What locations and how many advisers and broker firms do you cover in your role?
I cover parts of Yorkshire and the North West, supporting around 500 advisers in numerous firms.
How have you changed the way you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers in the pandemic?
Although we have had to adapt to interacting with brokers remotely, our focus has always remained on being available by phone and email to help with enquiries and deliver support to our intermediary partners, along with bite-size webinars and top tips to ensure applications are turned around quickly.
What personal skill is most valuable in doing your job?
My communication skills give me the ability to talk to anyone about anything – and being nosey helps. I tend to always have a smile on my face and try to build a trusting and warm relationship with brokers.
What personal talent would you most like to improve on?
My chocolate intake… I must remember that chocolate is not a food group.
Where would you rather be stuck, in bumper-to-bumper traffic or back-to-back Zoom calls?
Definitely back-to-back Zoom calls; it’s the new way of life for many BDMs and the virtual world allows us to interact with more brokers than we would have done while on the road – the more the merrier.
What’s the best bit of career-related advice you’ve ever been given?
My grandad always used to say that the most important thing to remember in life is ‘if you fall off the horse, get up and get back on’. Growing up with horses, this was definitely meant in more ways than one, but I have always used this to remain perseverant in every aspect of my career.
What is the most quirky property deal you’ve been involved in?
A zoo. I was lucky enough to be a special guest keeper for a day (to assess the business) and I was given the chance to feed a whole array of amazing animals from lions through to penguins and rhinos – safe to say that was the best day in work ever. I will admit that I did consider all ways possible to fit a baby rhino into the back of my car.
What has been your lockdown coping strategy?
Nothing beats fresh air up a fell in the Lake District or a peak in the Yorkshire Dales. I am fortunate to have these wonderful places on my doorstep and have spent as much time as possible in the great outdoors since March, whether out walking the dog, on a tractor or finding a good view to watch the world go by.
If you were head of the FCA for the day, what would you change about regulation in the mortgage industry?
I would aim to deliver a structured training programme for advisers who are new to the industry, which would enable clear recognition and reward for hard work and determination.
What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career?
My school report always said ‘Victoria talks too much’ so what better choice of career than as a BDM, where I get to speak to lovely brokers for a living. Every day is a school day for me and I believe I learn from every person I speak to. I love the fact that no two days are the same as a BDM and it’s always satisfying when I am able to find a solution for brokers who have a tricky case to place.
If you could do any other job in the property sector, what would it be and why?
I would be a new build site manager; I have been fortunate to see first-hand the joy on a customer’s face when collecting keys to their brand new home. To be able to play such a crucial part in every step of the build, ensuring quality workmanship, organisation of labour and safety standards would be fantastic – the fun and banter the teams have on site would also be a bonus.
What did you want to be growing up?
Most young girls dream of being a princess… I wanted to be an archaeologist like Indiana Jones.
What’s your favourite face mask design to wear?
My favourite is grey with white stars but I am very tempted to get something silly to make people smile.
And finally, what’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?
A broker once asked me if I liked eggs – he then proceeded to throw an egg at his wife while on the phone to me. Turns out his wife had thrown one at him earlier and he was waiting for the prime opportunity to strike back when she least expected it. Safe to say the three of us were in hysterics.