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Know Your BDM: Cavina Harrison, Dudley BS

  • 14/02/2024
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Know Your BDM: Cavina Harrison, Dudley BS
This week, Mortgage Solutions is talking to Cavina Harrison, key account manager at Dudley Building Society.

Which locations and how many advisers and broker firms do you cover in your role at Dudley Building Society? 

I cover the South of England and support the top 50 key broker firms and their advisers within my region. 


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

I believe that being able to add value in any broker meeting is a skill that all key account managers should have. This in turn develops trust, respect and great collaborative relationships. Understanding each broker’s business model is an important part of my role so I can focus on the areas that make a difference. 


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

Delegation – not trying to do everything myself. I am lucky that I have a team of people around me, but better delegation would allow me to focus on key tasks and allow people to grow. 


What is the hardest part of your job?  

Driving around the country and getting stuck on motorways. I plan my travel, but the weather, bad drivers and roadworks drive me crazy.  


What do you love most about your job?  

Meeting new people and building long-lasting business relationships and friendships. Being myself is important, and doing it with a smile is important too. 


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

You can only be successful if you are passionate about what you do. A previous manager gave me that advice 30 years ago. It’s true, this job really motivates me, and I am passionate about making a difference. 


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

I read mortgage news from publications like Mortgage Solutions, etc. I keep a close eye on lender movements via LinkedIn and I listen to webinars that are available, like Knowledge Bank, for example. I also talk to other lender business development managers (BDMs) and representatives to share knowledge of the mortgage market. However, if you ask brokers, they will tell you, and we are lucky at Dudley Building Society, as we can shape policy and products and using direct feedback from brokers helps us to do this. 


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

A 75-year-old purchased her rented home of 30 years, with gifted equity from the landlord, gifted deposit from a relative, pension income only and the property was next to a pub. Nice and simple. But, after talking the case through with the underwriter, we said “yes”. 


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

There have been many tricky cases. From chains that keep breaking and requiring offer extensions to brokers not being able to provide the underwriter with the correct documents. The key is always to see things from both sides, understand how it affects everyone and find a workable solution. It’s also important to remember that a broker’s customer is our customer too. 


What was your motivation for choosing this career?  

I was previously a mortgage adviser and trainer for Lloyds Bank. I wanted to do something that was a combination of both of those experiences. Key account manager for a mortgage lender does just that and I love it. 


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

Apart from being the CEO, I’m happy where I am. I can make a positive difference to a customer’s mortgage journey, a broker’s application experience and that in turn provides huge job satisfaction. 

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