What locations and how many advisers and broker firms do you cover in your role?
I cover all brokers across St Albans, Milton Keynes, Hemel Hempstead, Luton, Oxford, Slough, Stevenage, Reading, Guildford and Southampton. I only recently joined Tipton and, as they haven’t had a BDM operating in these postcodes before, I’ve found brokers really open to finding out more about what we do and how we can assist them with their niche cases.
How have you changed the way you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers in the pandemic?
Fortunately for me I was a telephone BDM previously so adapting for work during Covid hasn’t been too much of a shock. I have enjoyed doing video calls, and am grateful you can’t smell via video as I spoke to a broker that was eating a stilton sandwich the other day.
What personal talent/skill is most valuable in doing your job?
As we all know, this is a people industry and I genuinely love getting to know people. Whether it’s chatting with a delighted broker that didn’t have to see his in-laws over Christmas due to lockdown rules or talking about Bridgerton (my current Netflix viewing) you never know what each meeting will bring.
What personal talent/skill would you most like to improve on?
Definitely my IT skills, I can get by but I’m certainly no computer whizz and often have to call my far more tech savvy colleagues to help me.
Where would you rather be stuck, in bumper-to-bumper traffic or back-to-back Zoom calls?
Hmmm whilst I do like listening to music/podcasts in the car I’d have to pick back-to-back Zoom calls as the day flies by when you’re busy, and it does mean that I am developing broker relationships, and hopefully getting more business in to keep the bosses happy.
What’s the best bit of career-related advice you’ve ever been given?
That growth comes from outside your comfort zone, whenever I have to do something new or that I’m nervous about I remember that phrase.
What is the most quirky/unique property deal you’ve been involved in?
I once had a broker ask if we’d consider lending to a couple (one of whom was currently in prison) with capital raising to repay a Proceeds of Crime Order. Needless to say the answer was no.
What has been your lockdown coping strategy?
At the start of lockdown my mum and I started what we call, “7am run club,” we phone each other at 7am and each going running around where we live. It’s been a great way to stay active, get outside and catch up (even if not in person). Plus it forces me to get out, even on the cold winter mornings.
If you were head of the FCA for the day, what would you change about regulation in the mortgage industry?
Whilst there’s certainly lots of customers that would be helped by a RIO mortgage, the FCA’s requirement that the underwriting must be based on the affordability of the lowest earner (in case the highest earner passes away) is often too restrictive and means many otherwise good quality cases fall short on affordability, so I’d be keen to improve that.
What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career?
As it’s the perfect mix of helping others, no two days being the same, and sales and relationship building which I really enjoy.
If you could do any other job in the property sector, what would it be and why?
I’d possibly be some kind of project manager as I love being organised and true to my northern heritage I can be somewhat miserly so I’d be good at sticking to budget. I’d be hopeless on-site though as I’m scared of heights, and I wouldn’t be able to go above ground floor until the stairs had been added.
What did you want to be growing up?
When I was younger I used to love playing ‘schools’. I’d be the teacher and my poor little brother would have to endure hours of lessons which I’d teach using my A Board which had a white board on one side and a blackboard on the other. I’d even make ‘worksheets’ and plan lessons. He must have forgiven me, as we are still very close.
What’s your favourite facemask design/pattern to wear?
I’m very boring when it comes to facemasks and just have plain black and white ones.
And finally, what’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?
I once took my Dad to hospital for surgery and whilst he’d gone to the toilet a nurse asked me where my ‘husband’ was. It’s done wonders for his ego and he now considers himself as some kind of Peter Stringfellow character.