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Without BDMs, it is difficult to make ‘out-of-policy’ cases fit – Marketwatch

  • 28/04/2021
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Without BDMs, it is difficult to make ‘out-of-policy’ cases fit – Marketwatch
In a bid to be more productive, lenders sometimes direct their business development managers (BDMs) to focus on the brokers who use them the most.


With more experienced brokers tending to source suitable products on their own, some BDM visits may be more welcome than others. 

So this week, Mortgage Solutions is asking: Would being visited by certain BDMs less frequently still be productive for you? 


Phill Green, founder and director of Trufe 

BDMs are really important because they help clarify a broker’s thinking around a particular case. They’re a great conduit between a real life situation and how to make that case stand up. 

However, one of the reasons you might put less cases through certain lenders is the specialism.  

Not every case goes to high street lenders and those that are adverse specific, with complex incomes or commercial come along less frequently. 

Here, the broker’s knowledge might not be A1 so engaging with a BDM is vital to bring a case to life. 

The idea of giving BDMs more access to larger brokers who use them most does not fit. That just makes the larger broker stronger and the smaller broker weaker.  

If you look at some of the mortgage broker groups on social media, it’s quick to see which lenders get praise for maintaining service level standards. By putting a BDM service online or making it contact-free makes it ineffective. 

Those people generally aren’t trained to the same degree or don’t have the same level of authority to adjust and manipulate information appropriately. 

Eventually advisers won’t ring because they get a better service with another lender. 

BDMs need to be more accessible. It’s about having the influence to deviate from a black and white process and take something that’s slightly out-of-policy and still make it fit. 

In the absence of a BDM, that facility goes. 


rob gillRob Gill, managing director of Altura Mortgage Finance 

I’ve had an interesting experience; I came from a larger company being Coreco where there were BDMs all the time.  

At least one a day, sometimes more than one at the same time and they’d be visiting 20-odd brokers, stay for a cup of tea and use our offices. 

When I started Altura, it was just me. I didn’t have a permanent office and no one wanted to visit as it was just me writing business.  

But I found that quite refreshing as I didn’t have people disturbing me because sometimes you might not want to see them. 

It’s their job, which is fair enough but sometimes you just want to get on with your job and carry on doing business. 

I don’t think I lost a huge amount by not seeing or being visiting by BDMs face-to-face; when I needed them, most of them were still there to talk on the phone and I found that invaluable.  

It helps to talk through a case or be reminded of criteria on a lender you might not have used for a while. 

If there are issues on anyone’s side a good BDM is worth their weight in gold. 

The remote way of things has worked for me with the caveat that it is nice to see people and catch up for a chat, but maybe not every single week. 

I’ve met some new BDMs over the last year who I can’t wait to meet but it’s working remotely for the time being. 


Ashley Brown, managing director of Money Sprite  

I’ve always considered BDMs to be a crucial part of the relationship between any lender and the broker community they wish to engage.  

Acting as the grease on the wheel, to ensure criteria is understood pre-application and wrinkles in the processing are resolved in an efficient manner. 

Calling some lenders can be a lucky dip.  

Will you get the happy, helpful and knowledgeable member of staff who knows the critical underwriting nuances that are seldom on the FAQs of the lender website? Or will it be someone off hand, possibly new or just plain ignorant of their own criteria?  

Your BDM is the safety net, to clarify or corroborate information. 

It is wholly understandable that lenders will focus most effort on their best performing accounts, it makes commercial sense.  

However, I think all brokers will have had that chance snippet of conversation with a niche lender who does something a little different on underwriting, that suits that unusual client situation.  

Much as sourcing systems and FAQs are useful in drilling down into criteria, the last few metres of the race are where the BDM shines with intricate detail. 

The training aspect BDMs can offer to whole companies is a welcome resource, with much information delivered quickly and precisely.  

However, where lender BDMs really shine, is when they are allowed to get involved with that problem case or set of complex accounts which seemingly no one wants to understand.  

The lenders who encourage this and allow scope for BDMs to be a seamless part of the broking process, are the ones who build most credibility and plaudits from the adviser community. 


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