What locations and how many advisers and broker firms do you cover in your role?
I cover a large area that includes the South West, Mid and South Wales and the Midlands. As you can imagine this includes many advisors and key firms both large, medium and small.
How have you changed the way you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers in the pandemic?
Using technology to reach out and keep in touch has changed the way I work and engage with brokers. This will be a part of how we work moving forward. The basic principles of relationship management haven’t changed, but the pandemic has allowed me to reach out and be accessible in so many more ways.
Additional activities such as webinars, blogs and virtual live events have helped to maintain engagement and educate our broker partners. But, I am looking forward to getting back to seeing people face-to-face.
What personal talent/skill is most valuable in doing your job?
Sounds simple, but being there for brokers when they need you most, answering the phone, keeping promises and doing what you can to support the usual enquiries. But just as important is knowing when an enquiry is not for you as a lender.
What personal talent/skill would you most like to improve on?
Time management. There are never enough hours in the day, but I’ve been working on that for a good 20 years now and just when you think you’ve got it sussed, another spanner in works comes along and it never works out!
Where would you rather be stuck, in bumper-to-bumper traffic or back-to-back Zoom calls?
A bit of both really, sometimes a traffic jam gives you time to think and plan, but Zoom calls with good engagement from the audience can be great fun to run and the day flies by.
What’s the best bit of career-related advice you’ve ever been given?
My father always told me, in the working world, to remember, “no-one is your superior, only your senior,” and that’s stuck with me throughout my working life.
What is the most quirky/unique property deal you’ve been involved in?
It’s really difficult to pin one deal down, when you’ve been in the business as long as I have.
In the past I’ve dealt with a number of deals for the rich and famous, but in recent years it’s got to be the array of stunning holiday let properties that cross my desk. Some of them I could only dream of owning one day.
What has been your lockdown coping strategy?
Staying busy has been an important strategy for me. I’m not the type of person who enjoys too much down time and having three young children doesn’t really allow for that either.
But having lots of hobbies including fishing, landscaping and DIY always keeps me focussed on something.
If you were head of the FCA for the day, what would you change about regulation in the mortgage industry?
That’s an interesting question, I suppose it would be to support networks and firms with regulation in a growing later-life mortgage space.
I believe this should focus on making it easier for advisors to provide the right advice to clients without adding additional barriers to what is already a complex role.
What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career?
I fell into financial services at 18 without really knowing what area I wanted to focus on. I’ve always been in sales and services and as a BDM I am able to use my people skills.
The role plays on my strengths and enables me to meet new people and support brokers and their clients in buying their dream homes, which I get a lot of satisfaction from.
If you could do any other job in the property sector, what would it be and why?
Property development has always appealed to me. As a keen DIY-er this would allow me to put my own stamp on a property both inside and out and hopefully make some money at the same time.
What did you want to be growing up?
As a young athlete I had dreams of getting to the Olympics, so a role in sport was always my first career choice growing up.
What’s your favourite face mask design/pattern to wear?
I’m not really keen on masks, so I’ll be happy when they’re a thing of the past.
And finally, what’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?
Having three small children I get asked strange questions most days. But this one – “what’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked,” – must top them all.