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Know Your BDM: Paul Sawford, Tipton

  • 24/07/2019
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Know Your BDM: Paul Sawford, Tipton
Paul Sawford of Tipton tells Specialist Lending Solutions about winning brokers' trust, dream homes and how he's a dead ringer for Eastenders' Ian Beale


What locations and how many advisers and broker firms do you cover in your role?

I cover the South East, which comprises Hertfordshire, Essex, North & East London and parts of Cambridgeshire. I support more than 100 firms made up of sole traders, larger players and two Tipton-approved packagers.

How do you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers?

My main priority is to be well organised and to plan effectively. I arrange appointments two weeks in advance followed by a face-to-face meeting where I learn the challenges faced by each broker. Once this has taken place, I offer on-going support and guidance on relevant products and criteria changes to my broker contacts.

What personal talent/skill is most valuable in doing your job?

To be knowledgeable of Tipton’s product offering combined with understanding the niche markets in which we operate. I always go the extra mile and persevere to assist our brokers. Clarity and transparency in my communication to our brokers is vitally important. 

What personal talent/skill would you most like to improve on?

To remain always positive and upbeat and to keep smiling – even when things aren’t going perfectly to plan. 

What’s the best bit of career-related advice you’ve ever been given?

To keep it simple and always treat others as you wish to be treated. And to use the method: know, like, trusted, value. People get to know you, like you (hopefully), trust what you’re saying to them and ultimately value your feedback and opinion.

What is the most interesting/memorable property deal you’ve been involved in?

The first family home I bought when my daughter was a year old. A lovely four-bedroom home with a garden where she learned to walk and played with her toys. Very happy memories.

If you were head of the FCA for the day, what would you change about regulation in the mortgage industry?

I would simplify processes and improve collaboration between all the professionals involved in financial services, including brokers, solicitors, surveyors and estate agents.

What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career?

I like to meet people. And I talk a lot, which I get from my mother. Progression into BDM roles has been quite natural. A former line manager once said, ‘I like your tenacity,’ and a broker recently described me as ‘a fastidious BDM’.

If you could do any other job in the property sector, what would it be and why?

I would like to have been a property developer. I’ve seen how properties can be transformed from a shell into a beautiful looking home for an individual, couple or family. It would give me great pleasure to see people live happily in a property that was of my making. 

What did you want to be growing up?

A BDM, of course . . .

But seriously, that’s an easy one: a professional footballer. The yard of pace I never had was my Achilles’s heel.

If you could have one super power, what would it be?

The ability to see into the future.

And finally, what’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?

Hmm, well, it’s not work-related, but, somebody once asked if I was Ian Beale — aka the actor Adam Woodyatt — from EastEnders.

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