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Know Your BDM: Neil Cadwallader, Family BS

  • 02/08/2023
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Know Your BDM: Neil Cadwallader, Family BS
This week Mortgage Solutions is speaking with Neil Cadwallader, field business development manager (BDM) at Family Building Society.

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

I cover Gloucester and Cheltenham, south Wales and the South West of England, down to the Devon-Cornwall border. In my previous role as a BDM for Coventry Building Society I covered much of the same ground, so I know the mortgage brokers and other intermediaries well. In addition to the 800 or so brokers I know from my Coventry days, who I am introducing to the Family, I also have a further 1,000 prospective brokers on my patch. Some 90 per cent of mortgage applications come from brokers, so keeping them up to date about the Family’s offerings is very important. I have set myself a target of a dozen or so face-to- face meetings a week. 


What personal talent/skill is most valuable in your role? 

Building relationships and trust is the most valuable skill, but that is only the start. Maintaining and building a reputation is the key to doing a good job. You must ensure that you deliver. My maxim is “do what you say you will do”. 


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

Communication is vital. Zoom and other video calls are helpful particularly when making contact with brokers at larger, national firms or where people no longer go to the office and work from home. However, they are very much second best to face-to-face meetings, particularly when making an introduction for the first time. 

I would like to improve my social media skills. Whilst the Family Building Society has a slick marketing and social media presence, it is very important to improve visibility for both the Family and myself. 


What is the hardest part of your job? 

Breaking into new areas and booking appointments with new brokers, just the same as every other BDM in the UK. 


What do you love most about your job? 

Meeting new and well-known brokers. The relationship is a two-way thing, work and personal life blurs a little with the role. 


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

“Under promise, overachieve” and “Do what you say you will do” are the adages of an old Safeway supermarket store manager from Swansea, Richard Harvey, a great manager of people. 


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

I subscribe to all the usual mortgage and financial websites as well as the magazines that are still published. Industry topics are of course discussed with brokers and colleagues when we meet. I was an IFA and pension adviser in a previous career, and I also keep up with developments in that sector. 


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

A large property in England that “may or may not” have had a private airfield in its grounds… we will never know. 


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

We managed to complete a deal in three working days from the offer, from an accountant introducer to one of my larger accounts. A combination of underwriter, completions and legal teams working together avoided what could have been a very costly mistake by the applicant. 


What was your motivation for choosing this career? 

I actually like finance (I’m very sad) and, as my partner would say, “I like talking”. 


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

I would become an estate agent, but with a mission to change the current perception of estate agents.  

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