BDM in the Spotlight: Stefanie O'Connell, Resimac

Successful brokers aren't scared to try new products

BDM in the Spotlight:  Stefanie O'Connell, Resimac

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 Stefanie O'Connell (pictured above) Resimac’s Queensland-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.

O’Connell said she loves being able to build connections and friendships with the brokers she meets through the course of her work and being able to help them achieve their goals.

She also believes brokers should expect their BDM to be responsive to their questions and always communicate in a timely, professional manner.

Name: Stefanie O'Connell

Title: Business development manager (Queensland)

Time in the industry: 13 years

Company: Resimac

Location: Gold Coast

Provide a brief description of your role and how you support brokers: My role is to support brokers from the application stage all the way to settlement. This includes running through scenarios with brokers and workshopping them, as with my experience I can help them package the deal in the correct way. Also sometimes brokers just need someone to bounce ideas off and we can solve the problem together. 

What’s your favourite part of the job?

My favourite part of the job is every scenario is different, so it continuously challenges me and makes me want to learn more. I also enjoy building friendships and connections with my brokers, as well as helping them in whatever I can, so they can achieve their goals.

What sets successful brokers apart?

Successful brokers are brokers who aren’t scared to try new products. These days we rarely see vanilla deals anymore, so they need to be up to date with specialist and alt-doc products, as I’m seeing more and more customers needing an alternative product.  This is where Resimac is great, as we have products that suit the majority of customers.

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

BDMs should be replying to brokers the same day and answering their phones in a timely manner. I get a lot of brokers saying thank you for taking their calls and for sending an email back quickly. They are not used to this. This should happen automatically in our industry.

Are there any industry-wide changes you think would benefit brokers?

Yes. The industry should see brokers as equals. It should not matter if they are a big company with several brokers or just working on their own. All brokers should get the same service and access to the same products, as well as receiving the same turnaround times. 

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

I think because I have done home lending in retail branches before, I understand that customers want an answer as soon as possible. My main goal is getting back to brokers as soon as I can because I know how important it is, especially these days. Also, through my 13 years in the industry I can help brokers with my knowledge from scenarios, to how to put a deal together.

Describe your ideal weekend.

My ideal weekend is spending quality time with my husband and two girls, Aria and Allie. We love being outdoors so going bike riding, playing at the park, or swimming in the pool is an ideal way to spend a weekend.

BDM in the Spotlight features a range of relationship managers and BDMs within the mortgage and finance industry.  Among those recently featured: Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s Julie Saliba, AFG’s Scott Chandler, Suncorp Bank’s Zach Metaxotos, AMP Bank’s Laura Downer, RedZed business development manager Joel Reid, Aquamore’s 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.