What locations and how many advisers and broker firms do you cover in your role?
I cover Yorkshire and the M62 corridor – it’s a key area and plenty of advisers and brokerages based along it. The number I deal with is growing every week so it’s difficult to say.
How have you changed the way you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers in the pandemic?
The pandemic has allowed me to save my travel time in the main. However, I am really glad that we are starting to see a relaxing of the rules and it is great to be out seeing people face to face again.
What personal talent/skill is most valuable in doing your job?
I have a passion for helping SMEs as I believe they are poorly serviced by the traditional funding banks. The most valuable skill I think, given the number of people we deal with and the number of cases, is to keep all those plates spinning and to make sure everyone gets the outcomes they want.
What personal talent/skill would you most like to improve on?
To probably stop saying yes and spreading myself too thinly. It’s a good skill to be able to learn how to say no.
Where would you rather be stuck, in bumper-to-bumper traffic or back-to-back Zoom calls?
In a strange way, probably neither – I think any good BDM would want to be communicating with advisers in the ways they want to be communicated with, so hopefully a mix of phone, email and face-to-face.
Actually, sitting down with people has a lot going for it, and I think you can build really strong relationships by doing this, although I accept that’s been incredibly difficult over the last 18 months.
What’s the best bit of career-related advice you’ve ever been given?
“Slow down Jonny.” Sit up and smell the coffee, so to speak.
What is the most quirky/unique property deal you’ve been involved in?
There have been a few, for instance, I have lent to a couple of high-profile sports clubs in the past, which was, shall we say, very interesting.
What has been your lockdown coping strategy?
The simple ‘pleasures’ of cutting grass and walking the dog – essentially anything that gets me outside for some time.
What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career?
It’s great to help the SME market in Britain and knowing that you are really helping, shaping and changing people’s livelihoods.
If you could do any other job in the property sector, what would it be and why?
I think I’d like to be a valuer. I would love to be able to drive from site to site and take pictures for the day, although I appreciate there’s a lot more to the job than that.
They are an essential part of our risk element, and their opinions are invaluable.
What did you want to be growing up?
What’s your favourite face mask design/pattern to wear?
Paisley pattern – in pink.
And finally, what’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?
‘When you play water polo, how do the horses breathe under the water?’ If I had £1 for every time that was asked, I could open a bank.