How many advisers and broker firms do you cover in your role?
I cover a territory that stretches from South Yorkshire to Coventry and includes over 1,000 registered brokers. I don’t do this alone as all regions are supported by an internal BDM, Lisa Steele in my case, so a broker should always be able to get the service and assistance they need.
How do you successfully organise and deal with business on a daily basis?
Planning and preparation are certainly key to this role, along with the crucial support from internal departments and I will make time to speak to Lisa on a daily basis so we have a joined up plan.
As I spend a vast amount of time on the road, it is vital I organise my time effectively. Territory management plays a big part, along with meeting the right brokers and accounts. Having a well-planned day allows me to have enough time to work through priorities such as returning phone calls and emails as soon as possible.
What issues come up time and time again?
At the moment I think it’s the perceived complexity with portfolio lending. At Aldermore we try and make it as simple as possible by providing a buy-to-let calculator on the website which works everything out for the broker and even provides an alternative including ‘top slicing’ when rental doesn’t fit.
What do you wish brokers understood about your job?
That as a lender we can’t say ‘yes’ all the time. However, at Aldermore we have individual underwriters who take a human approach to lending which considers each applicant’s circumstances on an individual basis.
What do you think is the most important attribute of a good BDM?
Being both knowledgeable and dependable are definitely important attributes for a BDM. A broker knowing that you are fully committed to helping them and their business is a must to building relationships. We have to remember that without our brokers’ support we don’t have a business.
When you’re unavailable to be contacted by telephone, what’s the second-best way for brokers to get in touch?
We have several channels, however, when I’m not available the best way is by contacting their internal BDM support. Lisa supports me in the Midlands and is reliable and always happy to help. The best number to reach her on is 01625 543955.
If you were head of the FCA for the day, what would you change about regulation in the mortgage industry?
Later-life lending is an area that I believe needs to be addressed. As the retirement landscape continuously changes, I think both the regulator and providers need to adopt a holistic approach in order to keep pace with these developments.
What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career?
I started my career as an underwriter where I regularly dealt with intermediaries. Even though this was mainly a branch-based role, I still dealt with some face-to-face. I enjoyed building those relationships, some of which I still have today, and this was a big influence in my decision to choose business development as a career.
How do you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers?
You establish good relationships by understanding your broker’s needs, knowing how their business works and ultimately providing them with the opportunity to increase sales. It’s also vital that they know you are reliable and that when you say you will do something, you do it.
And how do you establish and maintain good relationships internally?
I think the key to this is working together as one team. This is established by regular contact through conference calls and office visits with internal departments. This not only builds working relationships, but provides vital feedback in order for us to develop our overall proposition.
What’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?
This is going back a few years but “Will you do a mortgage on a house boat?”
And finally, what did you want to be growing up?
A PE teacher. I love playing sport but I realised as a teacher I’d be spending all of the time on the side line.