What locations and how many advisers and broker firms do you cover in your role?
I cover half of London (essentially North, Central East and South East) and Kent which is 1,800+ brokers and nearly 500 firms.
How have you changed the way you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers in the pandemic?
Of course, everyone is missing the face-to-face side of things, however, on the up-side it means we can reply to enquiries much faster as we are not travelling. Also helping man the broker helpline has introduced us to new advisers and has started relationships that way. I think clients have liked the fact they can get a really quick response.
What personal talent/skill is most valuable in doing your job?
Honesty is so important I think. If you can’t help with the deal don’t try to string it out, be honest with the chances and if you can, use internal relationships to get an indicative decision.
What personal talent/skill would you most like to improve on?
Apart from golf? I find that with meeting so many people in this role it can be hard to put names to faces initially. So that could be improved upon although with age I expect that its likely to get worse!
Where would you rather be stuck, in bumper-to-bumper traffic or back-to-back Zoom calls?
You can’t be productive sat in the car. So despite Zoom overload, opportunities to speak to people are key.
What’s the best bit of career-related advice you’ve ever been given?
My first manager 28 years ago told me, ‘make decisions as if it is your business and never ask people to do something that you aren’t prepared to do yourself’ – that’s always stayed with me.
What is the most quirky/unique property deal you’ve been involved in?
There have been a few challenging ones but I remember a former castle that had been split into flats – it split valuers’ opinion but was very impressive.
What has been your lockdown coping strategy?
It has varied – wine, beer, walking and just lately a puppy. And I have watched a lot of golf on TV. We have also had a few Zoom cook-a-long sessions with Landbay’s own Keith Floyd – our managing director Paul Brett.
If you were head of the FCA for the day, what would you change about regulation in the mortgage industry?
I would look at the PRA rules for portfolio landlords. It seems crazy to me that a large portfolio landlord who could easily cover rental voids is restricted compared to a landlord that only has a couple of properties. The latter is far more vulnerable to voids causing an issue.
What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career?
I have worked in financial services all of my career in different roles. I love the variety of people I get to meet and working for a great company that you believe in really helps.
If you could do any other job in the property sector, what would it be and why?
That would have to be working on a programme like ‘A Place in the Sun’ – on location of course. I really like the differing properties you find abroad – and the sunshine.
What did you want to be growing up?
I hoped I was going to be a footballer (don’t so many kids?) and was close but just missed out when I was 16. Nowadays there are opportunities for youngsters in the situation that I was in to go to the USA on scholarships but sadly this came too late for me.
What’s your favourite face mask design/pattern to wear?
I have a camouflage one in the car and a plain Tommy Hilfiger one – I’m a bit boring on that front.
And finally, what’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?
Probably the one above about the facemasks.