|Tell us about your job and what’s involved on a typical day?I’m an early riser – get up at 5:45am and generally in the office for 7am. I like this quiet time to catch up on the previous days’ work and get any admin done that I didn’t do on the day. Then I arrange my day, look to see who is coming in, and text / email confirmation of the appointment. Then it’s onto the day ahead….. First thing I do is prep all of my sign ups before anything else, then it’s really just a matter of dealing with new clients, negotiating on house purchases for existing clients, and dealing with new enquiries that come into the office. At the moment it’s extremely busy in the Glasgow office, so my day generally doesn’t finish until around 7pm, then it’s home, catch up with my wife and wee boy have a bite to eat and watch some trash TV to relax. Usually get to bed around 11:30pm, ready to start all over again!
What previous roles and experiences led you to your present position?
For many years I worked in Call Centres, predominantly insurance (team manager / floor manager) and then decided one day I’d had enough. Estate agency sounded fun, so I wrote on a whim to a few estate agents and was offered the job as a property valuer with Countrywide. I did that for a few years and then the financial service side of Countrywide approached me and asked if I was interested in training as a mortgage advisor – No! was the answer, but I was then persuaded to consider and see if I enjoyed it, and honestly haven’t looked back. I wish I had done it years earlier. My estate agency experience has been invaluable in this role as I know a large number of the estates agents in the area my clients are buying and will use those connections to help secure properties for them.
What do you like most about this company?
The fact that if you are doing well you are left to get on with it, but you have the safety net of a large management support network around you who will do whatever they can to help should you need it, and that I work alongside probably the best advisors in the country, and if I don’t know something, somebody will.
What do you consider the key challenges for the mortgage industry this year?
I think the biggest challenge at the moment faces buyers, first time or home movers, in securing their property. Very rapidly house prices are increasing and there is real confidence in the market again. This is leading to more and more closing dates, meaning that buyers require not only a deposit of 5% or 10% minimum but the additional funds needed to cover any offer they make in excess of the Home Report valuation. Deposits are difficult enough to save without needing thousands of pounds on top of that!
What are the most important personal satisfactions and dissatisfactions connected with your job?
Satisfactions – helping first time buyers secure their home (and saving them money on the purchase) and hearing the delight in their voice when you call them to advise their mortgage has offered, and their dream of being a home owner becomes a reality.
Dissatisfactions – lenders inability to look at cases on an individual basis, and not take a common sense approach.
Who is your role model and why?
I know it’s pretty corny, but probably my Dad. He’s worked hard just about every day of his life, and always did everything he could to provide the best he could for us. If I can emulate even just that aspect of his life, I’ll have done okay.
If you could take back one career decision, what would it be?
Working as the complaints manager for a major holiday company – that aged me ten years in a one year!
If we were to ask your work colleagues about you, what would they say and why?
Hard working, conscientious, because I always go that extra mile for my clients but can’t handle his red wine, because they’ve seen me on the company annual booze cruise!
If you could take three other people to dinner with you, who would it be and why?
JFK – I’d tell him to watch out for the bullet. I’d be interested to see how the world would have turned out had he not died.
Hugh Hefner – can you imagine the stories he’d have to tell?
Jennifer Aniston – just because she is stunning, and of course an extremely talented and funny actress.
Salad or chips?
Chips every time.
What are your hobbies?
Skiing (badly), movies and reading.
What is your favourite film?
It’s A Wonderful Life (but only at Christmas time), when it’s not Christmas it would be The Breakfast Club.
What is your favourite book?
A novella by Stephen King called ‘The Body’ which went on to become the movie Stand By Me….. A great coming of age book. Also love ‘Man & Boy’ by Tony Parsons.
Who is your current mortgage with?
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