What location and how many advisers and broker firms do you cover in your role?
I cover the North West and North Wales which totals around 1,000 brokers. As a Manchester-based business this is our heartland and a real stronghold for us.
Day-to-day I speak to up to 50 brokers.
How have you changed the way you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers in the pandemic?
The return to face-to-face meetings was great because it’s easier to forge a relationship. It doesn’t feel as formal, and you find out more about the broker’s business being in the office with them.
Obviously, we use the phone and videocalls too, especially in light of the new variant, and we’ll adapt like we did in the first lockdown.
What personal talent/skill is most valuable in doing your job?
I’m pretty personable. Not many people tell me to ‘do one’. I’m good at building relationships and understanding people. Also, I used to be a broker, so I know how their businesses work and their routes to market, which really helps.
Where would you rather be stuck, in bumper-to-bumper traffic or back-to-back Zoom calls?
In traffic, because it means I’m on my way to see a broker face-to-face.
What is the most quirky/unique property deal you’ve been involved in?
A unique conversion of an old school. It had been converted to a restaurant a long time ago, but the customer wanted to change it to three residential properties. He was an experienced developer and actually used to wash dishes in the restaurant when he was a kid.
It was complex as there were archaeological restrictions all over the title, meaning there was the potential for digs to take place there. We talked around all of the potential issues with the developer, and they had really well thought out answers to all of our concerns. The deal was done, and we’ve gone on to do four more cases with the same borrower.
What has been your lockdown coping strategy?
I’ve been lucky. We bought a house last year and converted the third bedroom into a home office. Most days it was just me and the dog at home, so it was quiet and easy to work.
What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career?
I’d worked as a broker and then onto packaging, so the role of a lender BDM was the next step. Having worked at the front end of the process I wanted to understand how lenders assess cases, what happens when it goes to legals and the other side of the coin.
If you could do any other job in the property sector, what would it be and why?
I’d be a property developer. My dad recently built a house and I loved being onsite and seeing things created. I’ve already done quite a bit of the work on my own house, and I really enjoy it.
What did you want to be growing up?
A fighter pilot. I was heavily influenced by Hotshots and Top Gun. But then I got to sit in a cockpit when I was 15 and realised I was entirely the wrong shape for it. So I decided to play rugby instead. I still play – for Wilmslow Wolves – and absolutely love it.
What’s your favourite face mask design/pattern to wear?
My Roma facemask, because it’s the most comfortable one I have.
And finally, what’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?
What my favourite facemask is.