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Know Your BDM: Louise Apollonio, Magellan Homeloans

  • 08/11/2017
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Know Your BDM: Louise Apollonio, Magellan Homeloans
This week Mortgage Solutions is talking to Louise Apollonio, business development manager at Magellan Homeloans.

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

I don’t have a specific number. I manage Magellan’s north-west region, from Blackpool in the north and almost as far as Birmingham.


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

Being organised is key, and I am meticulously organised and methodical – something that probably comes from my days as an underwriter for Mortgages PLC. I make sure I strike the ideal balance between giving brokers a level of face-to-face time and time to get back to people during the day. I couldn’t live without my car’s hands-free set.
What issues come up time and time again?

We share the same frustrations as brokers that the time taken to bring together all the paperwork needed to get to approval stage can sometimes be too long. At the end of the day we’re all working towards the same goal – to get a mortgage in place for a client. I’m sure some of the delays we all experience can be avoided, but when they do occur we try as best as we can to help brokers manage expectations with their clients. I want to work with brokers to help speed up the process, because their input is vital.


What do you wish brokers understood about your job?

Because I have a good relationship with my brokers I’m comfortable that they understand my job well. They know I will do my best to help, and if there’s anything they don’t understand about my job, or what we do at Magellan, I’m always at the end of a phone or on email.
What do you think is the most important attribute of a good BDM?

Always getting back to brokers by returning calls and emails. I know that is one of the biggest gripes for most brokers. Being an intermediary must sometimes feel like being caught between the devil and the deep blue sea, and as a BDM it’s important to help brokers manage their clients’ expectations.
When you’re unavailable to contact by telephone, what’s the second-best way for brokers to get in touch?

Definitely email, I will always respond to a broker as soon as possible when I become free. Even if I don’t have an answer for them there and then I will give them an update.
If you were head of the FCA for the day, what would you change about regulation in the mortgage industry?

I think regulation is about right at the moment. As a specialist lender, Magellan feels comfortable with the fact that we are operating within the same appropriately regulated framework as high street lenders. Tighter regulation across the entire industry has actually worked in our favour because it has helped borrowers see that specialist mortgage providers are a real alternative to the high street.


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

My earlier career was as a regional underwriter before I moved into business development, so working with brokers to help them with their day-to-day business and develop additional income streams is something I’ve always been passionate about. Becoming a BDM was a natural progression for me, using my experience to help brokers.
How do you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers?

Whether it’s establishing or maintaining good relationships with brokers, I work hard to build trust. I do this by being knowledgeable about Magellan’s products and having a deep understanding of our industry. Along with trust, I believe it’s important to be honest and upfront as well, to help give brokers the support and guidance they need to help them place cases for their clients. And last but by no means least, all relationships need communication to thrive and survive.
And how do you establish and maintain good relationships internally?

This is all about communication as well. My internal relationships are successful because I understand and empathise with my colleagues and the pressures they face in their jobs, and I talk to them every day. Ultimately, we’re all working together to achieve the same result.
What’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?

It has to be the time I was doing a training session with an insurance broker, and at the end of the session one of the advisers asked: “If a UFO crashed into the garden and broke the garden furniture would the client be covered on the policy?”
And finally, what did you want to be growing up?

I always wanted to be a singer, although with my voice I have done everyone a favour by not pursuing it as a career.


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