Know Your BDM: Matt Brown, Econveyancer

Know Your BDM: Matt Brown, Econveyancer

 

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

Like everybody else, Microsoft Teams and Zoom have become the new norm. Everything that I previously did in the face-to-face arena, I’m now doing from my home office behind a camera.  

We are lucky in that our industry has adapted to the virtual world very well – virtual meetings are widely accepted and have allowed me to bring in new business as well as keep in regular contact with my existing clients. 

 

What personal skill is most valuable in doing your job? 

Personality. Being able to build lasting relationships is key and understanding my stakeholders and their motivators is the starting point.

I like to know things like why do they come to work, who is at home, where is their next holiday, what is their favourite sport and I’m also keen to understand what do they want to get out of using our technology.  

My working relationships are so important to me. 

 

What personal skill would you most like to improve on? 

Golf. I have never really played golf but so many in this industry do.  

I have been asked to join a number of times and feel like I really should give it a whirl. I need to go and get some lessons before I agree to go with anybody else, as I would be horrific, if my crazy golf skills are anything to go by – my six-year-old son is better than me.

 

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

Bumper-to-bumper traffic is frustrating, stressful and unproductive – give me back-to-back Zoom calls all day long over sitting in traffic. 

 

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

I was part of a leadership programme back in my banking days whereby the bank heavily invested in coaching its leaders. There was a section surrounding human conditions which coached out over 20 conditions and behaviours and how to deal with them – either if you yourself were displaying one or a member of your team.  

Pretty much all of them were accurate and it really resonated with me. I could see members of my team or myself across the spectrum.  

The one I used to quote to my team time and time again was, “professionals act as they must, not how they feel.” The principle being that regardless of what is going on inside or outside of work, always act professionally.  

Whist everybody goes through hard times in their life, it is important to remember that every time you interact with a colleague, stakeholder or customer, you will be judged by your interaction and how you treated them. 

 

What has been your lockdown coping strategy?

It has been a real slog and very hard with two young children, but I am so thankful for my happy and healthy family so can’t complain.  

My coping strategy is basic – stick to a routine. It’s very difficult to not blur the lines when you work from home 100 per cent of the time, and I for one feel like I’ve worked harder than I’ve ever worked before. 

The one thing I’ve stuck to is that the weekend is the weekend. No laptop or emails on a Saturday or Sunday, and when I switch off on a Friday I head to the fridge, get my wife a wine, myself a beer and enjoy family time – everything else can wait until Monday.

 

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

I’d make a good surveyor – I’m unqualified, might I add – as I love looking at houses. Having moved recently, I walked around so many house viewings where I would come away and start pointing out all of the negatives to my wife – I started to feel like a surveyor. 

 

What did you want to be growing up? 

I went through two phases – one where I said I was going to be a vet and the other where I said I was going to be a solicitor.  

I ended up as neither – but I was warm with the solicitor one considering my role now in the conveyancing space. 

Know Your BDM: Natalie Kay, Evolution Money

Know Your BDM: Natalie Kay, Evolution Money

 

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

At the moment I am looking after 30 brokers, introducers and affiliates, but the number is growing every day. They range from small independent brokers to large master brokers and they’re based all over the UK so I’m really excited to get on the road. 

  

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

We have had to adapt as I am sure many people have had to, using Zoom or Microsoft Teams – other video call brands are available – and regular calls and emails trying to keep up a presence in the market albeit virtual now.  

Throughout lockdown I became a bit of a whiz at Zoom after numerous quizzes with family and friends, so it definitely came in handy. 

  

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

Great communication skills are vital. Obviously, the role is building new relationships, and due to the pandemic, re-engaging with existing partners has also been key.  

I would say you definitely have to be organised with the ability to multi-task. I love how busy the role is and how most days just fly by. Coming from a sales background I know how important a speedy response is. No day is ever the same, and I get to speak to a variety of different people every day. 

  

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

I suppose being new to the role I want to gain a better understanding of the finance sector from a BDM perspective to help build more relationships but also strengthen existing ones too. 

