Know Your BDM: Roger Churaman, Paragon Bank

Know Your BDM: Roger Churaman, Paragon Bank

What locations, and how many advisers and broker firms do you cover in your role?

I am based in North London and will predominantly be covering this area and across the surrounding Home Counties.

 

How have you changed the way you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers in the pandemic?

The pandemic forced me to develop relationships through different means in terms of broker interactions. The ‘new post-pandemic world’ will see me interacting via face-to-face visits and telephone, as usual, but will also see more use of media technology, like Teams and Zoom, to enhance message delivery.

 

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

Time management plays a big part; getting the balance between the number of broker visits I do, yet still being able to have enough time to deliver on enquiries via phone and email continues to be the key.

 

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

Professionally – the ability to retain information on every broker conversation I have so that I can instantly help when a broker starts a call with “You remember that case we were discussing….”.

Personally – the ability to hit a 300 yard drive down the middle of the fairway every time … or even once.

 

Where would you rather be stuck, in bumper-to-bumper traffic or back-to-back Zoom calls?

Back-to-back Zoom calls all day long. At least you are interacting and dealing with business; and when it’s over you are at home and free to continue with your personal life rather than on a motorway, miles away from home.

 

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

Do the right thing, even when no one is watching. It’s the definition of integrity and covers everything.

 

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

I recall working in commercial banking as a relationship manager where I had to review existing lending on the portfolio. I had to have some tough conversations with a borrower who decided to convert our commercial security to residential without planning permission. He ran out of funds and we were left with a nil value security, no planning, no rental income to support the debt. The client ended up in court and serving time for losing his temper at the judge.

 

What was the greatest lesson you learned during the pandemic?

Apart from the importance of a great broadband connection, the value of face-to-face interactions cannot be replaced by any IT. Spending less time with loved ones was painfully challenging.

 

What was the first social event you attended once restrictions were eased?

My golf club seemed to benefit the most once we were able to play, even though my handicap didn’t improve.

 

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

Like many, I fell into my first sales role and immediately fell in love with the varied interaction with many different people from many different paths. Being tied to a desk all day fills me with dread.

 

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

Maybe an architect for the rich and famous – it will allow me to design fabulous properties in a hot exotic location.

 

What did you want to be growing up?

I was always decent at maths and recall my parents saying accountancy was a good route. As I still feel like I’m yet to grow up, I still harbour ambitions of living the lifestyle of a professional sportsman to be honest.

 

If you had one superpower, what would it be?

I guess it would be time travel – to go back and meet the people I didn’t have lots of time with; and to go forward to see what becomes of family and friends when I’m long gone.

 

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

Apart from the questions here, I once recall in a job interview some years back, the interviewer ending the interview with one of those analytical, mind game questions. “There is a brick wall 15 feet high. You need to get to the other side, how do you get there?” I just thought it was one of those sales guys trying to be too clever.

Stephen Lawrence retires from Norton Home Loans after 50 years in sales

Stephen Lawrence retires from Norton Home Loans after 50 years in sales

 

Lawrence (pictured) worked his way up from being a branch manager and business development manager (BDM) at Leeds and Holbeck Building Society in 1972, before moving to The Mortgage Corporation Ltd in 1987 as regional sales manager, gradually working his way up through various senior sales positions at lenders including the Yorkshire Building Society.

He joined Citigroup in 2000 under Citifinancial/Future Mortgages, where he says he took up his first role in second charge mortgages.

To learn more about the sector, he decided to work with Norton Finance for a month where he says he “learned how a secured loan could benefit a customer, the loan process from application to completion and how to make an application fit the published lending criteria.”

He added: “This short period proved to be a turning point in my career as I was allocated many of the UK-based master brokers and asked to develop increased business levels from them.”

 

‘I’ll miss the buzz’

In 2005 Lawrence was promoted to national accounts manager secured loans at Citigroup, before moving to Norton Home Loans in 2008, where the lender says “he was instrumental” in launching first and second charge mortgage lending.

Lawrence, said: “I retire leaving an exceptional team of managers and I would like to think I have in some way trained and supported them in their important company roles. The last 14 years have been the happiest work moments in my life and I will definitely miss the buzz.”

Paul Stringer, managing director of Norton Group, paid tribute. He said: “Steve has always been one of our most valued employees, carrying out his role in his usual conscientious and dedicated way he has built up a reputation as one of the most well-liked and respected sales managers in the industry.

