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A day in the life of a BDM at Leeds Building Society

 

Bev Ford, Business Development Manager for the West Midlands, on a day in the life of a BDM at Leeds Building Society.


Our BDM for the West Midlands, Bev Ford, has been in the industry for over 20 years and, this year, has been nominated for BDM of the year at the British Mortgage Awards. She was also one of the first female Business Development Managers at Leeds Building Society, so we caught up with Bev to find out how she spends her time and what makes a good BDM.


So Bev, can you talk us through what a typical week looks like for you?
I’m on the road between appointments four days a week, so I have to plan my schedule carefully to make sure I’ve got enough time between appointments to allow for travel and responding to brokers’ needs, whether that be over the phone or via email. I never like to leave it too long to answer brokers’ emails or calls, because most of the time they will need a fast response in order to help their client, so I make sure I’m available on my phone at various points each day.  
Once I’m back home in the afternoon I spend time catching up on admin and planning for the next day’s appointments. Every appointment I make is different, so they all need to be tailored so I’m offering the most effective service. Sometimes it may be a broker I have a great relationship with, in which case it may just be a case of catching up and going over any recent updates, but it could also be a brand new one, so I’ll need to do my research and make sure I’m tailoring our key messaging, so that I can work out how we can best support them through our products and criteria. Either way, whether there is an existing relationship or not, each appointment is just as important as the last and takes careful preparation.  


How is your time spent when you’re not on the road?
When I’m not on the road it’s about making appointments two or three weeks ahead. My time will be spent ensuring brokers are fully up to date with our product and criteria updates and service news, whether this be via email or with a phone call, I’ll also spend time working on any presentation prep I may have to do if I’m attending any roadshows in the coming weeks. I’ll also take the time to pick up conversations with brokers that I may not have heard from for a while and work on strengthening my relationship with them so that I can better support them in helping their clients. This often means taking the time to make sure everything is packaged up in a way that is bespoke to them and ensuring they are really well looked after.   


Is there a secret to being a good BDM?
There isn’t really a golden secret to being a good BDM, but I’ve always found that spending just as much time with the broker’s admin team as you do with the broker can be a huge help. In some cases it’s the admin team that will input everything for a client and process all the documents, so if you have them onside and give them an understanding of what is required to submit a case effectively with us, then the whole process goes through smoothly and they’re likely to think of us again in the near future! For the brokers I work with that may not have a admin team, it’s about making sure they have a thorough understanding of everything that is needed and ensuring this is maintained throughout the whole process.


I also like to take the time to get to know the broker and their personal circumstances, not just spend time talking about products and services. Getting to know them on a personal level gives you that element of trust, which is absolutely essential. Generally it’s about taking the time to make sure the broker is well looked after. I will always send a thank you follow up note after every appointment, which sums up our conversation, lending criteria and any other questions the broker may have. It’s a way of continuing the conversation and staying in their mind. Yes, it takes time, but it’s so worth doing. As a BDM you have to remember that you are there to help, so that’s exactly what you need to do, and often that means going the extra mile.


It was International Women’s Day on the 8th March. Do you think there is a divide between the amount of men and women in the industry?   
For me, I simply see everyone as my brokers and I don’t differentiate between male and female. In terms of the business development role there are definitely more women coming into the industry now, which is great to see. When I first moved into this role I was one of the first women to do so. Now, there are a lot of female BDMs out there, so the shift has already happened and long may it continue.  


For more information about Leeds Building Society or to speak to one of our team about general enquiries or specific cases, contact one of the BDM team here: http://www.leedsbuildingsociety.co.uk/intermediaries/contact/