  

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

I hate being stuck in traffic. My partner’s family live in Kent, so we regularly get stuck on the M6 after visiting them. On one occasion we got stuck over night from 10pm until 5am so I would have to pick the back-to-back Zooms but would need gingerbread skinny lattes on tap. 

  

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

Listen more than you speak. You were given two ears and one mouth for a reason. I love this quote as it’s so true; the best conversations I have are when I have to say very little.  

I found this incredibly helpful when I was an underwriter too.  

  

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

Having over 15 years in the finance industry I have completed on a variety of different properties. They all are unique in their own way. To be honest I find the people I help much more interesting and memorable than the properties.  

I always remember the ones I really made a difference to. That is what makes the job really rewarding. 

  

What has been your lockdown coping strategy? 

I got a puppy. His name is Otto and he a Miniature Schnauzer. He’s nearly nine months old now and has been a life saver. He’s my escape from home schooling and a break from looking at my screen. We had always wanted a dog, but it was never the right time until lockdown came, he’s just perfect.  

Overall working from home has been great apart from the odd home-schooling tantrum. You don’t mind responding to some emails after hours as your commute is only to the next room. 

  

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

I would make sure all lenders and advisers play by the same rules and make sure no rules are bent and no boundaries are pushed. 

  

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

I felt I needed a new challenge. I went on a broker visit with another BDM and really enjoyed it. It was great to speak to the underwriters and gain an understanding of the whole customer journey.  

I felt with my experience as an underwriter at Evolution that I could really make a difference. When the opportunity came up, I jumped at it. I’m really looking forward to meeting people in person when we are finally allowed to. 

  

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

I think maybe some sort of celebrity estate agent or interior designer. I love looking at other people’s houses, stealing home décor ideas from Instagram and seeing how the other half live.  

I can lose hours to the Rightmove app trying to find my dream home. Or alternatively, something where I can work with animals – I’d love to run a doggy day care business. 

  

What did you want to be growing up?  

A professional basketball player; I even got offered a scholarship in America. Or a PE teacher. Things turned out a little different though. I went to university to be a PE teacher and to have religious studies as my second subject. Strange combination I know.  

So much so, there was only one university that offered it. I soon discovered it wasn’t for me. I think it takes a special kind of person to teach 11 to 16-year-olds and I didn’t feel I was the right fit.  

I fell into a finance company after university as an admin assistant and worked my way up. I love how the role enables me not only to help people but also educate them to reduce any further risk of financial difficulty. 

  

What’s your favourite face mask design/pattern to wear? 

It has to be my Liverpool FC face mask, bright red with the Premier League trophy on it from last year. Although I get some funny looks while wearing it on the tram in Manchester city centre. I keep my head down while going passed Old Trafford. Maybe I should just stick to a red one? 

  

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

I have been asked many strange questions but the one that sticks with me is when I took my niece to Chester Zoo and she asked: How long does it take a giraffe to throw up? I thought she was trying to tell me a cheesy dad joke but no, it was a real question. 

Know Your BDM: Ian May, Landbay

Know Your BDM: Ian May, Landbay

 

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

I cover half of London (essentially North, Central East and South East) and Kent which is 1,800+ brokers and nearly 500 firms.

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

Of course, everyone is missing the face-to-face side of things, however, on the up-side it means we can reply to enquiries much faster as we are not travelling. Also helping man the broker helpline has introduced us to new advisers and has started relationships that way. I think clients have liked the fact they can get a really quick response.

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

Honesty is so important I think. If you can’t help with the deal don’t try to string it out, be honest with the chances and if you can, use internal relationships to get an indicative decision.

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

Apart from golf? I find that with meeting so many people in this role it can be hard to put names to faces initially. So that could be improved upon although with age I expect that its likely to get worse!

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

You can’t be productive sat in the car. So despite Zoom overload, opportunities to speak to people are key.

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

My first manager 28 years ago told me, ‘make decisions as if it is your business and never ask people to do something that you aren’t prepared to do yourself’ – that’s always stayed with me.

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

There have been a few challenging ones but I remember a former castle that had been split into flats – it split valuers’ opinion but was very impressive.

What has been your lockdown coping strategy?

