Broker support profile: Tracey Copeland, BDM

Tracey provides insight into the role of a BDM at The Mortgage Works and tells us how she helps support you and your client's applications.

How long have you been a BDM and what attracted you to this job?

I’ve worked for The Nationwide Group for over 20 years, the last 10 years as a BDM and prior to that I worked within various underwriting teams. It was during my time as an underwriter that I realised that I could put my knowledge to good use and make a difference to brokers, and I also thought the role looked exciting!

What area do you cover and how many advisers and broker firms do you cover in your role?

I cover the East Kent area for Nationwide and The Mortgage Works (ME, CT and some TN postcodes) and look after 248 outlets which currently has a total of 386 advisors.

What’s the secret to being a good BDM?

Building trust and delivering promises. It’s extremely important that a broker has the confidence in their BDM to support them with their business needs, is accurate with the information they share, understands the need to get the job done as quickly as possible and returns any calls/emails in a timely manner.

What’s a common misconception about your job?

That a BDM is the contact point for escalating a case and sorting an issue. Yes, this is all a part of managing a relationship and I’m always ready to support my brokers with their challenging applications but it doesn’t stop there. We can help share ideas, provide top tips and solutions, train new advisors, support with regulatory changes and take on board feedback from brokers that we use to shape future lending policy.

What do you think we offer currently that is most useful to brokers and why?

It’s fair to say that over the last year or two the Buy to Let industry has seen a number of changes. TMW has recognised this and to support brokers have introduced dedicated pages on our website to explain our understanding of these industry changes and how they can affect landlords. Examples such as ‘Our commitment to portfolio landlords’ and ‘Tax relief changes for landlords’ which include sales aids, case studies, interactive calculators and not forgetting our quarterly Buy to Let Barometer, all help with understanding the Buy to Let market.

What sort of challenges are you able to support brokers with?

One challenge I recently faced was related to a portfolio landlord application. Since the PRA’s changes to portfolio landlord underwriting standards were implemented there’s been a little confusion within the market, putting some brokers off submitting this type of case altogether!

On this particular case, the broker had already spent time submitting many cases for their portfolio client to another lender, only to have them all rejected. As they had already spent considerable time on the applications, they were reluctant to try again without reassurance from the lender.

When I was approached I quickly understood that they needed confidence in our proposition. So, I made time to call into their office and together, we completed the Portfolio landlord affordability assessment and property schedule form, making sure to include all unencumbered, Limited Company and jointly owned properties, with help from the underwriting team to clarify a couple of points.

It’s fair to say the portfolio was very large in size and had a couple of unique challenges. By visiting this account and spending time helping them with the portfolio application, they felt confident to try again and shortly after my visit, submitted nine remortgage cases to us – they’re all progressing nicely.

This is just one example of the many ways BDMs can support their brokers with the ultimate aim of providing confidence in the lender’s criteria and getting applications through to completion as quickly and seamlessly as possible.

What’s a common issue for you and your brokers now?

Regulation changes within the industry can be challenging and confusing, especially with lenders adopting very different approaches. So, I recommend keeping in touch with your BDMs as we can support each other.

What’s your top tip that’ll help speed up an application?

Only provide what we ask for as quickly as possible. We’ll only ask for a document that is necessary to make that underwriting decision and by giving us a document that we haven’t requested means wasted time with uploading and assessment. Alternatively, only giving us part of the document will also create delays!

What’s the most interesting question a broker has ever asked you?

Not so much as a question but I frequently get emails and sometimes phone calls from brokers that confuse me with a BDM of a similar name who works for another high street lender. Only last week I walked into a busy estate agent who loudly greeted me as Tracey from that other lender - he was a little embarrassed to say the least!

And finally, if you’re unavailable, what do you recommend your brokers to do?

If I’m not around I’ll always recommend Broker Chat via our website. We have some very experienced, CeMap qualified staff that are ready to answer your questions, providing detailed responses with an audit trail at the end of the conversation which you can print. We also have useful pages on our website such as our FAQ page or A-Z of lending criteria.