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Know Your BDM: Sam Morrison, Family BS

  • 08/05/2024
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Know Your BDM: Sam Morrison, Family BS
This week, Mortgage Solutions is speaking with Sam Morrison (pictured), telephone business development manager (BDM) at Family Building Society.

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

I cover all the areas of the UK where we don’t currently have on-the-ground BDM coverage. This includes Scotland, parts of Wales, parts of Northern England. It’s a fantastic opportunity to build relationships with hundreds of intermediaries who may not have used or come across the Family Building Society.


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

I’ve found it’s important to keep a level head and not get carried away by the highs and lows. Remaining productive in generating new business and supporting brokers throughout the application process is also very important.


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

I’m studying for the CeMAP qualification to learn more about the industry and mortgage advice, to better support intermediaries, their clients and for my own personal development.


What’s the hardest part of your job?

Managing expectations, particularly in these uncertain times facing the industry and the changes that affect mortgage applications. My job is to be clear, concise and correct. Intermediaries must trust what we say and that we will do it.


What do you love most about your job?

Agreeing to quirky cases. Sometimes you must put a lot of work into agreeing a tricky case, liaising with senior underwriters to ensure everyone is on the same page. But it’s very satisfying when they complete. When I joined Family, I knew nothing about mortgages, having worked in investments before. But over time as I learned more, I realised this is what I wanted to do and that I enjoyed helping customers find a home. It is very satisfying when a deal is completed.


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

A colleague in a previous role once said to me, “don’t sell yourself short”, which stuck with me. It’s most people’s natural inclination to be bashful, but it is important to celebrate your achievements and be proud of them.


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

Reading the trade press, especially Mortgage Solutions. That is a great place to start. But, more generally, reading newspapers gives me a good understanding of what might affect the mortgage environment in the future.


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

I am a big football fan and have always supported Hull City. I’ve been fortunate to be involved in a few deals involving players, coaches and managers. Due to the length of their careers, we have to think outside the box when monetising their income and assets. But, fortunately, we have a fantastic team of underwriters to help us do this when it makes business sense.


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

There are many, but cases where the client has multiple income streams are tricky. One case is that of a client who worked for six agencies as a care worker. It involved a lot of groundwork, getting the evidence to prove the income and reach the borrowing levels the clients needed. But it was very satisfying when we got there.


What was your motivation for choosing this career?

I genuinely enjoy helping people and come from a customer service background. Being a BDM gives me the opportunity to support both brokers and their clients, so it’s very fulfilling for me. I much prefer working for Family than previously working for a large multinational, primarily because it feels like a meritocracy, with transparency in how the business is performing, and we have a really close knit team of excellent individuals.


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

Mortgage advice; as I’ve mentioned, I genuinely enjoy helping people get the mortgage they need, so being on the front line as an adviser would be rewarding from this perspective.


What did you want to be growing up?

For my sins, I studied politics at the University of East Anglia, which was a great experience. Growing up, I wanted to get involved in politics. Never say never, so watch this space.


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

Great question. Being able to fly would be amazing. I’ve always enjoyed flying in planes, so why not cut out the middleman?


What is your strategy for tackling challenges?

Logically dissecting the challenges and using the knowledge of other stakeholders to come up with a plan for overcoming them. I’m a firm believer that more problems are solved when everyone with an interest is involved in the process, and you often get a unique perspective that you probably wouldn’t have thought of.


What do you enjoy doing in your down time?

Stereotypically, I enjoy playing football regularly, as well as tennis and badminton. I also love getting out into the countryside and being closer to nature, so I like to hike and camp when I can (come rain or shine).


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

My ‘friends’ used to jokingly ask me if I was related to a Dutch footballer called Arjen Robben (you might need to look him up) when I was younger and had a shaved head. I don’t see it, but let me know if you do.

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