It has varied – wine, beer, walking and just lately a puppy. And I have watched a lot of golf on TV. We have also had a few Zoom cook-a-long sessions with Landbay’s own Keith Floyd – our managing director Paul Brett.

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

I would look at the PRA rules for portfolio landlords. It seems crazy to me that a large portfolio landlord who could easily cover rental voids is restricted compared to a landlord that only has a couple of properties. The latter is far more vulnerable to voids causing an issue.

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

I have worked in financial services all of my career in different roles. I love the variety of people I get to meet and working for a great company that you believe in really helps.

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

That would have to be working on a programme like ‘A Place in the Sun’ – on location of course. I really like the differing properties you find abroad – and the sunshine.

What did you want to be growing up?

I hoped I was going to be a footballer (don’t so many kids?) and was close but just missed out when I was 16. Nowadays there are opportunities for youngsters in the situation that I was in to go to the USA on scholarships but sadly this came too late for me.

What’s your favourite face mask design/pattern to wear?

I have a camouflage one in the car and a plain Tommy Hilfiger one – I’m a bit boring on that front.

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

Probably the one above about the facemasks.

Know Your BDM: James Enos, Hodge Bank

Know Your BDM: James Enos, Hodge Bank

 

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

I cover a large area that includes the South West, Mid and South Wales and the Midlands. As you can imagine this includes many advisors and key firms both large, medium and small. 

  

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

Using technology to reach out and keep in touch has changed the way I work and engage with brokers. This will be a part of how we work moving forward. The basic principles of relationship management haven’t changed, but the pandemic has allowed me to reach out and be accessible in so many more ways.  

Additional activities such as webinars, blogs and virtual live events have helped to maintain engagement and educate our broker partners. But, I am looking forward to getting back to seeing people face-to-face. 

  

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

Sounds simple, but being there for brokers when they need you most, answering the phone, keeping promises and doing what you can to support the usual enquiries. But just as important is knowing when an enquiry is not for you as a lender. 

  

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

Time management. There are never enough hours in the day, but I’ve been working on that for a good 20 years now and just when you think you’ve got it sussed, another spanner in works comes along and it never works out! 

  

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

A bit of both really, sometimes a traffic jam gives you time to think and plan, but Zoom calls with good engagement from the audience can be great fun to run and the day flies by.  

  

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

My father always told me, in the working world, to remember, “no-one is your superior, only your senior,” and that’s stuck with me throughout my working life.  

  

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

It’s really difficult to pin one deal down, when you’ve been in the business as long as I have.  

In the past I’ve dealt with a number of deals for the rich and famous, but in recent years it’s got to be the array of stunning holiday let properties that cross my desk. Some of them I could only dream of owning one day. 

  

What has been your lockdown coping strategy? 

Staying busy has been an important strategy for me. I’m not the type of person who enjoys too much down time and having three young children doesn’t really allow for that either.  

But having lots of hobbies including fishing, landscaping and DIY always keeps me focussed on something.  

  

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

That’s an interesting question, I suppose it would be to support networks and firms with regulation in a growing later-life mortgage space.  

I believe this should focus on making it easier for advisors to provide the right advice to clients without adding additional barriers to what is already a complex role. 

  

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

I fell into financial services at 18 without really knowing what area I wanted to focus on. I’ve always been in sales and services and as a BDM I am able to use my people skills.  

The role plays on my strengths and enables me to meet new people and support brokers and their clients in buying their dream homes, which I get a lot of satisfaction from. 

  

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

Property development has always appealed to me. As a keen DIY-er this would allow me to put my own stamp on a property both inside and out and hopefully make some money at the same time. 

  

What did you want to be growing up? 

As a young athlete I had dreams of getting to the Olympics, so a role in sport was always my first career choice growing up. 

  

What’s your favourite face mask design/pattern to wear? 

I’m not really keen on masks, so I’ll be happy when they’re a thing of the past. 

  

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

Having three small children I get asked strange questions most days. But this one – “what’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked,” – must top them all. 

Know Your BDM: David Wheatley, Foundation Home Loans

Know Your BDM: David Wheatley, Foundation Home Loans

 

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

I look after the London postcodes EC and WC which encompasses around 522 brokers at the moment. 

