How many brokers and broker firms do you cover in your role?
I’m mainly based in the South East, so I look after a quarter of our registered intermediaries.
How do you successfully organise and deal with business on a daily basis?
In this line of work, organisation is key. I’m constantly out on the road and I’m one of those people whose life tends to be run by my Outlook calendar. If it’s not in there, then it’s not going to happen and given the number of advisers I’m out meeting with each day/week/month, then it’s an absolute necessity.
What issues come up time and time again?
My biggest frustration is when intermediaries say to me, “I don’t get much demand for second charge.” My response is simple, “Customers won’t walk into your office and ask for a second-charge mortgage but the opportunities are easy to spot – remortgage declines and low rate lifetime tracker customer looking to borrow more money.”
What do you wish brokers understood about your job?
I think brokers know what an intermediary sales manager is about, but I’d hope they would know that I’m not there for lip service and a cup of coffee. I’m genuinely there to help them discover the amazing outcomes they can generate for their clients by looking seriously at second-charge mortgages with a master broker like The Loans Engine.
What do you think is the most important attribute in a good BDM?
I’ve been involved in second charges for 12 years now. They are incredibly complex products. I would never be so vain as to say I know everything, but I certainly know how to help brokers find solutions to challenging enquiries.
When you’re unavailable to contact via telephone, what’s the second-best way for brokers to get in touch?
The only time a contact won’t get me by phone is when I’m in a meeting, in which case they can leave a message or email me. I religiously check my calls and email messages and respond immediately. Failing this, they can call our fantastic intermediary operations team in the office, which is headed up by Nina Kainth, who can help with any query and be contacted on 0800 032 9595.
If you were head of the FCA for the day, what would you change about regulation in the mortgage industry?
There is only one change I would want, and the FCA have already done it. That is to bring seconds into MCOB. This has allowed us to scrap our master broker fee and charge a £295 application fee instead.
What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career?
Having spent 12 years selling and underwriting second charge mortgages, I have seen how they have positively transformed thousands of customers’ financial positions. I’m passionate about making customers’ lives better. And the way to help more customers is for me to go out and talk to more mortgage intermediaries, so that their clients can access the benefits a second charge can offer too.
How do you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers?
We have some terrific network and mortgage club partnerships and we make sure we’re the first name on the ‘team-sheet’ when they are planning roadshows and events. Then it’s about believing in your proposition and clearly communicating how to spot opportunities. But most of all, people deal with people. If I can get them to try us once, I know our service and our £295 fee will hook them for life.
And how do you establish and maintain good relationships internally?
That’s easy. I’ve been part of the team for 12 years and we’re all playing for the same side. We work hard to get things right, but clock off early at 6pm on a Friday, and then it’s time to ‘play hard’.
What’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?
I was once asked at the end of a job interview to tell a joke. This caught me off guard. The only one I could think of was, “Why do Seagulls live by the Sea? Because if they lived by the Bay, they’d be Bagels”. Luckily, my niece had told me the joke the day before.
And finally, what did you want to be growing up?
My favourite treat when I was growing up was a trip to McDonalds. The people in there always seemed so happy, so I thought I’d like to work there too, and I’d get to eat as much as I wanted. But as I progressed with my business degree it quickly became apparent that there are better career paths.