This week, Mortgage Solutions is speaking with Sian Varone, business development manager for Accord Mortgages covering London.
What locations and how many advisers and broker firms do you cover in your role?
Very fortunate to cover the top Circle of London to include Harrow, East/North London and Romford in particular. I work with approximately 700+ brokers within my area.
How have you changed the way you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers in the pandemic?
I like to jump on the first point of contact. Whether it be an email or phone call it’s an opportunity to build rapport with the broker and from that develop the relationship either by face-to-face or virtual support especially now that technology has evolved during the pandemic. Anyone else hear the MS Teams ringtone in their sleep… I do.
What personal talent/skill is most valuable in doing your job?
Being a people person – people buy people! And secondly, having a sound knowledge of your product and service is a skill in its own right. We work in a fast-paced forever evolving industry so remembering and keeping up to date with criteria changes happening so often can be a task.
What personal talent/skill would you most like to improve on?
Prioritisation. I try to deal with everything as it comes in. So, if I’m in the middle of something I can often lose track of time. I’m learning some things unfortunately just have to wait!
Where would you rather be stuck, in bumper-to-bumper traffic or back-to-back Zoom calls?
Bumper-to-bumper traffic – I might not be getting anywhere but at least I can choose the soundtrack.
What’s the best bit of career-related advice you’ve ever been given?
To learn the art of resilience. I’m a sensitive soul.
What is the most quirky/unique property deal you’ve been involved in?
We see many non-standard properties across buy to let typically those above or below commercial will be considered – an ex-nuclear bomb shelter renovation though was a little too quirky.
What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career?
I like to chat and build relationships, I’m very much a people person. With extensive underwriting knowledge under my belt with Accord too it felt only right to take the expertise and personality out on the road in a bid to grow our mortgage business even further across buy to let and residential.
If you could do any other job in the property sector, what would it be and why?
I’ve always liked the idea of an estate agent, I’m nosey and would love to see into everyone’s homes!
What did you want to be growing up?
A teacher, closely followed by a hairdresser – one of which I’m proud to say I did achieve so if anyone’s looking for a cut and blow dry let me know.
What’s your favourite face mask design/pattern to wear?
The Accord Mortgages branded one of course.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
To be able to turn chocolate into one of your five a day.
And finally, what’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?
What’s your minimum income on buy to let? I’m always shocked people don’t know we have none.