  

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

We have adapted with the restrictions in place and have used various video conferencing platforms to meet with our brokers which is allowing a greater turnout.  

This coupled with years of experience building relationships over the phones within our internal team has taught me many of the skills I am still able to utilise 

  

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

Without doubt, being organised 

I think being able to know which cases take priority for brokers allows me to focus on getting the correct results when needed.  

This coupled with prioritising policy or product updates to brokers who will be able to benefit means we can be more efficient with their time.  

  

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

My patience. I like things to do be done quickly and efficiently and need to remember that service level agreements appear in most organisations. 

  

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

Back-to-back Zoom calls as usually the content is engaging. 

  

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

Years ago, I was told there is no such thing as luck and that everything happens due to the work that is put into any situation. 

  

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

To date, it’s been an incorporation of 22 properties that completed on the same day. 

  

What has been your lockdown coping strategy? 

I have two small children who are a very good distraction. Lockdown has meant I’ve been able spend invaluable time with them that may have been more difficult otherwise. This coupled with regular exercise. 

  

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

Very good question – I would speak to the people across the industry to see what the most significant obstacles to trade would be and try to work a way around this while ensuring people were protected. 

  

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

While working for a mainstream lender I looked at becoming an underwriter, however the role I originally looked at was no longer available.  

Business development was an option that was offered which I was unaware existed due to prior ignorance. I think it encompasses a wide range of skills and I love the sales buzz you get from seeing an enquiry go to completion. 

  

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

I would love to have my own portfolio of properties and be able to watch everything develop. But in all honesty I would still carry on as BDM as I love the role. 

  

What did you want to be growing up? 

Growing up I wanted to be a public servant – either a police officer or in the military. 

  

What’s your favourite face mask design/pattern to wear? 

I have a bright yellow face mask which is both my favourite colour and coincidentally matches Foundation Home Loans’ branding. 

  

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

There have been numerous strange questions but none jump to mind. 

 

Know Your BDM: Gaynor Morgan, YBS Commercial Mortgages

Know Your BDM: Gaynor Morgan, YBS Commercial Mortgages

 

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

I work with adviser and broker firms all over the country, ranging from those with one adviser, to firms with 12 advisers.

 

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

We’re actually known as relationship directors, so the clue is in the title – maintaining good relationships with brokers is key. Like many others there’s more use of video conferencing, which everyone seems to have adapted well to. Understanding that the pandemic brings everyone different challenges has been key to remember, as we are not all working in the conditions that we’re normally accustomed to.

 

What personal skill is most valuable in doing your job?

Being approachable, open and honest is key for the role that I do. I want people to feel they can approach me with a proposal, and get a direct, straight response on it. That doesn’t always mean I will be able to accommodate their requirements, but I will always be upfront about why.

 

What personal skill would you most like to improve on?

Personally I’d like to improve my skills when it comes to giving presentations – there is probably still more ‘umms and aahhs’ in my speeches than required.

 

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

100 per cent back-to-back zoom calls – although I do find sitting in traffic is great for making call backs. Hands free of course.

 

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

During a discussion about growth and development I was asked how I wanted people to see me. This was something I had to think long and hard about, as I needed to understand whether my actions fitted this perception.

 

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

It may sound cliché but it’s true – all the deals I’m involved in are unique and no two deals are ever the same.

 

What has been your lockdown coping strategy?

I took advantage of the extra time at home to spend the time with my two-year old, study for my DipFA and lose 20lbs – I’ve found keeping myself occupied has helped.

 

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

This might be a bit controversial, but I would probably bring in some regulation around advisers having qualifications for undertaking non-regulated deals.

 

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

I’m very much a people person and I love to talk, as I’m sure a number of my colleagues will confirm, but I enjoy the flexibility of going out and meeting various people, as opposed to feeling like a blank face behind a computer and telephone.

 

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

Being a valuer might be interesting because I just love nosing around houses.

 

What did you want to be growing up?

I wanted to be in a crime scene forensic team – I spent far too much time watching CSI.

 

What’s your favourite face mask design to wear?

