From my first day at the kitchen table with a laptop and mobile I was full of enthusiasm as I started Edinburgh Mortgage so I went at it like a rocket.
I set up, hired the wrong person, got a poor office and advertised as if there was no tomorrow. Fifteen months later I had learned some pretty hard and expensive lessons and was once again ensconced at home working from a now newly-converted garage.
If it had not been for the help of Kevin Duffy, the MortgageForce team and especially Lin Jones, I might not be here, but I was determined to payback their support. The right network and support is a lynchpin to success as a broker.
I needed leads and quality ones, so the website I had written myself, got an almighty professional upgrade. I got myself on social media, joined networking groups and started to build relationships. Talking of which, this also prompted a rethink in how I treated BDMs. From my previous lender background I had come to it that brokers only used BDMs to fix things. My mistake. Today I try to focus on what we can write and look to avoid what will cause both issues. This attitude and not having to set an alarm clock to book funds has improved things greatly. I continue to work at this.
The business had grown and I needed someone to support the administration function and one of the best BDMs said they might know someone who could be just what I was looking for. Maryann came in to the business for the next 2 years, you can only imagine my relief on her very first morning she came in took a Coventry app out of my hands and said ‘I’ll do that’. The right person is so important, none more so than the people who take your brand out there on your behalf.
Finding the next broker was a struggle, some came and went, failing to reach the standard needed, but I knew the right person was there and so it turned out when Chris and more recently Kevin came to the business bringing quality and hard work. They have set us on a footing that has meant that we can grow. We now have a growth focused training scheme, with trainee brokers joining our industry and a case management team with development plans to action. We want to be a company that invests in its people.
The business has, from that day I moved back home, doubled in size every year and I sit writing how to do it again next year. It’ll be fun trying.
Mark Dyason is the director of Edinburgh Mortgage Advice