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Know Your BDM: Heidi Deaton, Leeds Building Society

  • 04/11/2019
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Know Your BDM: Heidi Deaton, Leeds Building Society
This week, Mortgage Solutions speaks to Heidi Deaton, business development manager at Leeds Building Society.


What locations and how many advisers and broker firms do you cover in your role?

I cover a proportion of both North and West Yorkshire broker firms, including those in Harrogate, Leeds, Bradford and Wakefield.


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

Providing a great service is a sure fire way of building relationships so that means being quick to respond to enquiries and issues. 

It’s important to remain as honest and upfront as possible and keep my promises. Regular face-to-face contact and telephone or email helps to maintain those good relationships.


What personal talent/skill is most valuable in doing your job?

Organisational and inter-personal skills are key. Being on the road means I need to organise and plan my days in advance, taking into consideration time between appointments to assist and reply to any enquiries.

Being approachable and friendly are also important skills, but listening to brokers and their customers is vital because not everyone’s circumstances and needs are the same.


What personal talent/skill would you most like to improve on?

Understanding all of our competitors’ criteria is an area I’d like to improve on, but finding the time to look into it can be challenging. 

We’re all about delivering great service to our brokers and having the knowledge of other lenders’ criteria is particularly helpful when brokers come to me with a case another lender may be able to help with if we’re unable to do so on that occasion.


What’s the best bit of career-related advice you’ve ever been given?

It’s a simple piece of advice: Do what makes you happy. You spend a large proportion of your time working so it’s important not to spend that time unhappy.


What is the most interesting/memorable property deal you’ve been involved in?

One that sticks in my mind was earlier in my career when I was advising independently. I had been assisting a family with their mortgage and there had been a delay in funds being released. They were in the removal van waiting for the keys and I worked endlessly that morning talking to the solicitors and lender to make things happen to ensure the transaction was completed. 

Understandably, it was a stressful time for them and I was pleased to be able to help. They sent me a huge bunch of flowers and card to thank me, which made it memorable.


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

In a nutshell, simplify it. It’s often far more complicated than it needs to be.


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

I really enjoyed being a mortgage adviser – the journey and satisfaction of helping someone buying their own home was brilliant.

The benefit of this role is combining those elements of the job with being able to build relationships everyday with brokers and having the freedom from being stuck behind a desk.


If you could do any other job in the property sector, what would it be and why?

It would probably be an estate agent for luxury homes. I’d really like to look around other people’s homes.


What did you want to be growing up?

An interior designer. Although I’m sure my husband’s delighted I didn’t pursue that career as he tells me we have far too many cushions in the house as it is.


If you could have one super power, what would it be?

Time travel. If only I could see what the rollover lottery numbers were going to be.


And finally, what’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?

It would probably be this one.

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