To be honest I don’t pay much attention to what it looks like – I’m normally stressing about where my toddler has hidden it.

 

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

Honestly, with 16 brothers and sisters, and countless nieces and nephews – I have forgotten what strange looks like.

 

Know Your BDM: Grace Bennett, Family Building Society

Know Your BDM: Grace Bennett, Family Building Society

 

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

I cover a ring of postcodes to the west of the M25 from Guildford in the south, to Slough and Reading in the west and St Albans and Hemel Hempstead in the north. I look after some 200 accounts, but the figure is growing.

 

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

Good communication and time management are key and I make sure I answer all enquiries in a timely manner, as well as being clear and transparent in what can be delivered.

 

What personal skill is most valuable in doing your job?

I feel I am very good at connecting with brokers. As a people person, I am quite adaptable to different personalities. It is much harder under lockdown to chat to people over the phone who you have never met, but I love talking and can relate to most.

 

What personal skill would you most like to improve on?

As one of, if not the youngest BDM in the sector at 21 years old, I would like to improve my knowledge of the products available on the market. If we at the Family Building Society can’t help a mortgage applicant, for example, I’d like to be well enough informed to refer a broker’s clients to another lender, where appropriate. Outside work I am building on my fitness by running.

 

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

Zoom calls.

 

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

I am fortunate to have been given many good tips. I really enjoy my job and it is more of a hobby for me; the best advice is if you are happy in and excited by your job, just go for it and aim high.

 

What is the most memorable or unique property deal you’ve been involved in?

There are so many, but I’d say expat residential cases, particularly when foreign currency fluctuations are taken into account. British citizens working and living overseas, but keen to buy property in the UK, are memorable.

 

What has been your lockdown-coping strategy?

Listening to music, keeping fit and cooking. I did catch coronavirus and self-isolated in my bedroom at our family home. I keep positive and have the belief that we are just one step away from the end of lockdown.

 

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

I’d make it super easy for first-time buyers to get on to the property ladder by compelling lenders to allow larger income multiples for younger professionals who are very likely to see their salaries increase as their careers progress. I would also make motor insurance more affordable for young and new drivers. After three years of blameless and accident-free driving, my insurance premium is still over £600 per annum, which is unfair.

 

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

I joined the Family Building Society straight from sixth form college and was enlisted to BDM support and loved it from the word go. I am very keen to pursue it for the foreseeable future.

 

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

I’d like to learn more about the adviser’s role and job, but I do find property development very attractive. I do like the TV shows featuring people who buy up derelict property for renovation. My dream would be to buy a bungalow and convert it into a lovely family home.

 

What did you want to be growing up?

A lawyer. It does sound boring, but at the age of 14 I watched the film Legally Blonde and my mind was made up. I studied law at sixth form college as a result.

 

What is your favourite face mask design to wear?

Just the ordinary disposable ones you buy at the supermarket, but I might make my own as lockdown and restrictions continue.

 

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

Invisibility or the power of mind reading. The latter would be very useful in business.

 

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

The first time I spoke to a broker he asked me if I was born on a Tuesday. It was Wednesday actually and I thought what a peculiar question, but when I read the nursery rhyme, I realised why he had asked me.

 

 

 

Know Your BDM: Matthew Scrafton, Evolution Money

Know Your BDM: Matthew Scrafton, Evolution Money

 

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

I currently look after 23 firms, however, I’m always looking to increase that number, and the areas I cover are generally quite broad, being right across the UK. Most of the brokers I deal with are in Wales however I also have contacts with advisers in Bournemouth, Norwich, Darlington, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

 

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

Like most people pre-2020 I had rarely used Zoom or Microsoft Teams, however, it’s now become a part of my everyday routine. Also, pre-2020 I rarely worked at home which I have found has pros and cons but overall, it’s been productive enabling me to give regular timely updates via e-mail or phone. A combination of working from home and in the office suits me best.

 

What personal skill is most valuable in doing your job?

It’s important to enjoy communicating and believe in the ‘product’ you sell. If you believe in the product and enjoy communicating, then they go hand in hand in my opinion. Having both attributes will make it easy to enjoy your work, speak with passion and keep people engaged in the product and naturally it will be something you look forward to doing.

