What locations and how many advisers and broker firms do you cover in your role?
Of course, things are slightly different at the moment, but typically I cover a variety of postcodes in the South East, which is essentially all the major ‘car parks’ otherwise known as motorways from Swindon to Gatwick.
I also support my telephone colleagues with brokers looking to use Scottish Widows Bank for the first time. There’s always a lot going on.
How do you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers?
Good relationships with brokers is the bread and butter of what we do, so I always endeavour to return calls and emails quickly, and if something doesn’t go to plan I would try to go and see the broker, so I can assist with resolving the issue.
Obviously until restrictions are eased, we can’t do that at the moment, so picking up the phone and scheduling time to talk is even more important than ever.
What personal talent/skill is most valuable in doing your job?
Being able to give a clear indication of whether we can assist with a case at the outset is the most important skill. Time is a very valuable resource, and no one wants to waste it.
What personal talent/skill would you most like to improve on?
I would love to improve my exam technique. I am currently studying for my Certificate in Regulated Equity Release (CeR-ER) exams.
I haven’t studied since 2000 when I completed my CEMAP – unless you count two lots of GCSEs via my children.
So being able to focus more when I am revising and then remembering everything when I get into the exam is definitely something I want to get better at.
What’s the best bit of career-related advice you’ve ever been given?
The best advice I have received is simple – keep smiling.
What is the most interesting/memorable property deal you’ve been involved in?
Due to our bespoke lending propositions and flexibility on lending criteria I’m very lucky to get involved with unusual scenarios and some beautiful properties on a daily basis – there are just too many to single one out.
If you were head of the FCA for the day, what would you change about regulation in the mortgage industry?
I know the government has a lot on its plate at the moment, but I would engage with parliament about education and make it mandatory for children to be educated about financial services – from current accounts to loans, credit cards and mortgages.
I think if they were more aware at a younger age then they would be better prepared for the future.
What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career?
I previously worked in retail bank branches with intermediaries and knew I definitely wanted to be involved in educating and supporting the broker network. Moving into a business development manager role really was the right fit for me.
If you could do any other job in the property sector, what would it be and why?
I love history, so a tour guide was my fantasy role. Having access to the secret parts of places like Hampton Court Palace would be a dream.
What did you want to be growing up?
I’m not quite sure if this answers the question, but I wanted to be by the sea. The closest I have got to so far is my village pond, but I fully intend to get there.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
I would like to be able to dematerialise like on Star Trek – it seems to be a much easier way to travel but would probably play havoc with my hair.
And finally, what’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?
The strangest question that I have ever been asked is what star sign I am. Weirdly, this was during an interview – but not for my current role.