How many advisers and broker firms do you cover in your role?
My postcode region covers from Peterborough in Cambridge, east to Norfolk and down through Suffolk, Essex and Kent. I currently support in excess of 200 broker and introducer firms in that area.
How do you successfully organise and deal with business on a daily basis?
The key is to plan and be organised, so I typically try and arrange most of my appointments at least two weeks ahead.
I aim to book at least three meetings per day if possible and I always try to ensure brokers are aware of my availability by updating my out of office on emails and the message on my phone with relevant contact details in my absence.
I call back everyone I miss calls from on the same day and I usually plan some extra time in to make those calls.
What issues come up time and time again?
One issue is not always being able to meet with key introducers on a face-to-face basis at short notice.
Because I plan my diary in advance it’s not always possible to change plans as quickly as I’d sometimes like to.
I will do my best to squeeze in an extra appointment but it’s not always possible, although I have been known to trash my meticulous planning to dash off and pick up an ID if required.
What do you wish brokers understood about your job?
As above. There’s only one of me to go around. I try to spend more time at the start with brokers new to the bank to give them a good understanding of UTB’s products, underwriting criteria, processes and service level agreements.
Also, as I’m not mandated, I strive to ensure any new enquiries or cases are thoroughly reviewed and credit sanctioned subject to valuation before they are submitted.
What do you think is the most important attribute of a good BDM?
Having been in the industry for 19 years and a BDM for 14 of them I would say to never over promise and under deliver. Set reasonable expectations and follow through with any actions you have agreed.
Know your clients and your brokers and build a mutual respect with transparency, integrity and honesty in your dealings with them.
When you’re unavailable to be contacted by telephone, what’s the second-best way for brokers to get in touch?
Email is best. It gives the broker the opportunity to provide a full synopsis of an enquiry if I’m in a meeting.
However, one of the bank’s main USPs is the experience of the underwriting teams in mortgages and bridging. There’s always someone in the internal sales team on hand to help brokers with any questions or to discuss a proposal.
What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career?
The opportunity to meet and work with interesting and driven people, and each day being different. As a BDM you have to be a great salesperson and that means being able to relate to various different personalities and scenarios.
The flexibility of the role is also a great advantage.
How do you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers?
For me its about setting levels of expectations with my brokers. I try to see my key introducers every one to two months but I aim to make each meeting beneficial to them.
I like to think I can be a useful sounding board and if deals don’t quite meet the criteria, I can suggest an alternative approach. It’s about adding value.
And how do you establish and maintain good relationships internally?
One of the great things about working for UTB is that the office is 200 miles closer to home than my previous job.
I aim to go into the office at least once a week and I call in at least once a day. The bank is very focused on the wellbeing of their staff and organises regular events to get all the teams mixing.
What’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?
During the heatwave last summer, I was asked if I wanted an ice cream and to use the paddling pool when on a visit to a broker. It was an unusual but very welcome and unexpected offer.
And finally, what did you want to be growing up?
As a child I never really had a specific job or role that I wanted to do when I grew up. For a while I wanted to own a bakery and sell cupcakes but now this is just a hobby when I have some free time.
However, as I have a six-year-old boy those opportunities are few and far between.