What locations and how many advisers and broker firms do you cover in your role?
With us able to lend anywhere in England or Wales it gives me 58,000 square miles of mortgage lending to go at, and it can feel like I do that many miles each year. Much of my time is in London, Norfolk, and west of the M11. As well as around 170 firms, I also work closely with the club and network mortgage desks.
How do you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers?
By being approachable and there when needed – I always try to return calls straight away and will always be honest. When you deal in the more quirky cases and niche areas, there’s always a lot to understand on a case so it’s important that the response is accurate.
What personal talent/skill is most valuable in doing your job?
Bouncebackability – you need to be persistent and be able to take the rough with the smooth. Accept the praise, acknowledge and learn from criticism, and always be positive.
What personal talent/skill would you most like to improve on?
Juggling everything that comes my way – it’s a constant job to prioritise everything that flies at you.
What’s the best bit of career-related advice you’ve ever been given?
Go home. No seriously, it’s all too easy to lose sight of the right work/life balance and you need to know when it’s time to switch off. It also works well to sleep on a problem and come back the next day with a fresh approach.
What is the most interesting/memorable property deal you’ve been involved in?
Two spring to mind; firstly, a £1.7m self build case we did last year for a beautiful house that no one else would lend on, and secondly my own first house, a small mews cottage just outside Ipswich which gave me an insight into the whole housing process.
If you were head of the FCA for the day, what would you change about regulation in the mortgage industry?
Interestingly, the FCA have started to review the area I’d choose, which is further support for ‘mortgage prisoners’.
What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career?
I like dealing with people and love that every day is different. An opportunity arose to look at either sales or admin, and I took the sales route. That was 23 years ago, and it’s been the sales arena for me ever since.
If you could do any other job in the property sector, what would it be and why?
I’d love to be a property developer of high end property… who am I kidding, I’d love to live in a high end property that I’d done up myself!
What did you want to be growing up?
A footballer – but that was never going to be, sadly.
If you could have one super power, what would it be?
Speed – I’d love to be able to run faster than a speeding bullet.
And finally, what’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?
… ha, not sure I can say! It was probably one at a conference after a couple of drinks – that’s when all the best ones come out.