“He will be missed not only by his colleagues but also the large number of friends he has made over the years within the company and the broker market in general. We wish him all the best for the future.”

OSB Group launches 10-strong office-based BDM team to support brokers

OSB Group launches 10-strong office-based BDM team to support brokers

The team has been recruited internally and will be supported by 16 field-based BDMs who work across Precise Mortgages and Kent Reliance for Intermediaries.

It will be split between the Wolverhampton and Kent offices and the team will be under the direction of Simon Cockerill (pictured), head of intermediary sales development.

Team members include Nathan Chand, Joe Baxter, Carla Elwell, Jack Cope, Amit Vymar, Dhiraj Dhanda, Samantha Brain, Jignesh Mistry, George Williams and Vijay Badhan.

Their contact details can be found through the BDM finder page on each lender’s website.

The launch of the team followed a six-month pilot scheme in the North of England, and during the first six weeks the office-based BDMs made over 960 interactions with brokers, which included inbound and outbound calls and virtual meetings.

The company said that initial feedback showed an “increase in broker satisfaction” and “welcome support” for the field-based BDM team.

Cockerill said the firm was always looking at how it could best support brokers and the goal was to “ensure consistent levels of support could be accessed by brokers nationwide, regardless of location”.

“This is where we can really utilise our office-based BDMs, who complement our already very successful field-based team,” he said.

He added that the pilot had given the company “unique insight” as brokers felt office-based BDMs improved their experience and the results were “extremely promising”

“Rolling out this initiative nationally, so that the majority of postcodes have both a field and office BDM, means we can deliver on supporting brokers with their top requirement which is accessibility to answer pre-application enquiries,” Cockerill said.

Brokers who do the least business take up most of lenders’ time – Star Letter 06/05/2022

Brokers who do the least business take up most of lenders’ time – Star Letter 06/05/2022

This week’s comment came in response to the article: Randomised BDM help desks weaken lender-broker relationships – analysis 

Arron said: “According to a Paragon poll, most brokers submit around 40 cases a year. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) suggests most brokers only use three to nine lenders.  

“Many business development managers (BDMs) have told me it is these brokers who do so little business and lack experience with lenders that can take up 80 per cent of their time – Pareto’s Law – going through every part of the application process. This time is better spent responding to more productive brokers.” 

 

Landlords selling up 

The second comment came in response to the article: Dramatic rise in number of no fault evictions 

Charlie said: “A lot of landlords are selling up, in this case there would be a Section 21 notice. They [government] wanted rid of private landlords and it’s starting to happen, especially the smaller one to three property landlords.” 

Know Your BDM: Simon Parish, SortRefer

Know Your BDM: Simon Parish, SortRefer

What locations and how many advisers and broker firms do you cover in your role?  

I cover the South East region, looking after 800 brokers and counting. 

  

How have you changed the way you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers in the pandemic?  

We have all been in the same position, not being able to go out as much, not being in an office mixing with colleagues, so as well as talking business when in a Zoom call it is also just good to talk, this I believe helped them and me.  

  

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

Listening and empathy. I have been a broker before which helps me understand what the brokers are up against. 

  

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

My patience. 

  

Where would you rather be stuck, in bumper-to-bumper traffic or back-to-back Zoom calls?  

Definitely not in traffic, at least on a Zoom call I can show the brokers the systems and all the amazing products and services we can offer them.   

  

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

Keep it simple. 

  

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

A few large self-builds and flying freeholds. 

  

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

I like meeting lots of people, being out of the office and experiencing different broker firm set ups. I have also enjoyed watching firms I have dealt with grow over the years I have been visiting them. I like to pass on my experience and knowledge onto new brokers coming into the industry too. 

  

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

I’d be a property developer. To see an old, dilapidated building take the form of a new home – and the money seems to be good. 

  

What did you want to be growing up?  

Formula one driver, footballer, and a random one, talk show host. 

  

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

Flying, so if I was in bumper-to-bumper traffic it wouldn’t matter. 

  

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

When I went on an American exchange at school I was asked if I lived near the Eiffel Tower and had met the queen. My replies were, ‘closer than you’ and ‘not yet’. 

 

Newcastle Intermediaries appoints national sales manager

Newcastle Intermediaries appoints national sales manager

Wilkinson was promoted after three years as the mutual’s business development manager for the North East and Scotland.

