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Know Your BDM: Beth Hillman, Suffolk BS

  • 07/06/2024
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Know Your BDM: Beth Hillman, Suffolk BS
This week, Mortgage Solutions is speaking to Beth Hillman, business development manager (BDM) for central London at Suffolk Building Society.

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

I work with brokers across London. I cover these postcodes: wider London – BR, CR, DA, EN, HA, SM and WD – and central London – EC, E, N, NW, SE, SW, W, and WC. One of my colleagues is a key account manager who covers our key London firms. 


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

Communication is essential in my role, especially when it comes to understanding the needs of my brokers. Asking the right questions to make sure I gather all the information upfront helps me to make an informed decision and work to shape the case. Listening to feedback and supporting with developing our proposition also means we’re offering what brokers, and their clients, need. 


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

I’ve recently taken up golf, so I’m keen to work on my game and improve my handicap. 


What’s the hardest part of your job?

Every time I have to say no. Unfortunately, I can’t say yes to every case and it’s always a real shame when I’m unable to help the broker and, ultimately, their clients. 


What do you love most about your job?

The people. I’m incredibly fortunate to work with such an amazing team at Suffolk Building Society, as well as looking after so many lovely brokers. 


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

A previous manager told me to ‘eat the frog’. It means identifying the most important task on your ‘to do’ list and then doing it first thing in the working day. This piece of advice has stuck with me and has proven extremely helpful. 


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

As there’s always so much going on in the market, it’s important I’m aware of all the latest industry news and trends. I subscribe to all the financial reporting sites and use social media such as LinkedIn to keep track of any recent developments. 


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

I once had a client who was looking to buy a refurbished church that still had a lot of its original features. That was certainly unusual. 


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

My trickiest case involved a client who was very keen on purchasing a particular property, but several lenders had already dismissed it due to valuer comments. However, I persevered and eventually found a lender who agreed to the mortgage, meaning she could finally buy her dream home. 


What was your motivation for choosing this career?

Having previously worked as a mortgage and protection adviser, I knew I wanted to remain in the mortgage industry. When the chance arose to join Suffolk Building Society as a business development manager, I saw it as a great opportunity to keep indirectly helping individuals buy their dream home. 


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

I’d love to design and stage show homes, helping to add character to properties so that they stand out from the crowd. 


What did you want to be growing up?

I was fascinated by science and medicine, so I always wanted to be a pathologist. 


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

I’d love to be able to teleport anywhere – then I’d take myself off to somewhere warm on the weekends. 


What is your strategy for tackling challenges?

Whenever I’m faced with a challenge, I find the most effective way to deal with it is by taking the time to think and calmly plan ahead first. This allows me to identify any obstacles, and find the best way to overcome them. 


What is your greatest skill(s), either work- or non-work related?

My greatest non-work skill is baking. I’m always in the kitchen trying out new recipes. 


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

I was once asked why I always turned the music down when looking for an address while driving. I thought this was a strange question at the time, as I didn’t realise I did it. 

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