Know Your BDM: Tim Sweetman, Paragon Bank

  • 30/09/2021
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Know Your BDM: Tim Sweetman, Paragon Bank
This week Specialist Lending Solutions is speaking with Tim Sweetman, regional sales manager at Paragon Bank.


What locations and how many advisers and broker firms do you cover in your role? 

I am responsible for the North West region which covers Lancaster down to Nantwich and the whole of North Wales. I am originally from North Wales so although I live in Manchester, I also have a base there. I deal with many different types of firms too so it’s very varied. 


How have you changed the way you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers in the pandemic? 

The industry that we are in is such a competitive one, and even more so for firms and brokers trying to place new business. In my previous role as a telephone business development manager, I always thought the key to my successes was down to responding to my brokers quickly and efficiently and making myself available as I can. This is something I’ve tried to do throughout the pandemic more so than ever. 

This pandemic has definitely brought new challenges with not being able to see brokers face-to-face or in a group environment, therefore video meetings have really helped to bridge that gap. 


What personal talent/skill is most valuable in doing your job? 

I would say my strongest skill is building those key relationships with firms and individuals. There is a really great saying which I always keep in the back of my head. “If people like you, they will listen to you; but if they trust you, they will do business with you.”.  


What personal talent/skill would you most like to improve on? 

The job can be very challenging and time consuming and getting that work-life balance right when you have small children is always a challenge and something I continue to work on. 


Where would you rather be stuck, in bumper-to-bumper traffic or back-to-back Zoom calls? 

Well, the traffic around the North West can certainly be challenging so I take every opportunity when I can in traffic to get back to brokers with queries and new business calls.  I think there is a balance to be struck and doing video meetings can also be rewarding however there is nothing like meeting people face-to-face. 


What’s the best bit of career-related advice you’ve ever been given? 

Do what turns you on. Do something that if you had all the money in the world, you’d still be doing it. You have got to have a reason to jump out of bed in the morning. 


What is the most quirky/unique property deal you’ve been involved in? 

One of the most interesting properties that I have ever come across was a subterranean property. It was incredible. Being so outside of what we normally do, this was a real challenge and one we managed to finance for the client. 

With regards to deals, it’s the ones which you are involved with from the start to finish. Where you can use your expertise to help navigate through in order to get the best result for the client and the broker. What makes it even more worthwhile is when your firms and brokers recognise the efforts you put in to get the deals over the line.  


What was the greatest lesson you learned during lockdown? 

I guess the greatest lesson is taking time out in the day just to give yourself a few minutes, especially at home, it has helped me relax and be more productive. 


What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career? 

I really enjoy meeting and interacting with people from all walks of life, they all have a story to tell. I love being able to manage my area and the success and disappointments are down to me. I can control my own destiny to a degree. I like having challenging targets and this is what drives me on. 


If you could do any other job in the property sector, what would it be and why?   

I am really happy where I am, however, I really enjoyed my previous roles in estate agency and property management. I loved dealing with landlords old and new and the fast-paced nature and dedication to be the best. They are many transferable skills and experience which I now use in my current role, for sure. 


What did you want to be growing up?   

Well, I had ambitions to become a professional basketball player, and although I played in the national league, I would love to have gone to college in the States to play. 


What’s your favourite face mask design/pattern to wear?   

Has to be the Paragon one. Black with a logo. 


And finally, what’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked? 

Do we lend on house boats? Although we pride ourselves on finding solutions to some of the most complex cases, that was a ‘no’. 


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