Added: 1 September 2021
Ipswich Building Society adopts permanent hybrid business development model
Ipswich Building Society has announced it is adopting a hybrid business development model that will see it blending face to face contact, formerly the mainstay of the BDM role, with the virtual approach of video meetings, webinars and pre-records where appropriate.
The Society, which is rebranding to Suffolk Building Society later this year, has looked at the most effective ways to serve brokers, and which working practices would best support the changing needs of intermediaries post-pandemic. Following the success of remote working during the national lockdowns, the decision has been taken to embed some of the virtual elements into the everyday BDM role, moving towards a hybrid model.
Charlotte Grimshaw, Head of Intermediary Relations, explains: “Over the last 18 months the way we have conducted business has changed rapidly. Following a successful year so far, we are now working towards 2022 and beyond, building towards our aim of growing the Society. After an operational review, we have decided to permanently embrace the alternative communications adopted during lockdown which worked well for our BDMs, and our brokers, embedding these alongside the traditional practices of business development.
“We’re not reinventing the wheel, we’re just freeing up our BDMs to adopt a contact strategy which works best for them, rather than targeting face to face as the holy grail of broker relationships 100% of the time. The benefits of this new system means less time spent out on the road, less downtime and more time for appointments and enquiries which can be useful for both parties. With changes to broker working patterns, we know sometimes being virtual just works better. The role of our BDMs is not changing, and they will still very much be out and about, building and maintaining strong relationships in person, however, instead of this being the case in all instances, they’ll be adopting a hybrid mix – the best of both worlds!
“This move also feeds into the Society’s climate change agenda, which is rightly at the forefront of our strategic decisions, with fewer in person meetings meaning a reduction in energy usage and pollution. Along with the hybrid BDM model we are also considering how to embed sustainability into all we do.”
The Society’s BDM function will continue to be bolstered with an office-based support team, working with brokers to shape cases and access the Society’s common-sense approach to lending, which offers manual underwriting on all cases.