 

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

Multi-tasking. I struggle to this day to tap my head and rub my belly in harmony.

 

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

That is a tough one as I do like to travel. In winter probably back-to-back Zoom calls with the radiator on, however in summer, I enjoy a bit of music in the car with some sunny summer vibes. As I am writing this though I am picturing beeping horns and a lot of stress on the road, so I will stick with the Zoom calls.

 

What is the best bit of career-related advice you have ever been given?

To enjoy what you do and ensure the advice you give people is the same advice you would give to your next of kin or a close family member. If you would give the same advice to them then you know it is the right thing to do.

 

What is the most unique property deal you have been involved in?

That is very difficult as I’ve also been underwriting for the last five years so there have been many, however it always fascinates me whenever we do deals which are based in London due to the house prices on certain types of properties always being beyond my expectations.

 

What has been your lockdown coping strategy?

For me I love to cook, and I love my food so to balance that I have been very motivated to stay fit. It began with the Joe Wicks PE classes last year, then to running three times a week and now I am signed up for the Manchester Marathon in October which is a good way to keep focused.

 

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

It is difficult to say to be honest as I think Evolution Money work well within the regulatory rules and generally go beyond in terms of meeting the regulations, so nothing immediately stands out as an issue.

 

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

I have always enjoyed travelling, meeting new people and as I mentioned earlier, I love to communicate whether it be with new or old friends. So, I have always felt this role would go hand in hand with what I enjoy the most therefore it brings out the best in me out.

 

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

My wife is addicted to shows like Homes under the Hammer or Grand Designs, so naturally I watch these as well. Maybe one day I could present Grand Designs, or at least attempt an episode.

 

What did you want to be growing up?

Same as many young boys I am sure, at first it was a footballer. I was a cracking midfielder back in the day, gradually I moved to centre back and then eventually left back in the changing rooms. At that point I knew my dream was over. By about 14, I changed to wanting to be a DJ as I got my first set of turntables, then I realised I couldn’t mix so after that I thought long and hard and concluded a BDM role was best.

 

What’s your favourite face mask pattern to wear?

I’d love to give a flamboyant answer here, but I have only ever worn the white and blue ones. If I ever do splash out, I did once see the Manchester Buzzing Bee design so I would probably buy that.

 

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

As a youngster I was often mistaken for actor Jamie Bell who was Billy Elliott in the film of the same name. Sometimes I even got asked to dance; fortunately, that did not stick with me forever.

 

Know Your BDM: Louise Drummond, Leeds Building Society

Know Your BDM: Louise Drummond, Leeds Building Society

 

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

I’m responsible for around 1,000 brokers in the east coast and central belt of Scotland, which includes Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and Aberdeen.

 

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

Maintaining personal contact with work colleagues and clients is really important, so I’m using Zoom calls and video conferencing because it really helps me to connect, has given me new skills and is so important to our wellbeing.

 

What personal skill is most valuable in doing your job?

Being able to see things from other people’s perspective and put myself in their shoes. I think it’s really important to have an understanding of the issues customers and brokers are facing; that’s especially true at the moment.

 

What personal skill would you most like to improve on?

Following my university days, I started out in marketing and in the last few years I’ve focused on honing my social media skills and supported my team as required. I’ve still more to learn, so this will be something to build on this year.

 

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

I guess stuck in traffic, because that means I would be on my way to see one of my accounts. I’m looking forward to meeting people and telling them all about the improvements we’ve been making to our systems. I’m really missing that face-to-face contact with everybody and I can’t wait to be back on the road.

 

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

To always treat everybody the same, whether they are at the top of the organisation or not, everybody deserves respect.

 

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

A derelict croft with no roof at the top of a cliff. Suffice to say, after trying to find a solution for the customer we had to conclude we couldn’t go ahead, but it was a really interesting project to be involved with.

 

What has been your lockdown coping strategy?

Not becoming too engrossed in the news. I ensure I’m up to date with the important information, but then get on with living the day-to-day.

