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Know Your BDM: Jane Atkins, Kensington

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  • 20/10/2015
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Know Your BDM: Jane Atkins, Kensington
Mortgage Solutions’ Know Your BDM series gives brokers the chance to get to know their local business development managers a little better. In the hot seat this week is Jane Atkins, business development manager for the Midlands region at Kensington Mortgages.

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

I manage the Midlands region and work closely with our excellent telephone team to support all brokers in the area. I personally work closely with 150 key firms.

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

Forward planning is essential in a BDM role. I like to see around 12 to 16 firms a week and attend as many team meetings as I can. At the same time, returning calls and emails is so important, so I always allow time in between visits.

What issues come up time and time again?

As Kensington underwrites every case on its own merits, many brokers ask what documentation they need to upload to support the application. The reality is that the process is straight forward. We have clear information about what documents are required on our website and will also provide a broker with our full list of requirements as part of our day-one assessment.

What do you wish brokers understood about your job?

I make time for all of the brokers I speak to, but this can mean that there is a lot of demand for my time.

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

Effective communication. Brokers want to talk to a BDM who can add value to their business and look for solutions to assist their customers.

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

If I am unavailable to return a broker’s call I will put a voice message on my phone or out of office message on my email. If a broker can’t get in touch with me I would always recommend calling our business development unit in Reading. We have received feedback from brokers that Kensington has the best telephone support in the business.

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

I would introduce a team to work with lenders and brokers to encourage innovation within the regulatory framework.

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

I have always worked in financial services and generally have a passion for the mortgage industry. Business development is perfect for me as each day is different. It enables me to meet a variety of brokers and help them with their complex cases.

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

I am a believer that people buy people, so I like to build up a personal relationship. It goes without saying that honesty, integrity and having a good knowledge of criteria is key.

And how do you establish and maintain good relationships internally?

I am lucky to work with a talented team of industry professionals. We have very experienced underwriters at Kensington who are able to make decisions and apply a common sense approach. I speak to them ‘all day every day’ as we work together as team to support our intermediary customers.

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

I have been asked a few. A couple that spring to mind are “Will you lend on a mobile home?” and “Will you lend to 9.99999 x income?”

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

A princess and own a sweet shop (I was three years old).

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