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Know Your BDM: Caroline Shard, Vernon Building Society

  • 17/01/2022
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Know Your BDM: Caroline Shard, Vernon Building Society
This week, Mortgage Solutions is speaking with Caroline Shard, business development manager at Vernon Building Society


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

I cover all advisers and brokers firms that are registered with the Society. As the only business development manager (BDM) for Vernon I cover all areas throughout the UK. 


How have you changed the way you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers in the pandemic?  

I came into the role at the start of the pandemic, so I haven’t really changed how I work. I keep in touch with our brokers on the phone or over video, as well as face-to-face where possible. 

We update advisers via email, social media, and through clubs and networks to ensure they’re kept up to date with criteria and product changes. 


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

I like people, I believe in good customer service and the importance of this in our sector.  

I’m very good at listening to the adviser and understanding their goal. Then I can look at how to use our products and criteria to ensure the right outcome is achieved for the society, adviser and most importantly the client. 


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

Self-belief. I’m my own worst critic in work and life. I always strive to do more and be better. I need to believe in myself more that I can achieve anything I put my mind to. 


Where would you rather be stuck, in bumper-to-bumper traffic or back-to-back Zoom calls?  

Back-to-back Zoom calls are great and a good way of speaking to advisers and getting myself and the Vernon out there. But nothing beats been out on the road and meeting people face-to-face. Plus, if you have a good playlist in the car the traffic jam becomes fun. 


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

To be myself. I’ve worked at the Vernon for 16 years and have had many roles. Being a BDM allows me to put my passion for mortgages and good customer service into practice. I don’t find my job hard work because it’s fun. 


What is the most quirky/unique property deal you’ve been involved in?  

I did a holiday let on a windmill once. It was a beautiful property, and the clients were really established in buy-to-let. We do the weird and wonderful at the Vernon, so there are always unique cases being discussed. 


What has been your lockdown coping strategy?  

Exercise. I’m an avid gym lover and once we went into lockdown this stopped. I took up running, walking, boxing and home workouts. It helps clear the mind after a busy day. 


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

I’ve worked in many roles in Vernon including business retention, mortgage advice, retail banking and underwriting.  

For me, business development gives me everything. I get to talk for a living about mortgages and the Vernon. I can have fun in my role, and I meet new and interesting people on the way.  


What did you want to be growing up?  

I always wanted to be a police officer, as I wanted to make a difference – and I liked the uniform. 


What’s your favourite face mask design/pattern to wear?  

A nice simple black mask to go with every outfit. 


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

I had a customer ask me once whether I had tried the pies in the bakery over the road. When I replied ‘no’ he didn’t say anything and looked disappointed and left.  

I thought I’d offended him but 10 minutes later he came back with two meat and potato pies and said ‘enjoy’. They were lovely as well. 


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