Know Your BDM: Scott Leach, Kensington Mortgages

  • 09/04/2024
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Know Your BDM: Scott Leach, Kensington Mortgages
This week, Specialist Lending Solutions is speaking with Scott Leach, business development manager (BDM) at Kensington Mortgages.

Which locations and how many advisers and broker firms do you cover in your role at Kensington Mortgages?

I cover the West Midlands and South Wales for Kensington Mortgages. In total, the field-based accounts that I cover include around 200 firms, but I also contact all brokers in the region with my monthly newsletter updates, so potentially thousands.


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

Resilience is vital, in my opinion. It is something that I’ve developed in my more than 10 years as a BDM. With some of the more complex cases, you may have to persevere to find the best outcome for the customer. This trait has served me well during my recent London Marathon training – a pretty gruelling task where resilience has been key.


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

I wish I could run faster. Both to knock minutes off my marathon time and to be able to run between my brokers faster.


What’s the hardest part of your job?

The hardest part of my job is managing such a large geographical region. This can be challenging when I want to be able to reach all the brokers in my area to share my knowledge of specialist lending and support them and their customers.


What do you love most about your job?

Meeting new people, visiting new places that otherwise I would probably never have the opportunity to, and saying yes to cases when brokers felt it would be impossible to help their customers. I also enjoy the collaborative approach of this role, working with a range of stakeholders from underwriters, sales, and brokers to find the best solutions for customers.


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

When I first started as a BDM, my head of sales at the time gave me some great guidance: be honest when speaking to brokers. For example, if I’m unsure of an answer, I will always go away and find out the correct information – brokers appreciate the right answer a little slower than the wrong answer quickly.


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

I am subscribed to industry press updates from publications like Mortgage Solutions to stay in the loop on breaking news and hot topics. Mostly, though, speaking to countless brokers on a daily basis about the latest market news keeps my knowledge up to date.


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

Nothing is too quirky for a specialist lender, especially with our Property Plus range for properties of a non-standard construction. A topic I am regularly asked about by brokers, though, is houses in multiple occupation (HMO) and multi-unit block (MUB) requirements.


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

While not necessarily the trickiest, I recently worked on a case that was declined at the final stage by another lender, which meant the broker needed to move quickly from application to offer and get the case over the line. I briefed the broker prior to submission about what we would need and liaised with the underwriter to make them aware of the urgency. We had the valuation instructed on day one and conducted that week, with an offer made within four days. The completions team then worked with the solicitors to ensure that the purchase was completed ahead of the deadline.


What was your motivation for choosing this career?

Property and finance always interested me growing up. I’d often watch television programmes like Homes Under the Hammer or Grand Designs, which helped me to realise the potential of property and finance. I began my career in retail, but was then fortunate enough to start as a BDM for a packager, where I dealt with many interesting scenarios across bridging, commercial, and second charge. As my knowledge and network grew, I found my way to the lending side of BDM life with Kensington five years ago and wouldn’t change it for the world.


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

I would probably be a property developer, renovating and modernising properties to either let or sell on for the next project.


What did you want to be growing up?

I’ve always loved football, so like lots of other kids, I wanted to be a footballer. Instead, now I coach my sons’ football team, which is just as much fun and rewarding.


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

I’d love to be able to fly so that I could avoid all the traffic on the M42 and the M6.


What is your strategy for tackling challenges?

I like to take my time to consider solutions and weigh up the best course of action to overcome the challenge. I try to consider the various impacts that my decision could have to ensure the best possible outcome for the customer. I may also seek guidance from the underwriters and other stakeholders.


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

As a dad of two young boys, strange questions are a daily occurrence for me, so when it comes to brokers, nothing seems unusual.

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