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Know Your BDM: Katie Wilsher-Garratt, Tuscan Capital

  • 25/06/2024
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Know Your BDM: Katie Wilsher-Garratt, Tuscan Capital
This week, Specialist Lending Solutions is talking to Katie Wilsher-Garratt (pictured), regional sales director for the Home Counties at Tuscan Capital.

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

I cover the Home Counties but relationships that I’ve built also take me into London, Wales and further into the South East of England. 


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

The skill that I think is most valuable to doing this job is always striving to provide the best service. If this is your best skill, then everything else falls into making it happen. Good communication, being available for brokers, ensuring you follow up on everything you’ve discussed. If you aim for a quality service, the day-to-day skills are fundamental to this.  


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

Patience is something I would most like to improve on. Our products are designed for speed, so all our processes are aligned for this, but this still doesn’t stop me wanting everything to be done yesterday.  


What’s the hardest part of your job?

Things come up while you’re out on appointments that you’re not always in a position to action at that moment in time. It’s important to leave the house knowing everyone has got what they need from you for that day and to plan ahead for things that might crop up. At Tuscan Capital we have a great client services team; they provide me with amazing support which ensures brokers aren’t kept waiting.  


What do you love most about your job?

The people I get to meet and the relationships I get to build with them. Knowing your brokers well is fundamental to being able to help them help their clients.  


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

My dad worked in sales for many years. When I first started in a business development role meeting new people, he told me you will always have some form of common ground with people. It’s so true. Over the years, building relationships with brokers, the more you get to know people there is always something that connects you, something you both enjoy talking about and catching up on.  


How do you keep up to date with developments in the market?

As there are so many changes, I make sure I take the time to read industry publications, LinkedIn also helps to keep on top of things. I find the most valuable information regarding the market comes from our brokers though. They see straight away what their clients are looking for, any change in demands, any struggles their clients may be having, along with peaks in particular enquiries. This offers me a lot of insight into the market and how Tuscan Capital can look to support this.  


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

The most unique property I’ve been involved with was a large Victorian mansion, it still contained many original features such as working servants’ bells beside the beds. The title also contained a cottage, converted servants’ accommodation which contained five holiday lets, again with many of its original features showing Victorian designs. It was quite something to look round 


Tell us about your trickiest case – what happened and how did you resolve the problem(s)?

I think some of the trickiest cases I’ve dealt with haven’t actually been at origination but during the term of the loan. When Covid hit I was servicing the loan book at a lender at that time and seeing the uncontrollable struggles that our borrowers were having were some of the trickiest circumstances I’ve had to navigate. Resolving these problems came down to empathy, good communication and thinking outside of the box.  


What was your motivation for choosing this career?

When I was an underwriter, I always enjoyed speaking directly with brokers, so I knew I’d enjoy it even more face to face. I’ve been lucky enough to work with some brilliant mentors over the years and seeing them do this role so well gave me the motivation to want use everything they taught me.  


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

I’d like to be a property developer. I see so many interesting projects and when you see the end result and what they’ve achieved it must be so rewarding (albeit a lot of hard work).  


What did you want to be growing up?

I always wanted to work with horses growing up, after gaining my teaching qualifications I then realised I wanted to keep this as my passion and maybe not stand in the rain all day.  

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

I’d love to be able to read people’s minds, although I’m not sure that would always be a good thing. 


What is your strategy for tackling challenges?  

When a challenge comes up, I think it’s important to take the time to gather all the information you need to then decide on how to tackle it. It’s natural to jump into a challenge with the first thought that comes to you but I’ve learnt this doesn’t always get the result you’re looking for.  


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

My three-year old asks me a number of strange questions on a daily basis. They all make sense in her mind though, so I do my best to give the right answer. 


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