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Know Your BDM: Michael Blake, BM Solutions

  • 17/08/2020
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Know Your BDM: Michael Blake, BM Solutions
This week, Mortgage Solutions is talking to Michael Blake, business development manager for the North West at BM Solutions.


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

My typical patch covers roughly 700 advisers, 275 brokers within the North West region. Obviously we’re not travelling at the moment, but we’re still doing everything we can to continue providing the best possible service.


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

I have a genuine interest in my brokers and the business they have set up, and my passion is to be there to offer help and guidance wherever I can. As you can expect the relationship has been slightly different in the current environment. Although returning phone calls has always been a priority, it’s more important than ever at the moment to get back to brokers promptly and guide them in whatever way I can.


What personal skill is most valuable in doing your job?

I think in this role determination is most valuable – we come against several challenges on a daily basis, which is part of the job, so being determined, and having a ‘can do’ attitude really helps.


What personal skill would you most like to improve on?

I’m really committed to my own personal development and making sure that am the best BDM I can be so that I can help and support the team and brokers through continually maintaining and updating my knowledge of the mortgage market.


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

The best bit of advice I have received, both in career and life is to ‘always go with your gut instinct’. This has helped me in my career as I left a role as branch manager with a previous company to join Lloyds Banking Group as a mortgage adviser. Although that was a step back in my career, I trusted my gut and that led me to where I am now, as becoming a BDM has always been my goal.


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

The most memorable property deal I have been involved in was supporting a broker who had issues with a case that had been declined by underwriting. After listening to both sides I managed to obtain enough supporting documents to get this case agreed and moved through to the mortgage offer stage that day. It was the most memorable as it helped me build a strong relationship with that broker and build trust which still runs to this day.


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

Wow – what a question, and what responsibility. I wouldn’t change much. I feel that sheer volume of regulatory change over the last few years has been enough to keep the sector busy enough at the moment.


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

As simple as it may sound, I have always been really good at getting on with people and being able to make relationships with new people. That really is what this job is about. I also have 13 years’ experience of working within the mortgage industry. I have seen how it has changed and developed over the years, but also how it has stayed the same in many respects.


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

I really love working in the property industry, so think I would have been a surveyor. If not for any reason, but to be able to see the different types of properties and construction in this country.


What did you want to be growing up?

I had ambitions of travelling the world, and leading a jet-set lifestyle, so I really wanted to be a pilot.  Instead I became a BDM – it’s almost the same.


If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

It would have been to fly or teleport, I can’t stand long flights and that would help me see the world a lot quicker.


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

“Do you do reverse freehold?” In 13 years of being in this industry I had never heard about it.


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