How many brokers and broker firms do you cover in your role?
We have more than 1,200 intermediaries and firms registered. Between Christy (our other business development manager) and I we cover them all. We don’t split geographical areas but work on relationships making sure that the firms and individuals receive a personal friendly service.
How do you successfully organise and deal with business on a daily basis?
I try to ensure that my inbox is clear and I have a to-do list written for the next day. If I can’t see the bottom of my inbox by the end of the week I am in for a late Friday.
What issues come up time and time again?
Our lending area. As a regional lender it’s the most common thing to get questioned about and it is still Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Essex, Northamptonshire, Suffolk and Norfolk (except Canvey Island).
What do you wish brokers understood about your job?
Most are pretty good and understand that both I and the team are working as hard as we can to help get the right outcome for them and their customers. If you pressed me, the one thing is that we both try to call people back as soon as we can but can’t always do it immediately.
What do you think is the most important attribute in a good BDM?
Patience, humility and remembering that you have two ears and one mouth.
When you’re unavailable to contact via telephone, what’s the second best way for brokers to get in touch?
Use our brilliant business development adviser team; they work incredibly hard and pickup more than 80% of calls in under 30 seconds. Alternatively, we have a live chat facility and the search facility on our new website makes it easy to answer simple queries.
If you were head of the FCA for the day, what would you change about regulation in the mortgage industry?
Make sure that common sense was a pre-requisite for intermediaries, underwriters and customers alike.
What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career?
I like talking to people, helping them and being able to vary my day from just sitting behind a desk. The opportunity to get into the car and get out into the patch is just brilliant – unless traffic is bad.
How do you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers?
Talk to them, listen to them and make sure that they get an answer either yes or no as quickly as is possible. If I can’t help them with their query then I try to find someone that can.
And how do you establish and maintain good relationships internally?
I have a good ability to step back from situations and problems and work out where the best result can come from. Really though, the best way to maintain internal relationships is to act in the same way you would with external customers.
What’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?
Is London not in Cambridgeshire?
And finally, what did you want to be growing up?
Christy wanted to be an air hostess for Emirates or BA and I actually found a school report the other day where I had written I wanted to play for Manchester United reserves as a goalkeeper. I’m not sure why, as I didn’t even support them, but at least I was realistic about my footballing ability.