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Brokers praise BDM service overall but criticise others for ‘window dressing’

  • 05/08/2016
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Brokers praise BDM service overall but criticise others for ‘window dressing’
Brokers have spoken of a willingness among lenders’ business development managers (BDMs) to go "above and beyond" but say some are just meeting targets and effectively “window dressing”.

When asked what was the most important quality in a BDM, brokers said that having “clout” and the ability to challenge lender errors and decisions was vital.

In general, brokers agreed that BDMs are offering a good service to intermediary partners, with 41% of 138 respondents to a Mortgage Solutions poll agreeing that their knowledge is “comprehensive”. A further 46% said service levels were good but could be improved, while 13% said they were “very poor”.

Robin Purdie, director of MOV8 Financial, said having a strong working relationship with BDMs was crucial to finding out lender criteria and getting deals completed.

“To me, a BDM who doesn’t have the clout to either get things moving along or challenge a decision or error are effectively just window dressing.

“There are some BDMs that come in and ask us how much business we’re doing and so forth, and I’m not interested in having those conversations, I’m interested in what they’re going to be able to do to help if a crisis arises.”

Purdie, who is based in Edinburgh, said the way the Scottish housing market operates meant that brokers need lenders and BDMs who could move cases along quickly and efficiently.

“In Scotland because of the way that missives work we do usually need to have an offer within 10 days or the purchase can fall apart, so a lot of our deals boil down to being able to trust the lender.”

Managing director of Active Brokers, Gary Das, agreed that service levels vary according to lender but certain BDMs were renowned for going “above and beyond”.

“In my experience, the best BDMs are the ones that have worked as advisers because they know the trials and tribulations that we go through on a day-to-day basis. Whereas someone who’s just gone into business development with no experience, it’s like any job, you’ve got no appreciation for what the people you’re dealing with do.”

He added: “It really does fall down to the person and how much they’re willing to help – you can tell some of them are sales-orientated and just after their targets or coming to visit purely to tick a box on a piece of paper.”

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