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Know Your BDM: Richard Pugh, Pepper Money

  • 04/07/2022
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Know Your BDM: Richard Pugh, Pepper Money
This week, Mortgage Solutions is speaking with Richard Pugh, regional development manager (RDM) for the North West at Pepper Money.

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

I am covering the North West of England with more than 2,000 brokers within the region. 


How have you changed the way you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers during (and after) the pandemic? 

The pandemic has definitely changed the way people work and increased the pace at which we adopt new technology. The biggest change is accepting that the way we work will never return to how it used to be and that we all need to respect how people choose to work in the new environment. Since the pandemic the acceptance of virtual meetings now has meant we can reach and communicate with more brokers more frequently. And this is the biggest positive.  


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

Being able to understand and relate to the broker’s role. Listening to their challenges and providing solutions which will result in quick, efficient and effective outcomes for both the broker and client. 


What’s the hardest part of your job? 

Only being a few weeks into this new role, the hardest part at the minute is learning and remembering the lending policy.


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

My golf handicap. However, with two young kids that may have to wait a few more years but I will still make sure I get the occasional game in, when it’s not raining. 


Where would you rather be stuck, in bumper-to-bumper traffic, or back-to-back meetings that could have been an email, and why? 

Back-to-back meetings definitely. We have just spent so long without human interaction and as good as virtual, telephone and email communication is you cannot build relationships as well as in a room together. You will win business and help more clients by being in the room, rather than just on the end of the phone – and that’s why we choose this career path.


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

Treat people how you would expect to be treated. My dad told me this years and years ago. he always said respect is earned never to be expected.  


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

A first-time buyer in North Wales who was told by his parents when he moved out he had to take his 50 cows with him, so he was looking for property and lenders that would allow that. At the time of the case I had just moved into a BDM role, having been a city centre based mortgage advisor for five years, so it was a bit of an odd one for me. 


Tell us about your trickiest client – what happened and how did you resolve their problem(s)? 

Back in my branch days we had a client who was in a really tricky position after a family emergency and she attempted to hand her keys in as she couldn’t continue with the bills and costs of the mortgage. I had never dealt with anything like this but after a few hours on the phone to different departments we were able to agree a payment break and reduced costs via a repayment change for a set period of time to ease the pressure and allow the client to continue to live in the home until she could sell the property or find alternative plans. 


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

The people you meet, the relationships you build and the support you can provide in helping people and families to achieve their goals. These are the main drivers to go into business development. 


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

Probably a similar role just in a country where it doesn’t rain 90 per cent of the time. Dodging the weather can be the hardest part of this role. 


What did you want to be growing up? 

Policeman, but then I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 10 and at that time they wouldn’t allow you in unless you met really strict criteria. 


What makes you laugh? 

Good company and time with family and friends.


What’s your favourite face paint design, or pattern to wear? 

If you asked me that three years ago, I would say none but now having two kids who love the zoo I would probably always end up choosing a lion purely because the kids both love animals.


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

Invisibility, to grab the occasional five minutes peace from the kids shouting daddy all the time and asking ‘why?’ every time someone speaks. 


What’s your cure for a rainy day or hangover? 

Hangover cure is definitely food most often pizza and rainy day is TV and games with the kids. 


What, or who, inspires you? 

My dad. He showed me and my sister from a very young age that hard work pays off and you can achieve anything you want to with hard work and determination. All the advice he gave to me as a teenager, which I laughed at back then, is now proving to be true, and it inspires me. 


What has been your non-work-related greatest achievement (except for your children, if you have any)? 

Proposing to my now wife Rachel during our US West Coast road trip in Laguna Beach. She had always wanted to go to Laguna Beach so being able to propose there was a special moment. 


What makes a great colleague? 

Someone who is supportive, challenges you to do better, but is always on the other end of the phone if help is needed. Oh and who enjoys a pint. 


Name your favourite restaurant and why you love it. 

Bacaro, an Italian restaurant in Liverpool. Italian food is my favourite, and this is the best one I have found so far. I’m always on the hunt for the next best one.


And finally, what’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked and how did you answer it? 

The face paint question during this interview. And hopefully I answered it okay.

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