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Know Your BDM: Harriet Smith, Masthaven

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  • 15/05/2018
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Know Your BDM: Harriet Smith, Masthaven
This week Specialist Lending Solutions is speaking with Harriet Smith, business development manager at Masthaven.

 

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

My patch is larger than most as I cover a lot of miles. Although it’s tough to give an exact number, I regularly speak with at least 60 firms on average and this figure is growing all the time.

 

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

With an early start. Every day consists of checking in with yesterday’s terms issued and handling new enquiries. We do things differently at Masthaven as all the terms issued are credit backed so I can usually be found at my laptop in the driver’s seat in a car park or at a coffee shop ensuring all terms are issued promptly.

 

What issues come up time and time again?

Client-side legal delays – it is crucial to ensure our clients carefully select a well-versed solicitor who has dealt with bridging previously. We are in the process of implementing a client-side legal panel which will be made up of well known, trusted partners who we have worked successfully with in the past. We hope this will minimise any potential delays and make the process much easier and quicker for our partners.

 

What do you wish brokers understood about your job?

It’s harder than it looks. Although the award nights and cookie deliveries are a fun side to the job, there is a lot of preparation and long hours that go into this role plus there is a lot of time spent away from home. It’s certainly not for everyone, but for me the positives far outweigh the negatives.

 

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

Reliability – we need to respond to brokers in a timely and consistent fashion, offer transparent information and deliver on the promises we make. I am able to have very open conversations with our partners and this allows us to build very meaningful long-term relationships in order to deliver the best results possible.

 

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

We have an internal sales team with a broker background who are permanently based in our head office. They are able to provide an urgent response if I am unavailable.

 

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

I would focus on building industry knowledge around bridging products and provide brokers with the tools and information necessary to ensure bridging is consistently considered a viable funding option. With rates as low as 0.48% and a 1 month minimum, it can be more cost effective for a client than other alternatives over a shorter term.

 

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

I am definitely a people person. I am energised by different conversations with people from different areas and walks of life and I like the change of scenery. I am made to feel at home in my broker’s offices so get I the benefit of this without needing to see the same offices every day. I also enjoy the fact no two bridging loans are the same and this variety really appeals to me.

 

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

It is about making promises which can be delivered and backing up what has been said – the proof is very much in the pudding. The key to a good relationship is to work closely and maintain open communication with the broker and underwriters/credit teams so that we can resolve any issues which may come up.

 

And how do you establish and maintain good relationships internally?

We have a brilliant team so it doesn’t feel like any effort. I help underwriting where I can and they do the same for me as we all have the same goal and all work hard to provide successful completions.

 

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

There are too many. They usually relate to weird and wonderful assets.

 

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

My mum always knew I would have manager in my title – I was always managing her and my family, usually just to get what I wanted.  I never had any particular industry in mind however my family has a financial services and business background so it’s no surprise I have ended up in the same industry.

 

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