What locations and how many advisers and broker firms do you cover in your role?
I cover the whole of Scotland, working with around 1,600 brokers, the majority of whom deal with the complex side of buy to let. There are occasions when I’m driving through the most beautiful scenic spots which is a huge bonus to the job.
How do you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers?
I’m a really forward and chatty person so establishing relationships is the easiest part of my job. To maintain good relationships it’s important to listen, take on all feedback and do everything you can to ensure positive outcomes.
What personal trait is most valuable in doing your job?
Positivity. In between appointments, driving, calls and emails it can be hard to keep your head above water, but I think a positive attitude goes a long way.
What personal trait would you most like to improve on?
Assertiveness. I’m a bit of people pleaser and always want to help even when it’s strictly not down to me to fix the problem. It’s certainly not a bad trait but it’s where I see my work life balance slipping.
What’s the best bit of career-related advice you’ve ever been given?
Never go to your boss with a problem. Go to them with a problem and two solutions.
What is the most interesting/memorable property deal you’ve been involved in?
One deal that springs to mind was a large portfolio landlord who was moving their properties from a personal name to limited company, while purchasing a few new properties. As we dealt with the purchases first, I suggested the broker and client may want to consider a forward funding facility, which allowed us to underwrite a future line of credit.
After undergoing an interview with our underwriters, due to the experience of the landlord we were able to offer a £3m facility, which meant when he decided to incorporate his properties into his limited company we only required valuations and a quick credit search.
If you were head of the FCA for the day, what would you change about regulation in the mortgage industry?
More lending for sustainable and innovative design in housing. It would be great to see industry support for new methods of construction to allow for progress in reducing CO2 emissions while providing new homes in an affordable manner. There are some really cool designs but there is still a tentativeness about veering from the tried and tested methods.
What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career?
My dad actually has a very similar job in engineering, so I guess it’s in the blood.
If you could do any other job in the property sector, what would it be and why?
There is a show about real estate agents in New York that compete to sell these whopping big city mansions and throw big parties to show off the properties. I’d be excellent at that and their million-dollar commission would be nice too.
What did you want to be growing up?
A nurse … which I did go to study for a short time. It was amazing but only being 18 I was just too young and wasn’t cut out for it.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
To fly … I hate airports.
And finally, what’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?
I’m always asked what time of year I’m born … especially around Christmas, and yes its 12 December. I actually used to have a boss called Rudolf and in December our colleagues would have a field day.