What does your role entail and how long have you been doing it?
I’m regional business development manager, west, at Bridging Finance Solutions (BFS). My role entails liaising with brokers and clients directly and dealing with queries regarding short-term bridging and development finance. I attend lots of local property and professionals’ events, to make contacts, as well as larger events in Birmingham and London, such as the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers annual conference.
What attracted you to working in the mortgages and property finance sector?
I’ve always had an interest in property but never finance – I hated maths at school. My mum would put programmes such as Homes Under the Hammer, Kirsty and Phil, Grand Designs and George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces on TV all the time when I was young. You could say I was born into the interest.
What were you doing in the five years before starting here?
Before I joined BFS, I worked at another lender as a loan manager. My role included tasks such as taking an application over the phone or by email, collating the information to take forward to credit committee for a decision, creation of the offer in principle, junior underwriting and risk analysis, organising valuation and legals, completion statements, continuous contact with clients for updates throughout the loan and redemption statements including release of the DS1 form.
Prior to this I completed a two-year higher apprenticeship project management scheme at Unilever in the global home care team. I didn’t attend university and so instead I looked to gain further education through that scheme. I gained experience in creating and editing project plans, and developed my creative side in this role including some significant pieces of internal marketing that saved my team more than £40,000.
What personal talent or skill is most valuable in doing your job?
The personal talent that I find most valuable in my job is that I can remember what most people would consider as unnecessary information – things such as how many kids someone has or information about a family member that I can strike up in conversation the next time we talk. Most people are shocked that I can remember so much personal detail.
What personal talent or skill would you most like to improve on?
The aspect of my work I most want to improve is my database of contacts in the property business. As I have only been a business development manager for a short amount of time, it would be a benefit to meet as many new professionals and clients as possible.
What’s the most interesting or memorable property case you’ve been involved in?
My first case which involved Deed of Probate and my first case which went into arrears and had to go through the legal stages of repossession. These cases are less frequent than most so it was interesting to learn the different requirements for both and how the legals had to be structured differently.
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
I’d like to see myself in a more senior position at BFS certainly. I am really enjoying meeting new people on a weekly basis at the moment and because I’m such a sociable person, I can’t see myself changing my role any time soon. If I did fancy a change, I might dip my toe back into underwriting and the administrative or organisation side of the office, but for now I’m happy where I am.
If present-day you could go back in time and tell yourself something five years ago, what would it be?
The best thing you ever did was defer your place at Manchester Met University, keep doing what you’re doing, and it’ll work out for the best.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve tackled so far in your career?
Unfortunately, being spoken over and ignored as a female in a male-dominated profession.
If you could have one super power, what would it be?
To find a forever home for all rescue animals. I have a rescue German Shepherd from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Giving him a family home at my parent’s house was the best and most rewarding feeling ever.
And finally, what’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?
I somehow always get asked if I’m related to someone with the same last name as myself? I’m literally from such a small family with next to no relatives in the North of England but brokers and clients always ask if I’m related to people with the same last name up and down the country.