Getting BDMs back on the road

Marcus Dussard

October 21, 2021

Marcus Dussard is sales director at Hampshire Trust Bank

In my previous article, I talked about the value of face-to-face interaction in the specialist lending sector and I ended this by stressing how keen we, as business, are to get our BDMs on the road and how much I am looking forward to getting back out in the field to meet our intermediary partners.

Within this piece, I also touched on how we are also looking to positively enhance our proposition through relevant tech-based solutions, and this is something that I’d like to expand upon.

As a lender, our ethos will always be to work with increasing numbers of qualified brokers to support them with complex lending challenges as well as to deliver on more straightforward cases.

Like many businesses, over the past 12 to 18 months, we’ve taken a long, hard look at how we can continue to improve how we engage with our broker partners and ramp up our tech support.

In an ideal specialist mortgage world, face-to-face interaction will always play a primary role but technology is certainly proving to be a highly effective support network.

Many great tech firms have sprung up throughout the industry to add significant value to lenders, distributors and intermediaries. Some of these are borne out of existing propositions and some have appeared from outside the industry to take advantage of just how far the mortgage market was behind the tech curve.

Other systems and solutions have, and continue to be, built behind closed doors for internal purposes and some of these have transcended individual companies to make a real impact across the entire marketplace.

Recently, we’ve launched our new broker portal PUMA for Intermediaries which, among other things, offers the ability to submit new applications, upload documents and track cases online.

This elimination of paperwork means improvements in efficiency and turnaround times. Once a case has been uploaded on the portal, there’s no need for a further application – users receive automated updates and cases can be tracked in real time.

Our portal is not particularly ground-breaking but the tech revolution continues to challenge how we deliver our proposition from an internal and external perspective.

And this has been especially demanding during a time when our developers, analysts and testers are working tirelessly from their home offices, bedrooms, kitchen tables or even garages to deliver this kind of support for our intermediary partners.

Aligned with introducing and embracing the right levels of tech support, it’s important to outline that the HTB way of doing business is still very much about a personalised approach.

After all, this is how we’ve earned our reputation for being a truly specialist and award-winning lender. So, whilst tech enhancements such as our portal will prove to be a great facilitator to even better turnarounds and service, we need to ensure that this is not the only port of call for advisers.

Brokers need more than a computer screen. They need to be able to discuss cases directly with BDMs, lending managers, underwriters and completions officers.

This accessibility – aligned with easy to access information and a streamlined application to completion process – remains key in ensuring that specialist cases get over the line in the most efficient and effective manner possible. A journey which all lenders, distributors and intermediary firms should be striving to improve where and when possible.

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