Adapting to change and challenge

06/05/21

My journey as a Telephone BDM at Skipton Building Society for Intermediaries began at the start of 2020, back when there when many of us had fresh plans and ideas for the year ahead. January flew by, any post-Christmas slumps were left behind, and February ramped up for the broker and BDM world.

On February 17th I travelled down to London for face to face meetings with brokers, which provided invaluable insight and experience into how a BDM’s role provides clarity, assurance and support to brokers and their clients. It was key that I learnt from this how I could deliver the same support through the telephone (which soon became Microsoft Teams). Little did any of us anticipate the instant need to adapt forced upon us and the resilience the mortgage industry would require.

‘Lockdown’... ‘Stay at home’... words and phrases which were previously alien to our daily lives. One walk per day, unable to meet loved ones, schools shut...I'm sure you could all add to this list. On reflection of the last year we should all pat ourselves on the back. Over the past 12 months we’ve seen lenders, brokers and their clients embrace technology. At Skipton we’ve embraced technology and have introduced features such as electronic income verification and Auto ID & Verification, we recently moved our eDeclaration online and we continued to Make Things Easier for You by introducing same day offers on fully packaged cases.

In some of the busiest months we all experienced, the robustness of the industry shone through and I was able to meet hundreds of brokers virtually over Microsoft Teams or Zoom. What did this bring? Well, quirky backgrounds, barking dogs, pouncing cats and a common one for me "You're still on mute”. We've seen and heard it all, but it was done together and Skipton throughout this have maintained their ambitions to be a Top 10 Lender and brokers and their clients are integral to making this happen. We’ve recently launched a brand-new Skipton Talks channel, our home for webinars, blogs and insight for the Intermediary Community, which is built off the success of regional and national webinars the BDM team delivered in 2020. This new channel helps us to reach more brokers and deliver bitesize sessions on key criteria and hot topics.

On reflection, cherish and focus on the good times over the last 12 months because you deserve it. Personally, I managed to get outside more and discover what's on my doorstep, what were you able to do that will stick with you? As Skipton continued to grow through adversity, so did the UK mortgage market, and Skipton Group achieved an impressive 8.6% mortgage growth. My football club also impressed us - 16 years out of the promised land and Marcelo Bielsa led the way for Leeds.

On that note, what is the landscape like ahead and how will we interact moving forward? As a Telephone BDM the new use of video appointments blends the role of field based and office-based Business Development Managers, and I’m able to communicate face to face with my brokers which seems to benefit the relationship. So, my question is, will this become a more hybrid dynamic for all BDMs in the time to come? Or will we want that social interaction back like we had before?

It’d be nice to have the option of both.

Jack Tidswell

Telephone Business Development Manager, Skipton Building Society for Intermediaries.

These views are Jack Tidswell’s own.

All information correct at time of publish.

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