How many advisers and broker firms do you cover in your role?
This is a new role so it is multiplying every day and week from a standing start. I specifically cover North West London, which is an important geographical area for us, and I deal with all types of broker firms from one-man bands to large businesses.
How do you successfully organise and deal with business on a daily basis?
We have restructured the team based in London because we were so busy. Now I focus on London while Danny Robinson, our new head of commercial, oversees the South of England. There will be further BDM roles created over the next 12 months to enable us meet demand nationwide and maintain our high levels of service and personal approach.
Which issues come up time and time again?
The same issues don’t come up time and time again as the brokers we deal with come from a diverse range of businesses with their own particular needs. We’re here to help brokers with their most difficult cases and that’s what we are good at. I like to think that we are an extension to their business. If we can take away some of the stress of complex cases and pay the broker a competitive fee then it’s a win-win situation.
What do you wish brokers understood about your job?
It is my job to understand brokers not the other way around. I am here to help and support them so there’s nothing I wish they understood about my job. Most of them are massively busy and have to be immersed in their work on a daily basis, so they don’t always have the time to step back and look at their own business in the same way I can. Hopefully I am able to show them potential opportunities and support them with complex cases.
What do you think is the most important attribute in a good BDM?
The best attribute is being able to understand the needs of a broker, which I can do as I have been one myself. You also need to be a great communicator and able to make things happen when you say you will.
When you’re unavailable to contact via telephone, what’s the second best way for brokers to get in touch?
I try to be available as much as possible and will always return calls. Plus our head office staff will always ensure that messages get to me.
If you were head of the FCA for the day, what would you change about regulation in the mortgage industry?
I would make sure that lenders were more accountable for the products that they create!
What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career?
I was interested in developing my commercial ability and knowledge as well as helping brokers to diversify their income. I also like meeting and talking to new people, and take satisfaction from helping a client with complex funding requirements to secure the deal they need.
How do you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers?
Communication is the key. You have to make yourself available to brokers and you need to ensure you are keeping them up to date with new products, new lenders and changes to criteria. They rely on you to help them with challenging cases so to maintain a relationship you have to earn their trust and keep it by doing the best job you can on every single case.
And how do you establish and maintain good relationships internally?
Again it’s communication. I speak to the directors and other members of the TFC team on a daily basis, plus I see them regularly in London and Warrington. We are a small, close team so we don’t have problems with hierarchy that I have experienced in larger organisations. We all share our opinions freely which makes for a great working relationship.
What’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?
I actually haven’t been asked any. All the questions that brokers ask me are pretty sensible and relevant. Or maybe I am just too new in the role to have been asked anything really out of the ordinary yet!
And finally, what did you want to be growing up?
An airline pilot.