What locations and how many advisers and broker firms do you cover in your role?
I cover an area within the M25, starting roughly at junction 25 and running anticlockwise from North West London round to junction six in Surrey. I cover over 100 brokers from one or two broker firms to the much larger ones.
How do you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers?
The key is to make sure you follow up all appointments, phone calls and emails and fulfill any promises you make. As long as you are straight with the broker, you will get another chance, even if you aren’t able to help.
What personal talent or skill is most valuable in doing your job?
Knowledge of the mortgage industry and the ability to communicate this to the brokers I meet. As a former mortgage adviser, my knowledge of the role does help, I find.
What personal talent or skill would you most like to improve on?
I’m really good at football, I always play in defence and it is either the man or the ball; both do not go past me. However, I believe I could improve on my heading skills.
What’s the best bit of career-related advice you’ve ever been given?
Always go the extra mile and make sure you exceed expectations for broker and client. The best BDMs are not ‘nine to fivers’.
What is the most interesting or memorable property deal you’ve been involved in?
Releasing money for an ex-pat customer to build a swimming pool in his garden. I was very surprised when receiving this enquiry but we did it.
If you were head of the FCA for the day, what would you change about regulation in the mortgage industry?
I would allow rental payments to count as evidence of affordability for first-time buyers. It is unfair that a good track record of paying rent on time, often more than the prospective contractual monthly mortgage repayments, are not recognised. I would also lower the stress tests for experienced and professional landlords, when considering a buy-to-let mortgage application, but keep them strict for novices.
What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career?
I am a people person; I enjoy the human element in the job and as an ex-mortgage adviser and ex- retail banker it is a good career move.
If you could do any other job in the property sector, what would it be and why?
Definitely a sector investment analyst, advising prospective buyers on market trends and investment opportunities.
What did you want to be growing up?
I am a keen historian and wanted to be a journalist, reporting on history and politics.
If you could have one super power, what would it be?
The ability to survive without sleep.
And finally, what’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?
As a Londoner, why do I support Liverpool FC?