In the past, the role of a business development manager (BDM) was often viewed as a salesperson. They were viewed as people who sell products and drum up business. That all changed in 2007 when the credit crunch hit. As the mortgage market picked itself up off the floor, and dual pricing and restrictions on lending were introduced, BDMs were forced to evolve. And only those who focussed on building and managing relationships saved themselves from the scrap heap.

Today, a good BDM is much more of an educator than a salesperson. They’re there to understand what you do and how you operate to help you find the best solution for your customers.

This knowledge-led approach is even more important in the specialist lending market, and a BDM is crucial in heading this up.

With each customer comes their own unique set of circumstances, as is so often the case with specialist lending, brokers need to know they can discuss areas of concern upfront and place the case with confidence. They also need to trust that the guidance they’re given is right for them.

At Pepper Money, we believe in open and honest communication at all times. Our BDMs will always help guide brokers through the application process, from the upfront discussion around criteria to the packaging requirements and online system.

The benefit of a true relationship is that it works both ways. For example, sometimes a lender may struggle to process a case quickly if they don’t have the documents they need. A good BDM is aware of the business being received from their region and can work with their intermediaries to ensure that they are receiving a fully packaged case. This will enable the lender to process the case as smoothly as possible to their mutual benefit.

This two-way communication helps build trust, which is the backbone of a successful relationship. It’s also a key element in ensuring time-efficient cases for the benefit of the customer.

I know from my own time as a BDM just how often a broker would call me and ask, “am I wasting my time?”. There is nothing worse than being told to “try” a case. It either fits or it doesn’t and it’s the BDM’s role to either explain it’s not one for us, or to ensure the broker understands exactly what we need in order to proceed.

The role of BDMs moving forward

Whilst Covid-19 will likely change the way we work moving forward, there is an element of face-to-face contact that we simply need as human beings. I expect BDMs to work smarter following this year and a further adaptation of technology to be apparent. But you can’t replace face-to-face meetings to build rapport, trust, and a lasting working relationship.

With more virtual meetings and events taking place, the opportunity is there to attend more events and showcases where extensive travel previously may have meant we were unable to.

As the specialist market continues to grow and more brokers find themselves using lenders like Pepper Money more regularly, the role of the BDM will be crucial in educating them and holding their hand through the early stages.

Whether you meet in person, exchange emails or chat over the phone, a good BDM is worth their weight in gold and will continue to be so.

If a BDM can’t help with a certain enquiry, they pride themselves on knowing who can. By putting the broker’s business at the heart of what they do, they create a long-lasting relationship and the business of their own lender naturally grows in tandem with that of their intermediaries’.

My team are all experienced professionals with vast knowledge of the market we operate in. They have a passion for helping to grow the businesses of the brokers they deal with by sharing that knowledge.

This dedication, to doing what’s best for brokers and their customers, is at the heart of everything they do.

Find your local BDM here