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My mortgage week – Richard Hall

Monday: I begin the week with a 7.30am meeting with Steve Holt, our recently-appointed operations director. We discuss the training of our new business development managers who are due to start work with us today. Steve is going to be co-ordinating the training, so we discuss the best way forward. Next on the agenda is a morning meeting with Curtis Crews, head of underwriting, to review our underwriting criteria and make sure we are continuing to maintain our high standards.

At 7.30pm I head home very happy as we achieved a record 45 new broker enquiries today. We have also completed 131 agreements-in-principle – another first for us.

Tuesday: We recently started to fax new updates to brokers and first thing this morning we have a review meeting to see if this system is working. Everyone seems impressed by the improvement in responses and it&#39s obvious that it has been well received by brokers. After lunch I have a meeting with our conceptual artist about the end of year advertising campaign. It marks a new era for Best Advice Mortgage Centre as we will be launching a new broker network featuring compliance support.

Wednesday: I work from home this morning in anticipation of a visit from an architect and structural engineer to discuss the extension being built on my house.

I head to the office around lunchtime and have a meeting with our human resources consultants about recruiting four business development managers. The interviews are arranged for the following week in London.

Thursday: I arrive in the office at 8.00am and complete the contracts for our new members of staff, including our new initiative – the Best Advice Mortgage Centre&#39s Share Option Scheme. At 11.00am I have a meeting with our public relations firm to agree a schedule for the coming months and to discuss our impending advertising campaign.

Friday: In the office at 8.00am and a busy day ahead. But that doesn&#39t stop me being harassed by our public relations company again for a diary for some magazine called Mortgage Strategy. I don&#39t think I&#39m going to find the time. Six staff are off on the same day and there are 16 new applications to get underway. After some persuasion the underwriting team agree to work on Saturday – they must like me, although I have a sneaking suspicion it&#39s more to do with the promise of paid overtime. I finish the day by writing out cheques for brokers – another record week.

It&#39s 6.30pm – I call my wife and ask her to get some wine to celebrate a great week for the business. Completions are up and service standards have hit new heights. It&#39s not the end of the week for me yet though, I&#39m back in the office on Saturday – morning only, as I&#39m watching the Toon in the afternoon. At last I&#39m starting to get my priorities right.

•Richard Hall is managing director of Best Advice Mortgage Centre. His diary runs from October 14-18.


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