What locations and how many advisers and broker firms do you cover in your role?
I cover the South East region including the M25 corridor and I look after 190 key accounts which include clubs, networks and direct agencies.
How do you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers?
Relationship management for me is all about listening and really getting to know the broker and understanding their business. This background work is really useful when it comes to an application as this helps me to shape the right deal for the broker and ensure a positive customer outcome. It also means that I am better prepared to negotiate on behalf of the broker if any complications arise. I can only work effectively, if I have all the information upfront, so please don’t hold anything back.
What personal skill is most valuable in doing your job?
Good communication skills without doubt are an absolute must, alongside strong interpersonal skills. Keeping calm under pressure is also high up on the list.
What personal skill would you most like to improve on?
Sometimes my enthusiasm may need to be turned down a notch – my colleagues are the best in their fields and at times I need to stand back and let them get on with the task in hand.
What’s the best bit of career-related advice you’ve ever been given?
Anything is achievable if you put your mind to it.
What is the most memorable property deal you’ve been involved in?
I helped one of InterBay’s broker partners on a £4m deal where the client was struggling to obtain finance and getting very close to his deadlines. I quickly arranged to meet up with the broker and the client to gather as much information as possible which included detailed explanations of some blemishes. It was quite an adrenaline rush to get all the pieces in place but we got the case over the line within the deadline.
If you were head of the FCA for the day, what would you change about regulation in the mortgage industry?
I would revise the definition of a portfolio landlord as in today’s buy-to-let sector, four mortgaged properties seems low. The rules were designed to look at the wider portfolio when underwriting a new buy-to-let mortgage and larger portfolios, say ten properties or more, is where you’d need to do a greater degree of due diligence. I’d make this a top priority as it would certainly help ensure underwriting is more risk based.
What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career?
I fell into banking by accident to be honest but I’ve been in the industry for over 15 years and enjoy meeting new people, building positive relationships and bringing a solution to the table. Luckily this job involves all those elements and I really enjoy the daily variety so I would call it a happy accident.
If you could do any other job in the property sector, what would it be and why?
I would probably become a developer or investor as I’ve picked up lots of knowledge along the way.
What did you want to be growing up?
A policeman or a member of the armed forces.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
To predict the future.
What’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?
“Daddy, do you shampoo your eyebrows?”