Over his 15-year career in financial services, Wilkinson has worked in branch as well as in the intermediary and specialist lending markets for Newcastle Building Society, Pepper Money and Virgin Money.

In his new role, Wilkinson’s focus will be to manage a growing Newcastle Intermediaries’ business development team and enhance its broker proposition throughout the UK.

Wilkinson (pictured), who lives in Newcastle, said he is excited at the opportunity to lead his team to drive the mutual’s growth in the market.

He added: “Our business development managers have decades of experience and knowledge of the intermediary lending market. We pride ourselves on our service to brokers and their clients.”

Franco Di Pietro, head of intermediary mortgages at Newcastle Building Society, said: “We are thrilled to witness Mark progress within our intermediary arm. Having built long-term relationships with brokers and their clients, Mark has already proved himself a valuable asset as we look to strengthen our commitment to our intermediary partners.”

The Tipton hires BDM and promotes key account manager

The Tipton hires BDM and promotes key account manager

 

Holmes joins from the Earl Shilton Building Society, where she was a BDM for nearly three years. Prior to that she was at Coventry Building Society, where she worked for nearly nine years as business development adviser.

At the Tipton, she will cover the West Midlands region. 

Ridgway joined the mutual in 2020 from Pepper Money where she was BDM for over a year. Before that, she worked as a mortgage broker for Countrywide Mortgages, a role she held for two years. 

Jason Newsway, director of sales and marketing at the Tipton, said: “Debbie will be a great addition to our team at the Tipton. She has a strong experience of working closely with brokers and joins us at an important time in our journey as we look to strengthen the business support functions.  

“We are focusing on adding benefit and offering significant value to our brokers. We are also delighted to announce the promotion of Joanna, which is another example of us investing in our people and helping them to develop their careers with the society.”  

Skipton appoints BDM for London

Skipton appoints BDM for London

Sparkes, from Ashford in Kent, has had a long standing career in financial services and moved into mortgage broking after she completed her CeMAP 1.

She worked as a mortgage and protection adviser at Just Mortgages for two years, before moving to Hawke Financial Services in an identical role for nearly two years. Sparkes has a solid background working with building societies, which is one of the reasons she has chosen to return to the sector with Skipton BS.

Sparkes (pictured) said: “I am excited to be starting my new role with Skipton. I can’t wait to get out in the field and start meeting brokers.”

“Ever since I bought my first home, I wanted to know the ins and outs of buying a house. It was such a stressful experience and I wanted to try and help people get through the stress and be that person to help them. My background in broking will help me empathise with brokers and look at the policies and criteria that will really help them get their clients into their dream homes.”

John Scrivens, business development manager, added: “Grace joins the team at an exciting time as we’re continuing to expand our pool of BDMs to support the intermediary market, as well as furthering Skipton’s ambition to become a top 10 lender.”

Newbury Building Society promotes Jack Whiting to BDM

Newbury Building Society promotes Jack Whiting to BDM

 

Whiting (pictured) has been at the mutual since March 2016, first working as a branch assistant before later joining the intermediary sales team as an intermediary sales adviser in August 2019. 

Karen Smith, sales manager at Newbury Building Society, said: “Jack has built on his experience with our sales team over the past two and a half years and has great knowledge of our offerings to enable to support our broker partners, helping them to get the best from our criteria for their clients. 

“He will continue to deliver the exceptional service for which we are known and will be a proactive support to brokers, ensuring they are up to date on our products, criteria and service offerings.” 

Whiting added: “I am looking forward to getting into my new role and getting out to meet our existing contacts and to develop new ones.” 

Bloom behind Spring Finance bridging pilot scheme launch

Bloom behind Spring Finance bridging pilot scheme launch

 

This follows the appointments of Jim Baker as its sales director of bridging, Ginny Warby as bridging business development manager for London and the South East, and Louise Young as senior underwriter of bridging. All hires were made earlier this month. 

Spring Finance currently offers regulated, non-regulated, first charge, second charge and refurbishment products. 

Baker said: “The pilot is a key phase in helping us build a proposition that provides an exceptional broker experience.  

“With an underwriting team led by the experienced and highly regarded Claire Newman, this is an exciting and valuable period for us to work and listen closely to our broker partners to help us fine tune ahead of a full market launch.” 

Andrew Bloom, owner of Spring Finance, added: “This is a significant day for Spring Finance as we begin the next phase of our planned growth.  

“We are building an exceptional team at Spring Finance and I am delighted with the progress made in such a short space of time.”