A BDM is for life… so take the time this Christmas to thank yours and let them know you couldn’t manage without them
I thought I would use this special 200th edition of my column, which handily appears just before Christmas, to pay tribute to a group of people in the industry who have worked hard over the past few years, going through similarly tough times to brokers. Yep, I am talking about the BDMs.
To be honest, this was dreamed up in conversation with my industry mate, Lea Karasavvas, at the Council of Mortgage Lenders dinner. We agreed that BDMs were sometimes hugely taken for granted. I do not envy walking into a lion’s den of brokers and trying to speak to people busy doing their own things.
BDMs must need to develop a thick skin to deal with us lot, especially when a lender is struggling with service or there has been an unpopular change of criteria or underwriting decision. They take the brunt of all our frustration, which invariably is no fault of theirs. I sometimes wonder whether a hard hat would be a better piece of kit to give a BDM than an iPad.
Of course, like brokers, there are good BDMs and those who are not so good, but it is up to us to help them understand what we need. Lenders themselves need to help by listening to those who patrol the coalface a lot more, often knowing better than those in higher positions. Empowering BDMs with the right contacts and lines of communication rather than leaving them to drift around with no real power to help is not an option these days.
Shouting at them, subjecting them to abuse or giving it the whole “Do you know who I am?” treatment is an absolute no. They are trying to help us and often their pay depends on it, so think twice before launching into a verbal tirade that will get nobody anywhere fast.
While this may sound like the launch of a Christmas appeal fund for battered BDMs, the point I am trying to make is that it is important we deal with everyone within a lender – whether heads, managers, BDMs or telephone teams – in the same manner we would want to be dealt with. It is a simple matter of respect and decency.
So take the time this Christmas to say thank you to your BDMs. Pat them on the back, shake their hand – hell, give them a hug and a kiss and buy them a drink. Because without them, things would be an awful lot harder.
In the markets this week, three-month Libor is at 0.58 per cent while swap rates have edged up slightly.
2-year money is up 0.04% at 1.00%
3-year money is up 0.05% at 1.17%
5-year money is up 0.06% at 1.45%
10-year money is up 0.08% at 1.89%
Product-wise, this time of year sees a mixture of rate rises and cuts but the real action is being reserved for 2016 when battle will commence once again.
And on the subject of next year, we are already starting to see a smattering of the usual finger-in-the-air predictions, usually by so-called economists or the house-price bubble doom-mongers.
At this juncture it is actually quite a tricky one to call, but more of the same looks likely next year in terms of both gross lending and house prices. With the UK stuck firmly between the conflicting policies of the US and the EU, plus the China effect casting a shadow over proceedings, there is a fair amount that will play out over the course of the next 12 months.
Regardless of the headlines, three things are certain: there will still be mortgages, people will still need advice and the broker sector will continue to strengthen. Whatever the New Year brings we will deal with, for we are resilient, hard-working and passionate.
Wishing you all very happy holidays and a great and profitable New Year.
Andrew Montlake is director at Coreco