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Building lender relationships requires work but the rewards make it worthwhile

Nurturing positive relationships between brokers and lenders requires work but getting it right can deliver significant benefits for both parties.

Positive relationships between brokers and lenders can deliver benefits to both parties. In addition to the obvious advantage of securing sales, close collaborative working can increase knowledge on both sides and facilitate valuable honest feedback, leading to informed decision making. 

Central to nurturing the relationship between brokers and lenders if the role of the BDM. In many cases BDMs are the day-to-day point of contact so are key to how brokers see and interact with lenders and, as such, can have a significant influence over the mortgages written.

The Mortgage Intermediary Insight Report (MIIR), recently published by Paragon, revealed that just under a fifth of brokers say they are at their maximum capacity managing the volumes of business they receive, with just over a third saying that they are near capacity.

This highlights how there are opportunities for lenders to gain a competitive advantage by supporting busy brokers but the best ways to do this may have changed.

The widespread adoption of hybrid-working means that offices are rarely full and it’s not always convenient for drop-in visits or multiple visits in one day. As a result, the BDM role has evolved and building relationships through face-to-face interactions is perhaps not as common as it was in the past.

This means that while getting the basics, such as being responsive, remain important, BDMs have to think differently about bringing value to brokers; those who are able to adapt to meet the specific needs of the different intermediary firms they work with are most likely to excel. 

For us at TBMC, helping to increase knowledge amongst staff is an area where BDMs can add real value, an obvious example being training. Our staff are highly knowledgeable on different aspects of buy-to-let but because we work in a specialist environment, there is much to gain from getting a deeper understanding of specific facets of lending. We find particular benefit to training which sits outside of the day-to-day rates and criteria remit - the impact of swap rates, valuation reports or the assessment of credit files, for example.

BDMs can provide benefit beyond the sales function too and broadening the remit to work with admin staff can bring an extra layer of support. In times of fast-paced rate changes it can be key for a business to have a contact that the admin team can pick up the phone to.

And it’s not just BDMs. Providing access to underwriters and back office staff can offer a huge advantage for lenders, sharing their breadth of expertise and really helping them to connect with their brokers. This is particularly true of specialist lending where the added complexity of cases often means an in-depth conversation is needed.

Not only can direct conversations with underwriters result in a faster decision, they can also help the broker to learn and gain an understanding of the lender’s criteria, processes and rates. The greater a broker understands the way a lender does things, the more likely they are to submit applications for mortgages that lenders are willing to write, backed up with all of the necessary documentation. This streamlines the process and results in fewer frustrated clients so can be a stronger sales tool than rates alone.

This shows how really getting to know the people, products and processes of partner organisations can benefit all parties involved in mortgage lending. The onus shouldn’t be entirely on lenders, however as brokers also have a part to play in nurturing this relationship.

The sector has faced some extraordinary challenges over the past couple of years and although we can be proud of how we’ve responded and what has been achieved, it is inevitable that things don’t always go to plan.

Lenders are having to react to conditions brought about by the current economic climate, with things like fast-paced rate withdrawals increasingly common. This leads to frustrated brokers and disappointed customers, but it is important to remain professional and not blame individuals for decisions made out of their control. Instead, by working together we’ll be better equipped to find the best solutions for our customers.

This website is aimed at mortgage intermediaries and investment professionals only and is not intended to be relied upon by borrowers or investors.

© The Business Mortgage Company Limited: registered in England and Wales no. 5390573. Regus House, Malthouse Avenue, Cardiff Gate Business Park, Mid Glamorgan, Cardiff, CF23 8RU.

The Business Mortgage Company Services Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (No. 302764) to transact regulated mortgages and registered as a Consumer buy-to-let arranger. The FCA does not regulate some investment mortgage contracts.