How many advisers and broker firms do you cover in your role?
I am responsible for more than 1,200 intermediaries located across the East Midlands covering the following postcodes: PE, LE, DE, NG, LN, DN, S, HD and WF, which keeps me pretty busy.
How do you successfully organise and deal with business daily?
I maintain a daily schedule of booked appointments and make sure e-mails are checked regularly throughout the day. I need to be able to react to requests for help from brokers as and when they arrive.
I maintain a to do list that I work through to make sure that all queries and follow-ups are answered in a timely fashion. Sometimes scheduling meetings and responding to requests and queries can feel a bit like keeping several plates spinning at the same time, but I’m pleased to say that I haven’t dropped any yet.
What issues come up time and time again?
Explaining to brokers that, as a specialist lender, we can deal with people with impaired credit histories. There is still a misconception that such clients cannot get a mortgage and simply have to wait for their adverse details to finally be removed from their credit records.
Brokers also inevitably want to know about timescales, because quite often an application has already been submitted to a mainstream lender and may have failed credit score, before being submitted to Magellan. The clock may already have been ticking for several weeks before the deal lands on our desk.
Brokers also want to discuss paperwork and check what supporting documentation is required.
What do you wish brokers understood about your job?
My role is to help brokers and I will do everything within my power to help them submit a successful application. I then work very closely with our underwriters to make sure they have all the relevant information to make the final decision regarding the mortgage application.
I will always do my level best, but I can never guarantee a yes every time.
What do you think is the most important attribute of a good BDM?
It goes without saying that good communication skills and a good understanding of a broker’s business are essential prerequisites. It also helps to be a bit of a diplomat, which not only means being able to build positive long-term relationships, but also being able to deliver the occasional bad news when needs be.
As with many jobs, a sense of humour and the ability to laugh always helps.
When you’re unavailable to contact by telephone, what’s the second-best way for brokers to get in touch?
Email is always a good option as I check my inbox throughout the day.
If a broker needs an immediate answer, they should contact Sarah who is our mortgage helpdesk manager and her team in head office, who are always happy to help.
All our contact details are available on the Magellan website.
If you were head of the FCA for the day, what would you change about regulation in the mortgage industry?
I would make it easier for everyone to understand what is required of them, as there is still a lot of confusion and misunderstanding in the industry.
What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career?
I come from an adviser background and it seemed a logical step to take. I was always someone who liked problem solving and I quickly got to know which lenders and BDMs would help with my business.
As a BDM I get to use both my knowledge of the mortgage market and my understanding of the underwriting process to help intermediaries place business with us. And nothing beats that feeling of getting those challenging cases successfully through to completion.
How do you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers?
I am a good listener. My priority is to find out about a broker’s business and what help they may require to generate and process more mortgage business. I then build on that information and knowledge and maintain regular contact with them thereafter.
I find that having experienced what it is like to be the other side of the desk is a great icebreaker and immediately creates a bond with brokers.
And how do you establish and maintain good relationships internally?
I am getting to know the head office team at Magellan and they are a pretty friendly bunch. A team curry on my second day in the company was a big help.
What’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?
Does my wife need to know about my other family?
And finally, what did you want to be growing up?
I wanted to be a journalist. I think I was attracted to the profession because I am fascinated to hear people’s stories and love to travel.
However, I guess being a BDM has fulfilled both those desires.