.

If you were head of the FCA for the day, what would you change about regulation in the mortgage industry?

It’s important we keep customers’ needs central to what we do, ensuring the best outcomes for them. It’s also important to keep things consistent and simple so that everyone understands what is required – that goes for customers, brokers and lenders. Whilst I wouldn’t necessarily change this, I’d want to ensure there’s clarity.

What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career?

My motivation for the role came from my desire to work in this industry and for Together. As a company they recognise hard work and commitment, so thankfully I’m just one of many within the business that are lucky to have been able to progress and build a career. I’m very honored to represent the business on a daily basis to all I meet. I enjoy business development in the property and finance industry because there is such a huge product base, meaning you can help so many different people, and it’s a fast-paced industry that keeps me on my toes.

How do you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers?

I’m honest and I work hard to ensure that the brokers I work with recognise my dedicated to providing a quality service to help them to grow their business and deliver completions.

What’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?

My eldest boy who is about to turn five asks lots of strange questions and they generally always end in “yes or not daddy?”

And finally, what did you want to be growing up?

I wanted to play football for Blackburn Rovers – there are days when I still think I might have a chance!

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