How many advisers and broker firms do you cover in your role?
Currently we have around 100 brokers which we have ongoing relationships with and in such a big patch as the south of England, I can only see this number growing.
How do you successfully organise and deal with business on a daily basis?
I plan in advance: ensuring I am visible and accessible to brokers is paramount to my role. I also allocate dedicated time slots to deal with matters such as responding to and making phone calls and emails. It’s also trying to keep some elements flexible and contingent, just in case the odd emergency crops up – and believe me, they do crop up.
What issues come up time and time again?
The inability to contact a customer directly when trying to respond to a query they have. The other thing is receiving meeting requests from brokers on only a day’s notice.
What do you wish brokers understood about your job?
The time required to carry out the job effectively.
What do you think is the most important attribute of a good BDM?
Knowing our products and risk appetite inside-out is very important – that way, you can respond efficiently, quickly and consistently to any queries raised.
When you’re unavailable to be contacted by telephone, what’s the second-best way for brokers to get in touch?
Email or contact the office is the next best way to get in touch. Our in-house sales support team are always willing to take calls.
If you were head of the FCA for the day, what would you change about regulation in the mortgage industry?
I would give intermediaries more support in reducing the costs associated with compliance. Policy and regulation can often be left open for interpretation and ensuring there are no grey areas is key in delivering a clear and concise message to market.
What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career?
Initially, it was wishing to be recognised for doing a good job and I also get a buzz out of building profitable relationships from a standing start.
How do you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers?
By being consistent. It’s as simple as always returning a call or email promptly. Honesty, reliability and integrity, while placing everyone’s best interests at heart are all values that form the best relationships.
And how do you establish and maintain good relationships internally?
I treat colleagues as I would wish to be treated and always show respect and fairness.
What’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?
Do I look good in a dress? (“Depends on the colour,” in case you are wondering about the answer.)
And finally, what did you want to be growing up?
A train driver, then a footballer, then a rock star, which is most unlikely, now. (never, say never – ed.)