What locations and how many advisers and broker firms do you cover in your role?
I’ve recently taken over the London patch, including some surrounding postcodes and cover more than 1,000 firms with 2,500 brokers registered with us currently.
How have you changed the way you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers in the pandemic?
The pandemic gave me the opportunity to change the way I worked, and I’ve become much more productive. I now run mortgage masterclasses on teams several times a week on a variety of topics from affordability to limited company buy-to-let. These sessions get great feedback and add value to my brokers. All my brokers are invited, and I then follow up with them individually.
I also run a weekly session for new brokers who’ve just registered with us, giving them an overview of The Nottingham. This initial contact after registration builds the foundation for a great working relationship. I’m also a stickler for returning broker calls and emails, it still surprises me now when a broker thanks me for calling back.
What personal talent/skill is most valuable in doing your job?
I think being super organised and thinking outside the box are my most valuable skills. At the end of the day, I’m here to discuss new and complex enquiries with brokers but I also need to be available to brokers who have issues and need somebody who can come up with solutions to problems.
What personal talent/skill would you most like to improve on?
I think I lack patience sometimes. I want everything doing yesterday and expect everybody else to work at the same pace as me.
Where would you rather be stuck, in bumper-to-bumper traffic or back-to-back Zoom calls?
Back-to-back Zoom/Teams calls every day of the week. There’s nothing more frustrating than being stuck in traffic and wasting valuable hours, especially when I could be talking to a new broker about the benefits of working with The Nottingham or helping an existing broker with a complex enquiry.
What’s the best bit of career-related advice you’ve ever been given?
A very wise lady once told me when I first started working in financial services to always treat a customer as you would wish to be treated yourself. That’s stuck with me throughout not just my career but my life. Respect is earned and I’ve always held the philosophy that I’ll respect you if you respect me.
What is the most quirky/unique property deal you’ve been involved in?
There’s one that stands out for me: the broker was having terrible issues placing a remortgage for some clients who’d built their own house and wanted to remortgage it on to a normal residential. The issue was the clients had approached their business bank, who agreed to fund the build using a business overdraft. No other lender wanted to touch the remortgage because the funds were to pay back a business overdraft facility. The clients were running out of time as the bank had asked them to repay the overdraft and had given them a deadline to do so. We asked the clients to provide proof that the money was used to fund the build, the offer was issued and the mortgage completed not long after. The clients were so happy they came back to us when they were considering remortgaging their large buy-to-let portfolio.
What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career?
I fell into the role really. I started out as a mortgage adviser working for a top three lender and saw business development as a glamorous job, which came with a car, no uniform and mobile phone and I got to build lasting relationships with brokers day in, day out. You have to bear in mind that this was in the late 90s when the industry was a very different animal, I’m not sure I’d call it glamorous now. I’ve always loved the fact I’m only responsible for myself and the ability to hit targets is in my own hands. I’m fortunate to work for a lender that values my contribution and allows me to use my creative flair and trusts that I’ll do a great job for them.
If you could do any other job in the property sector, what would it be and why?
I’ve had the opportunity to do other roles within the property and financial sector but never felt inclined. I love the job I do as it still gives me a buzz every day. Generally, I think if something doesn’t float your boat it’s time to move on and try something new and that philosophy has never failed me.
What did you want to be growing up?
I used to make my mum and dad laugh all the time, every week I wanted to be something different. I can remember there was a time I wanted to be a mechanic, I think that had something to do with my grandad having a new car and always having the bonnet up tinkering with it. I then had a spell wanting to be a doctor but realised I couldn’t face six or seven years at university to achieve that goal.
And finally, what’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?
Probably this one, I’ve wracked my brains to think of something but clearly my brain lacks the capacity to retain weird questions.