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Know Your BDM: Carly Phillips, Aldermore

  • 01/09/2016
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Know Your BDM: Carly Phillips, Aldermore
This week, Aldermore's Carly Phillips steps into the hot seat to talk to Specialist Lending Solutions about her passion for the job, her underwriting background and her love of food.

How many brokers and broker firms do you cover in your role?

I cover the north west and look after any brokers or packagers that fall within my region.

How do you successfully organise and deal with business on a daily basis?

You can’t really do this role without being highly organised, and a to-do list is a must (not to mention a little help from my Outlook calendar). I work alongside an office BDM and we always have an early morning call to discuss the priorities of the day and will often catch up regularly as the day progresses. Good planning ensures I have time in between appointments to return calls and emails.

What issues come up time and time again?

Issues vary day to day, which is one of the most interesting aspects of the role. I have a strong background in underwriting, which means that most of the time I am able to answer any queries myself. A big issue I’ve heard a lot about recently is what the best path is for ‘mortgage prisoners’.

Mortgage prisoners come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from individuals whose circumstances have changed, such as those who have opted to go self-employed, or borrowers who have been hit by MMR affordability changes and despite paying less a month on a low fix can’t pass affordability checks so end up paying more. Many think that their only option is to stay on their SVR, but a common-sense approach to lending that looks at the individuals on a case-by-case basis can usually provide a much better outcome for a client.

What do you wish brokers understood about your job?

That all lenders are not the same. Different lenders will always have different strengths, whether in sector expertise or regional knowledge. At Aldermore one of our defining characteristics is our approach to lending and how we make this relevant to our customers, using manual underwriting to assess each case individually. Learning to look at lenders, not as a single block, will mean better results for everyone, and that’s why building strong personal relationships is so important.

What do you think is the most important attribute in a good BDM?

A straight ‘no’ is just important as yes. Brokers are busy and when they call with a query, I will always support them to find an option with Aldermore but if the answer is no, it is important to communicate that answer quickly and clearly so as not to waste their time. On the flip side, it’s also vital that BDMs manage their time well enough to return calls efficiently.

When you’re unavailable to contact via telephone, what’s the second-best way for brokers to get in touch?

Rob Nixon is our office based BDM for the north west and if I’m not available he can be contacted on 01625 543 953, allowing me to give my full attention to my broker visits. Rob was previously a broker so really understands the broker’s needs and the market.

If you were head of the FCA for the day, what would you change about regulation in the mortgage industry?

If I was head of the FCA for a day, simplifying regulation would be a priority. I would make sure more support was provided to help brokers and intermediaries implement changes, providing plenty of warning. As recent years have shown, when introduced properly, new rules don’t have to provide any more than a minimal level of disruption.

What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career?

Before Aldermore, I spent eight years in underwriting. Working with people has always been my passion, so becoming a BDM felt like the natural step to use both my knowledge and communication skills. I love the diversity of the role; no two days are the same.

How do you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers?

I build relationships with brokers by delivering on promises. Honest and clear communication is essential and a sense of humour helps. My brokers have confidence in my knowledge and know that if I say I’ll do something, I will.

And how do you establish and maintain good relationships internally?

Because I have previously worked as an underwriter and am now a BDM for Aldermore I have good relationships with all the teams and a good understanding of the challenges they face, it’s important that we maintain these relationships. I like to pop into the office to keep up to speed with everything and catch up with the teams; it’s a great way for me to stay close to what’s going on in the office.

What’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?

I am known for asking silly or odd questions, so I really couldn’t be the judge of what a strange one is.

And finally, what did you want to be growing up?

I adore food and have always been an absolute foodie. I always wanted to be a food critic or anything to do with getting paid for eating nice food.

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