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Know Your BDM: Julia Pulford, LMS

  • 22/05/2023
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Know Your BDM: Julia Pulford, LMS
This week, Mortgage Solutions is speaking with Julia Pulford, business development manager (BDM) at LMS.

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

We regularly speak to brokers, lenders and law firms but we also liaise with their networks, which can be vast. Those firms and networks are spread widely across the UK and as we are an agnostic provider of services to the whole conveyancing industry. 


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

As a BDM, some of the key skills needed are being personable, approachable and authentic. 

When I used to work in recruitment for senior finance roles, a colleague highlighted that people enjoy talking about themselves, and I’ve always found the advice useful. The stakeholders we talk to are just people, and by engaging with them on a relatable level they are more likely to open up, listen and want to hear from you in the future.  

The phrase “people buy from people” comes down to building those fundamental relationships, which means it’s important to develop those skills. 


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

Building relationships and meeting with brokers regularly is an important part of my role but what’s equally essential is being able to maintain those connections.  

I’m always trying to improve my organisational skills to ensure all relationships are preserved and any follow-up actions or catch-up meetings are managed in a timely manner.  

On a more personal note, I’d love to improve my social media skills. I started a home improvement Instagram account during lockdown and realised engagement content is an ever-changing landscape. This is the same for LinkedIn. I am typical of having the selfie fear and reluctant to post video content of myself but learning how to improve and adapt those skills and breakdown the self-conscious barriers would be advantageous. 


What’s the hardest part of your job? 

Getting some face-to-face time in a post-pandemic world can be trickier than it used to be.  

Face-to-face meetings are preferable because you have more control over the situation, but they are also more personable and influential. Such meetings are vital in having a successful conversation. 

But I do find it challenging especially with customers spread across the country and some may prefer virtual interaction instead.  


What do you love most about your job? 

I enjoy taking part in exhibitions as it’s a great way to meet up with different broker networks. It gives me the opportunity to better understand their story, needs and discuss solutions. 


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

One of the most valuable pieces of career advice I’ve received was from the chief commercial officer during my time in investment banking. He was a major advocate for not being afraid to make mistakes.  

It’s something that is reiterated here at LMS, as Nick Chadbourne and Travis Scholes use the phrase ‘fail fast’ meaning if something isn’t working, move on and learn from the mistake. They’re very encouraging and supportive of autonomous creativity. Travis challenges us all the time to be the decision maker as opposed to just doing what you’re told. This is a smart strategy for self-development. 


How do you keep up to date with developments in the market? 

I enjoy reading the news and find that signing up for newsletters is particularly useful.  

This is a fundamental and valuable piece of learning and development for me, especially when speaking with brokers and other networks. It helps me understand what’s going on in the market and how these will affect our clients and, ultimately, their customers. 

Outside of that, I follow and interact with our brokers and networks on LinkedIn and the conversations I get to have with the stakeholders directly is invaluable.  


How are you supporting the requirements of the brokers? 

Brokers come in all shapes and sizes, as do the networks and clubs that support them. Our job is to get them access to information and make the transaction transparent and efficient. We understand a poor conveyancing experience can affect a relationship with a customer and as such we need to and have created bespoke solutions for our brokers and networks to protect that relationship. 


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

We are set up to provide tailored support to brokers, but there are some potential partners who have more niche requests that we might not necessarily offer. 

When such niche enquiries come through instead of turning the opportunity down, we make sure to find a way to address the request and find a solution for our customers. 


What was your motivation for choosing this career? 

Prior to joining LMS, I worked in multiple sectors, predominantly in financial services, but also in recruitment and premier league football, but my roles were relationship management focused. It was something that came naturally to me and I enjoyed it. 

Before LMS, I hadn’t worked in mortgages or conveyancing, so every day is a learning curve, and that was one of the motivations for making the switch.  


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

A property renovator.  

During lockdown, my husband and I had just moved into an old Victorian house and had to renovate it almost entirely from the ground up. 

The property was 100 years old, so it ended up being a complete renovation and construction development project. We had to bring it back to life while restoring its original features. 

Although the process was painful, it was incredibly rewarding being able to make a property into our home and it’s something that I’ll do all over again. 


What did you want to be growing up? 

When I was in secondary school, I was really into performing arts. We had an agent and a dance company represent us and we would do different live and stage performances. That was my first passion.  


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

Teleportation. I would love to be able to teleport myself wherever, whenever so I could make every weekend a new adventure. 

I love to travel, so I could try different food and experience new cultures with just a click of my fingertips. 


What is your strategy for tackling challenges? 

Persistence is key, but never in a pushy fashion.  

For example, if a perspective client turns an opportunity down this decision should be respected but equally that doesn’t mean that the answer won’t change in the future. Although it’s “no” for now, it’s always worth keeping in touch and connecting on LinkedIn to support the journey they take. Aim to catch up in a couple of months to see where they are and if anything has changed. 

Continuing to maintain a level of engagement which is supportive and authentic is essential rather than being persistent to a level that’s annoying and makes people unsubscribe. 


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

Some of the strangest questions I’ve ever been asked would come from my children. Especially when playing the Q&A game “would you rather”, they form some bizarre questions like “would you rather eat a mouse or a spider? 


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