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Know Your BDM: Andy Virgo, LendInvest

  • 03/04/2018
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Know Your BDM: Andy Virgo, LendInvest
This week Specialist Lending Solutions is speaking with Andy Virgo, business development manager at LendInvest.

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

I’ve approximately 70 active brokers I regard as my core distribution panel but I do have a huge patch. Outside of the core there are multiple conversations happening with numerous intermediaries about potential deals or enquiries


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

Planning is key so I mix my week up with four days out on the road and a day in my home office catching up. With the technology available to us these days it’s simple to deal with plenty of work while on the road and I’m often away for a night or two which helps.


What issues come up time and time again?

Traffic jams. I hate being late so always plan in extra time for a journey but sometimes the world seems to be out there on the road in front of me. That and the loss of phone signal mid-conversation.


What do you wish brokers understood about your job?

How hard it is to have an in-depth technical conversation whilst doing 70mph along the M4. That’s so tiring and sometimes I arrive at my journey end not realising how I’ve got there.

The BDM job is great. You’re in a different office every day with different people talking about a multitude of different topics and scenarios. I love it but sometimes that’s quite a hard way to work too.


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

Knowledge. You must know your products, processes, criteria, industry, competition, regulation, where the flex points are in underwriting and who to go to when you need a little help getting something done.


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

Email is best as a second option but LendInvest has an internal support team to deal with all enquiries and applications.

Applications can be made online and there is a raft of supporting information and help guides available.


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

Ask me one on sport please. No seriously, I personally think we’ve all had enough change for now, so I’d give the industry and our borrowers a break and some time to get used to the changes we’ve seen over the last few years.


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

I’m not really an office person and couldn’t turn up at the same workplace day-in day-out. I love being out and about and get to meet and work with some great people. I thrive on variety and you certainly get that in this job.


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

Communication, delivering on promises, try not to let them down and all with a good sense of humour. I’ve a few nicknames out in the broker world and take it all on the chin. For the record, I’ve not been on a sun bed since I was about 19.

When you’re a resource and of use to a broker the rest comes easy.


And how do you establish and maintain good relationships internally?

The key is getting to know everyone and make sure you talk to them when in HQ. I go in so rarely this isn’t the easiest of jobs and takes time.

Bonding over a few beers after work is usually the quickest way to build relationships. People deal with people they like and that goes for both internal and external relationships. I am very open and can be flamboyant so people normally remember me.


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

A broker once phoned me when on the way to visit them requesting a “huge bag full of chocolate please”. Of course I obliged. “Can you pick up a McDonalds before you get here?” has come up a few times, but by far the most popular two are: “Was your dad a snooker player” and “are you a Virgo?”


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

Certainly not a snooker player. My mum has a story that I once told my careers officer at a school parents evening that I wanted to be a film censor.

In my mind though I was only ever going to be a footballer.

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