Know Your BDM: Roger Churaman, Paragon Bank

  • 12/05/2022
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Know Your BDM: Roger Churaman, Paragon Bank
This week, Specialist Lending Solutions is getting to know Roger Churaman, business development manager at Paragon Bank.

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

I am based in North London and will predominantly be covering this area and across the surrounding Home Counties.


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

The pandemic forced me to develop relationships through different means in terms of broker interactions. The ‘new post-pandemic world’ will see me interacting via face-to-face visits and telephone, as usual, but will also see more use of media technology, like Teams and Zoom, to enhance message delivery.


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

Time management plays a big part; getting the balance between the number of broker visits I do, yet still being able to have enough time to deliver on enquiries via phone and email continues to be the key.


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

Professionally – the ability to retain information on every broker conversation I have so that I can instantly help when a broker starts a call with “You remember that case we were discussing….”.

Personally – the ability to hit a 300 yard drive down the middle of the fairway every time … or even once.


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

Back-to-back Zoom calls all day long. At least you are interacting and dealing with business; and when it’s over you are at home and free to continue with your personal life rather than on a motorway, miles away from home.


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

Do the right thing, even when no one is watching. It’s the definition of integrity and covers everything.


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

I recall working in commercial banking as a relationship manager where I had to review existing lending on the portfolio. I had to have some tough conversations with a borrower who decided to convert our commercial security to residential without planning permission. He ran out of funds and we were left with a nil value security, no planning, no rental income to support the debt. The client ended up in court and serving time for losing his temper at the judge.


What was the greatest lesson you learned during the pandemic?

Apart from the importance of a great broadband connection, the value of face-to-face interactions cannot be replaced by any IT. Spending less time with loved ones was painfully challenging.


What was the first social event you attended once restrictions were eased?

My golf club seemed to benefit the most once we were able to play, even though my handicap didn’t improve.


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

Like many, I fell into my first sales role and immediately fell in love with the varied interaction with many different people from many different paths. Being tied to a desk all day fills me with dread.


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

Maybe an architect for the rich and famous – it will allow me to design fabulous properties in a hot exotic location.


What did you want to be growing up?

I was always decent at maths and recall my parents saying accountancy was a good route. As I still feel like I’m yet to grow up, I still harbour ambitions of living the lifestyle of a professional sportsman to be honest.


If you had one superpower, what would it be?

I guess it would be time travel – to go back and meet the people I didn’t have lots of time with; and to go forward to see what becomes of family and friends when I’m long gone.


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

Apart from the questions here, I once recall in a job interview some years back, the interviewer ending the interview with one of those analytical, mind game questions. “There is a brick wall 15 feet high. You need to get to the other side, how do you get there?” I just thought it was one of those sales guys trying to be too clever.

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