BDM in the Spotlight: Laura Downer, AMP Bank

Brokers and lenders must work together to deliver a great customer experience

BDM in the Spotlight: Laura Downer, AMP Bank

BDM in the Spotlight and State Manager in the Spotlight are a regular series, giving brokers insight into the lives of some of the country’s leading relationship managers.

MPA spoke to Laura Downer (pictured above), AMP Bank’s South Australia-based business development manager about how she supports brokers, what sets successful brokers apart and what brokers should expect from a BDM and lender relationship.

With a love of travel, from regional areas to the coast, it’s no surprise Downer’s wish-list includes working in an outback roadhouse.

“Imagine the characters that you’d cross paths with every day and the laughs you’d have!” Downer said. “I hope one day in the not-too-distant future this will become a reality.”

Name: Laura Downer
Title: Business development manager, South Australia
Location: Adelaide
Years in the industry: 36 years in the finance industry (15 in third party/broker)
Company: AMP Bank
First job out of school/university: Receptionist at local bank branch

Briefly describe your role and how you support brokers?

Having previously worked as a broker, I appreciate how important it is that the broker and lender work together seamlessly to deliver a great customer experience. The customer is at the forefront of every transaction, and I pride myself on my availability and responsiveness to enable my broker to assist their clients as quickly as possible. As we know, a happy customer is a client for life!

What’s your favourite part of the job?

I love the variety and the opportunity to pass on knowledge to help others. One day I might be visiting brokers, the next running webinars, and in between I set time aside to workshop and respond to individual scenarios. I also love to educate on how best to lodge an application with AMP Bank to get the best outcome for the client.

I take the time to work with all brokers, but my passion is helping brokers new to the profession to find their feet, both in how to structure loans, client care and business processes. It’s rewarding to be able to share my knowledge – and I always learn something new too!

What sets successful brokers apart?

I’ll start by saying strong client focus sits at the centre of success. Building on this, brokers who have documented processes and systems in place for ongoing client support are going to drive success further. The current interest rate environment is proof of how important this is.

It’s also important to have the right people working with you and develop them along the way. This too will allow the business to build capacity and capability.

What’s one thing brokers should be demanding from a BDM and lender relationship?

It’s hard to limit it to ‘one thing’ – however I’d say consistency is at the top of the list. A BDM and lender should be accessible, responsive, efficient, and consistent. They then know what to expect when they hit that ‘submit button’ and it gives them comfort to recommend a solution for their client. 

What do you provide to brokers that makes you valuable to them?

My value comes through the knowledge, experience, and passion I share. I am there to support in any way I can.

Describe your ideal weekend.

I love exploring our amazing country so I will quite often hit the road for the day to discover our local secrets, from the coast to regional towns. Try the food, chat to the locals and generally just enjoy getting out and about. Throw in a few catch ups with friends and I am a happy lady.

BDM in the Spotlight features a range of relationship managers and BDMs within the mortgage and finance industry.  Among those recently featured are: RedZed business development manager Joel Reid, Aquamore business development manager Brett Winzer, Commonwealth Bank relationship manager third party banking Jessica Matthews and Suncorp Bank business development manager, small business and commercial Ash Fernando.

What sort of attributes do you think a good BDM should have? Share your thoughts below.