How many advisers and broker firms do you cover in your role?
I cover the Essex area, which means there are a lot of brokers for me to get out and meet, and there is the added support of a telephone BDM.
How do you successfully organise and deal with business on a daily basis?
I was a mortgage adviser before joining Coventry for intermediaries so I’m adjusting to my new role at the moment and learning what works best. I try to book my diary at least a week ahead so that I can be productive and helpful while I’m on the road.
What issues come up time and time again?
It’s all about affordability. Brokers often have questions about proving affordability and how we do things at Coventry for Intermediaries.
What do you wish brokers understood about your job?
Brokers are great to work with and they recognise that we are all here to help. They want their queries dealt with immediately and that’s why our support team is there to help if I’m tied up in meetings.
What do you think is the most important attribute of a good BDM?
Understanding lending policy is vital. So is providing clear support and guidance. Time is money and brokers respect you more if you manage their expectations.
When you’re unavailable to be contacted by telephone, what’s the second-best way for brokers to get in touch?
Brokers will always be able to speak to someone who can help, even if it’s not me. If I’m busy my mobile diverts to our support team and every broker registered with us now has two BDMs. So brokers in my area can also speak to their telephone BDM, Sue.
If you were head of the FCA for the day, what would you change about regulation in the mortgage industry?
There have been so many changes to regulation in recent years I think some time without any further changes would be beneficial for the industry as a whole.
What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career?
I’d been a mortgage adviser for several years and I wanted a change of direction while still being able to talk about my favourite subject – mortgages. Becoming a BDM allows me to do just that while helping brokers to deliver our products and service to their clients.
How do you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers?
I’m genuinely interested in brokers’ businesses. This helps to build trust, as does my knowledge of the mortgage market and our lending policy. Having a good sense of humour always helps too.
And how do you establish and maintain good relationships internally?
I’ll always help colleagues when they need support; being a good team player is crucial in my view. We get together with regular team meetings where we also speak to colleagues from other areas of the business such as product and marketing.
What’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?
Someone once asked me where I grew up; I explained that my mum moved us from place to place around East London and Essex. They then asked what it was like to live in a caravan – I think they might’ve misunderstood me slightly.
And finally, what did you want to be growing up?
Like a lot of people, I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. I just fell into financial services and after nearly 30 years I’m still here – how time flies.