How many brokers and broker firms do you cover in your role?
I cover a large area around the M4 corridor and work with both direct firms and packagers. This means I get a really diverse stream of enquiries.
How do you successfully organise and deal with business on a daily basis?
I have to prioritise so that I use my time effectively. I plan my calls carefully and will always answer a voicemail or email within four hours. I’m also never scared to ‘drop in’ to introduce myself to new firms, as this is often a great way of making new relationships.
What issues come up time and time again?
It is sometimes difficult to get busy brokers to set aside the time to understand our products as they offer something very different to the mainstream and even traditional specialist lenders. However, once they do take the time to learn about us they very quickly understand how valuable a tool Castle Trust can be in helping their clients to realise more from their assets.
What do you wish brokers understood about your job?
Maybe I am just lucky, but I honestly feel my brokers do understand my job.
What do you think is the most important attribute in a good BDM?
Being versatile. As a BDM, you need to be able to build and maintain relationships, have the knowledge of an underwriter, self-motivate and be enthusiastic about helping brokers.
When you’re unavailable to contact via telephone, what’s the second-best way for brokers to get in touch?
I always ask my brokers to email me so I can pick up anything in between appointments if I have missed a call. Failing that we have a brilliant telephone sales team, which is always eager to help.
If you were head of the FCA for the day, what would you change about regulation in the mortgage industry?
I think it can be easy to criticise when you are not the one making the decisions, but the current rules do still leave room for innovation and allow lenders to think differently. I’d like to see us encouraging more of this type of innovation, rather than just changing the rules.
What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career?
As sad as it may sound, the truth is that my mum has always been a BDM in the mortgage industry and my aunt is a regional manager – so it’s kind of in my blood! As a BDM’s role is sometimes out of hours I was often in the car while my mum was speaking to brokers and I knew early on that it was what I wanted to do.
How do you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers?
I always respond to brokers and keep them informed, even if it’s to say that I am still working on something for them. This helps to build trust as they know they haven’t been forgotten.
And how do you establish and maintain good relationships internally?
I was lucky enough to start my career at Castle Trust in head office, as the sales team manager, and this enabled me to begin building key relationships within the organisation. I’m also a strong believer in teamwork, sharing knowledge and having respect and I try to take the time to get to know everyone by name to build relationships in other teams.
What’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?
I love strange requests because usually it’s something we can help with. We deal with unusual cases, so I don’t want to discourage brokers from asking questions they think might be a bit strange. If we can’t do the case, I’ll tell the broker, but always ask the question.
And finally, what did you want to be growing up?
As I mentioned, I grew up with my mum being a BDM so that was always my dream career and I am lucky enough to say that I have reached my goal. Failing that, I would have liked to have been a radio DJ because I’ve always had a passion for music and talking.