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Know Your BDM: Liam Brodie, Atom Bank

  • 22/01/2024
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Know Your BDM: Liam Brodie, Atom Bank
This week Mortgage Solutions is talking to Liam Brodie, regional business development manager at Atom Bank

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

I have quite a big geographic spread in my job at Atom Bank, as I handle our relationships with brokers in the North East and Yorkshire, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. In total I work with more than 50 broker firms and 300 individual commercial finance brokers.


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

I believe I’m an excellent communicator, with great interpersonal skills. These are hugely important skills to have in a business development role. So much of what we do comes down to communication, not just being able to explain products and criteria, but also being able to listen and take in the key elements of individual cases that brokers might want to discuss.

We might not always be able to say yes, but being able to explain where we stand is something that brokers always value and helps build a stronger relationship. Ultimately the mortgage market, whether it’s residential or commercial finance, has long been built on those relationships and being able to work together productively.


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

I think I would like to work on my leadership skills. There are elements of leadership involved in my role at the moment, and the responsibility I have for working with my brokers. However, I think building on that would be good for my future career development.


What is the hardest part of your job?

I think that for most people in the mortgage market, there’s a fair bit of plate spinning going on. There are always multiple tasks to keep on top of which can be demanding. But one particular element that goes into being a good BDM is the fact that we have to deal with multiple stakeholders, at times effectively acting as a go-between.

That’s why it’s so important to have good interpersonal and communication skills. It’s crucial that all of those stakeholders understand what is going on and have all of the relevant information they need. When you get it right, it’s hugely rewarding.


What do you love most about your job?

I don’t think you can be a successful BDM without being a people person. This isn’t the job for you if you like being alone!

I love the fact that I get to meet so many different people in my role and get an insight into their businesses and what they are hoping to achieve. Building relationships from those initial meetings takes time but it’s worth it when you are able to work together to positively help people achieve their funding aims.


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

One of the things my first business banking boss said has always stuck with me. He suggested that, as a rule of thumb, before working with someone or doing business with them, ask yourself if you could go for a beer with them?

Again, it all comes down to relationships – ultimately if you are able to get on in a personal capacity, you’re more likely to be able to work together productively too.


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

Property is a fast-moving industry, so it’s really important to keep in touch with what’s going on. As we have all seen, things can swiftly change due to unforeseen factors.

I like to subscribe to regular mailshots from various publications and businesses across the industry, but equally it’s just as useful to keep in touch with your contacts, the movers and shakers who can give you a fresh perspective and a heads up on what’s going on which you may have missed.


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

The pandemic was a bizarre time for all of us, but it led to some interesting opportunities too. One of which was a theme park, which obviously was badly hit by the restrictions at the time. They were looking to raise funds not only to support their cashflow at a time when they were closed, but to also develop the park so that they met the Covid restrictions and could expand when the time was right.

We were able to support them through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and it’s great to see that the theme park is now booming, despite the challenges of the last few years.


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

I handled a deal many years ago for a hotel on the Scottish islands. The full family were relocating, and needing the deal to complete on a certain date – within six weeks of approval – as they had sold their family home in England and hired a large lorry to carry them and their possessions up to the new property.

There was massive pressure to deliver on this one. I remember they were sitting outside the property as we sent the money on the day of completion. Communication was absolutely key here, it required daily correspondence with all of the involved parties to ensure that we were able to deliver on the day.


What was your motivation for choosing this career?

I think I have always seen this as a career for life. I have worked in banking in some form for 26 years now and can’t imagine doing anything else. I’ve always enjoyed it.


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

I have always been interested in property as a whole, so perhaps I could have been a surveyor?


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