How many brokers and broker firms do you cover in your role?
Hard to put an exact number on it as we work with both packagers and brokers of varying sizes and geographical reach. Our panel has expanded recently after a number of requests following the national press coverage we received over Christmas, when we scrapped upper-age limits across all our products.
How do you successfully organise and deal with business on a daily basis?
I’m a bit of a whirlwind and tend to be doing three things at once at any given time. I like building personal relationships with our partners so I tend to pick up the phone and have a quick conversation over circulating hundreds of emails and documents. I work with a fantastic business development coordinator too who definitely helps me stay organised.
What issues come up time and time again?
It’s my job to respond to the issues our partners face and try and alleviate any problems they might have as their first point of call. These can be about time pressure and looking for an offer or mediating between the partner’s admin team and our underwriters over requirements. Most of the time I act to make sure the relationships run smoothly.
What do you wish brokers understood about your job?
As I cover the whole of England and Wales I can’t be in two places at once. If I could have one superpower it would definitely be the ability to teleport (no sitting in traffic jams again).
What do you think is the most important attribute in a good BDM?
Being able to see and understand all points of view making sure we get the best outcome for the client.
When you’re unavailable to contact via telephone, what’s the second-best way for brokers to get in touch?
I’m always pretty quick to return voicemails and missed calls although I’m increasingly using LinkedIn which more and more of our partners seem to be using. There’s also the partner hotline that goes straight through to the underwriters so they can answer any queries if I’m not around.
If you were head of the FCA for the day, what would you change about regulation in the mortgage industry?
Stop making regulation difficult for consumers.
What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career?
After a career with the society spanning 20 years in various roles both customer facing and in mortgage management, I have always played a key role in the society’s lending. I was once an adviser myself so I understand the challenges our brokers face. Having the opportunity to manage the society’s business development I can actively shape the way we lend and how we are able to grow in a manageable and sustainable way.
How do you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers?
Open and honest communication – it’s how we work. It sounds like a huge cliché but it’s what great relationships are made of.
And how do you establish and maintain good relationships internally?
We are a close knit team and all muck in when there’s work to get done. I try and get back to the office as much as possible to spend quality time with the rest of the team. I think it is essential to see the end to end process.
What’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?
I was in Debenhams the other day and got asked, ‘Does this come in an F cup?’ I must have one of those friendly approachable faces.
And finally, what did you want to be growing up?
I really wanted to be a vet. I adore animals but would be able to deal with the horrible parts of the job. I also recall suggesting I would make a great air hostess but I don’t like flying, which put that idea out of the question.