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Know you BDM: Serena Grewal, Hampshire Trust Bank

  • 02/11/2023
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Know you BDM: Serena Grewal, Hampshire Trust Bank
This week Specialist Lending Solutions is talking to Serena Grewal, Hampshire Trust Bank’s business development manager (BDM) for the City of London.


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

I cover the city of London, which is the home of some of the largest broker firms in the country.


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

Being very honest is vital as it provides my brokers with confidence that I will deliver on any promises I make. Understanding the mortgage industry is also crucial as it allows me to simplify complex cases in order to find the right solutions.


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

I try to help as much as possible when complex cases are given to me. Although I have found it difficult in the past, I’ve learnt that sometimes it is better to review a case rather than forcing it.


What is the hardest part of your job? 

I would say maintaining a good work/life balance. I am sure we all agree that we could work 24/7 in mortgages. I have called a broker back at 9pm on a Friday in the past. Although I am getting much better at switching off at a reasonable hour.


What do you love most about your job? 

I really love the relationships I build with my brokers. There is no better feeling than when we collaborate to successfully get deals over the line and deliver for their clients.


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

My father, who is very successful in the IT industry, always told me to do the right thing no matter what and treat people how you would like to be treated. I think this applies to all industries and echoes the importance of acting with integrity. This has meant that I have achieved what I have while being my authentic self.


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

Staying informed about market developments is a personal priority of mine. I actively subscribe to several industry newsletters, and I engage in meaningful discussions with both colleagues and friends, covering a wide spectrum of industry-related subjects. This commitment ensures that I remain well-informed and connected within my professional sphere.


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

I was approached about lending on ‘House of the Year 2013 at the New London Architecture Awards’. Situated in Walworth, London, the two-bedroom house called Archway Studios is built into a rail viaduct, incorporating living accommodation and a workspace, it’s a property that I won’t forget in a hurry.


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

Buying my own home was far from straightforward. I had some unregistered land in the garden which I had never come across before. I had to get in touch with the land registry and they came round after quite some time. Unfortunately, the lender had not mentioned the land in the write-up when the property was originally registered. This shows the importance of a property specialist to help ease the admin burden that all brokers face.


What was your motivation for choosing this career? 

I have always enjoyed meeting people and helping them. I started my career at Natwest as a mortgage adviser with the aim of helping people to achieve their property aspirations and then moved to the lending side to support brokers in delivering these aspirations.

I know how valuable a great BDM can be and I want to be the go-to person for complex BTL scenarios. It is improving, but I also think that we need more woman across the mortgage industry.


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

I enjoy watching TV programmes like Grand Designs, so I would love to be involved in building high-end bespoke homes and then build myself one of course. This would be energy efficient but also have a wine cellar, cinema and swimming pool.

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