What locations and how many advisers and broker firms do you cover in your role?
I look after the London City region which includes the EC and E post codes, along with the top half of London between the Thames and M25. I have about 800 firms and 1,800 active brokers within the region.
How have you changed the way you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers in the pandemic?
It is all about communication now, either by phone, email or video call. I try and do the basics right – being available, returning calls and replying to emails as quickly as possible.
What personal skill is most valuable in doing your job?
Organisation. Trying to juggle phone calls, voice mails, emails and appointments while giving brokers a good level of service is not an easy task.
What personal skill would you most like to improve on?
Patience. I don’t think you ever have enough of it all of the time.
Where would you rather be stuck, in bumper-to-bumper traffic or back-to-back Zoom calls?
Until Covid-19 and the lockdown, I could think of nothing worse than being stuck on the North Circular or M25 – generally given the location I cover, I try to use public transport where possible. However, right now, it would be a pleasant change of scenery.
What’s the best bit of career-related advice you’ve ever been given?
Never wait for someone to come to you, go to them first.
What is the most unique property deal you’ve been involved in?
I don’t seem to get involved with many straightforward deals anymore, so nothing really stands out as truly unique. I do get involved with a lot of deals where clients have built properties and then sold them to another of their limited companies with inter-company loans for deposits. These can get quite complex and interesting at the same time.
What has been your lockdown coping strategy?
I try and run three or four times a week to get out of the house and get some fresh air. I foolishly agreed to run a half marathon in April, so I am focussing on that.
If you were head of the FCA for the day, what would you change about regulation in the mortgage industry?
On regulation generally, I think there have been enough regulatory changes over the recent years, so I’d let things stay as they are.
What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career?
I have been in financial services all my working life, predominantly in mortgages. Business development gives a nice balance of roles in that each day is different – until lockdown anyway.
If you could do any other job in the property sector, what would it be and why?
Spending my working day getting involved with other people’s buy to lets, it would be nice to be a full-time landlord looking after my own little empire.
What did you want to be growing up?
What’s your favourite face mask design to wear?
Disposable or plain black.
And finally, what’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?
The previous one.