 

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

 

I’m really passionate about helping vulnerable customers because I like finding solutions to help people solve complex lending needs. So, I’d look at whether changes could be made to better support vulnerable customers.

 

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

I love the variety and no two days are the same. I enjoy being on the road and meeting different people. So I’m looking forward to a time when I can get out and about again.

 

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

I’m curious by nature and I love property and looking around people’s homes so I guess an estate agent would suit me well.

 

What did you want to be growing up?

That’s easy – a vet. I loved animals and I still do. I’ve got two horses and a dog and if I could I’d have more, but my husband doesn’t agree.

 

What’s your favourite face mask design to wear?

I’m safety conscious but quite boring – I just use a blue surgical mask.

 

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

Out of the blue my son, who is 8, asked me a few days ago if I liked turtles, which was surprising as I don’t recall seeing one near us. It turned out he had been watching a video on YouTube.

 

Know Your BDM: Joanna Hampson, Tipton & Coseley Building Society

Know Your BDM: Joanna Hampson, Tipton & Coseley Building Society

 

 

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

I cover all brokers across St Albans, Milton Keynes, Hemel Hempstead, Luton, Oxford, Slough, Stevenage, Reading, Guildford and Southampton. I only recently joined Tipton and, as they haven’t had a BDM operating in these postcodes before, I’ve found brokers really open to finding out more about what we do and how we can assist them with their niche cases.

 

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

Fortunately for me I was a telephone BDM previously so adapting for work during Covid hasn’t been too much of a shock. I have enjoyed doing video calls, and am grateful you can’t smell via video as I spoke to a broker that was eating a stilton sandwich the other day.

 

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

As we all know, this is a people industry and I genuinely love getting to know people. Whether it’s chatting with a delighted broker that didn’t have to see his in-laws over Christmas due to lockdown rules or talking about Bridgerton (my current Netflix viewing) you never know what each meeting will bring.

 

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

Definitely my IT skills, I can get by but I’m certainly no computer whizz and often have to call my far more tech savvy colleagues to help me.

 

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

Hmmm whilst I do like listening to music/podcasts in the car I’d have to pick back-to-back Zoom calls as the day flies by when you’re busy, and it does mean that I am developing broker relationships, and hopefully getting more business in to keep the bosses happy.

 

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

That growth comes from outside your comfort zone, whenever I have to do something new or that I’m nervous about I remember that phrase.

 

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

I once had a broker ask if we’d consider lending to a couple (one of whom was currently in prison) with capital raising to repay a Proceeds of Crime Order. Needless to say the answer was no.

 

What has been your lockdown coping strategy?

At the start of lockdown my mum and I started what we call, “7am run club,” we phone each other at 7am and each going running around where we live. It’s been a great way to stay active, get outside and catch up (even if not in person). Plus it forces me to get out, even on the cold winter mornings.

 

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

Whilst there’s certainly lots of customers that would be helped by a RIO mortgage, the FCA’s requirement that the underwriting must be based on the affordability of the lowest earner (in case the highest earner passes away) is often too restrictive and means many otherwise good quality cases fall short on affordability, so I’d be keen to improve that.

 

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

As it’s the perfect mix of helping others, no two days being the same, and sales and relationship building which I really enjoy.

 

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

I’d possibly be some kind of project manager as I love being organised and true to my northern heritage I can be somewhat miserly so I’d be good at sticking to budget. I’d be hopeless on-site though as I’m scared of heights, and I wouldn’t be able to go above ground floor until the stairs had been added.

 

What did you want to be growing up?

When I was younger I used to love playing ‘schools’. I’d be the teacher and my poor little brother would have to endure hours of lessons which I’d teach using my A Board which had a white board on one side and a blackboard on the other. I’d even make ‘worksheets’ and plan lessons. He must have forgiven me, as we are still very close.

 

What’s your favourite facemask design/pattern to wear?

I’m very boring when it comes to facemasks and just have plain black and white ones.

 

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

I once took my Dad to hospital for surgery and whilst he’d gone to the toilet a nurse asked me where my ‘husband’ was. It’s done wonders for his ego and he now considers himself as some kind of Peter Stringfellow character.