How many brokers do you speak to in a week?
Being a phone-based BDM, I have a panel of 370 brokers to look after in a number of geographical locations including London, Gloucester and Cambridge. On average I’ll speak to over 100 of them each week.
What issues come up time and time again?
The affordability calculation is something I talk about a lot with my brokers. They usually want to check with me the sources of income we can and cannot accept, and what expenditure needs to be included and what doesn’t.
Another hot topic is first-time landlords. Brokers often want to know if we can accept applications from people who do not have a residential mortgage, which we can, and what information we need to assess their affordability.
Application packaging is another issue that generates a lot of conversations. I invest time with my brokers explaining exactly what is required to ensure their applications get processed smoothly.
Favourite part of your job?
I get a real kick out of helping my brokers to overcome potentially difficult cases. I really enjoy getting into the ‘nitty-gritty’ of individual cases to try and find a resolution. Often it’s things on affordability where we don’t deduct pension contributions and childcare costs that often proves to be the decisive factor.
In the fast world in which we live I guess it’s timescales. I understand the pressure that brokers are under from their customers to get their mortgages sorted, as I use to be a mortgage adviser myself. If we get a case correctly packaged at the outset, our processing times are very reliable and provide a really good customer experience.
Strangest question you have ever been asked?
I’ve had a few! A recent one was from a broker asking if it mattered that the kitchen in a studio flat was open-plan – the definition of a studio flat is that it is totally open-plan so I had to be very diplomatic explaining that one! I have also been offered a job – that’s because previous to this role I was a personal mortgage adviser for Norwich & Peterborough.
What do you wish brokers understood about your job?
The size of my panel means that I am not always immediately available. I am often on the phone – such is the nature of my role – but if they leave a voicemail I will always get back as quickly as I can.
I understand why brokers often want to talk to me urgently so I will always make sure I am responsive. All I would ask is that they have faith in me as that I will do everything I can to help and that they can rely on our published processing timescales. It’s useful to know that we update them daily on the home page of our web site.
Last film you saw at the cinema?
I think it must have been The Inbetweeners film last summer. I love going to the cinema but have been so busy that I haven’t been recently. I love films like 22 Jump Street that give me a good laugh at the end of a long week.
Least favourite sport?
Being quite sporty myself it’s a hard one to answer. I play football for Stalham Ladies FC here in Norfolk and am getting into cycling – not too much lycra at the moment though! But I think it must be cricket – I don’t understand the rules and it’s just a bit boring.
Current mobile phone?
I have two phones – one for work and one personal and they are both the iPhone 5c. Currently my most used app is MapMyRide.
Has to be a chocolate digestive – a classic!