What locations and how many advisers and broker firms do you cover in your role?
My geographical remit is London and the South East and I look after around 200 broker firms in that patch. That number is growing as we are constantly developing our network of introducers and are keen to meet brokers new to UTB.
How do you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers?
Relationships with brokers are paramount in the bridging world and establishing them can be a long but exciting journey. A number of my introducers don’t regularly transact bridging loans and when they receive an enquiry they want to be able to contact their BDM for an urgent conversation. Brokers need to feel confident in a BDM’s ability to quickly answer their phone call or email and to also immediately assess its viability.
What personal skill is most valuable in doing your job?
I think the most valuable personal skill I have is my ability to network and nurture relationships with introducers. Whether it be in a work environment or in personal time I am always open to exploring new business opportunities and I have managed to identify cases with which UTB can assist in some of the least expected situations.
What personal skill would you most like to improve on?
I was always told that there is a reason why one has two ears and one mouth and that they should be used in that proportion. But whilst I do always listen, perhaps I am guilty of running on a bit now and then.
What’s the best bit of career-related advice you’ve ever been given?
There is no substitute for hard work. This phrase encapsulates all aspects of life whether it be in your personal or private life. I was told to have self-belief, to challenge myself and to be constantly learning.
What is the most interesting/memorable property deal you’ve been involved in?
This isn’t so much a memorable deal as an unusual introduction. I like to get along to the gym regularly but I’m not one of those people who insists on having the latest on trend kit. One evening I was mid-bench press when one of the regulars commented on my rather fetching pink vest. Now there’s nothing wrong with a pink vest in my book and we struck up a conversation on the subject.
Over the coming weeks we’d chat regularly and eventually talked about what we did for a living. I told him what I did for UTB and he said that was prescient as he was in the process of arranging some property finance for an upcoming project. We agreed to meet up to discuss it further and as a result he switched lender to UTB and we subsequently completed a £2.2m development loan. And all because of my old pink gym vest.
What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career?
I love the buzz of doing deals. Ever since the tender age of 17 when I was working part-time selling new homes, I knew that business development was the path for me. I get excited when my phone rings knowing there’s potentially another deal to review. I think some people are just wired to thrive on the prospecting, identifying and then closing of deals – I am certainly one of those people.
If you could do any other job in the property sector, what would it be and why?
I think I’d like to be a lawyer. Lawyers are instrumental in the transaction process, they need to be personable, plus knowledgeable, savvy and be able to navigate their way through complicated deals. I think it would be constantly challenging and interesting to see how the transaction works from the legal side of the fence.
What did you want to be growing up?
I wanted to be a racing driver, but didn’t quite make it.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
The power of a photographic memory – knowledge is power and being able to absorb everything you read would be an incredible asset.