This week, Mortgage Solutions speaks with Bev Nealings, Regional Sales Manager at Paragon Bank.
What locations and how many advisors and brokerage firms do you cover in your role?
I cover all of North East England, so all of Northumberland, Newcastle, Durham, Teesside, Carlisle, York, Harrogate, Scarborough, Hull and everywhere in between that I may not have mentioned.
It’s a big region. I have over 500 businesses and around 2,000 brokers in my area.
How have you changed the way you build and maintain a good relationship with brokers during the pandemic?
I have spent more time helping my brokers with complex transactions and I feel this has really helped ensure a request goes through smoothly. Buy-to-let portfolio and limited liability company businesses can be more complex than other mortgage businesses, so during the pandemic I have tried to support my brokers as much as possible by spending time discussing proposals by detail, asking questions and establishing all the facts about their client and their requirements.
What personal talent/skill is most valuable to do your job?
It is essential to listen and ask the right questions. If I can’t find the exact details, I might miss vital information. I’m naturally curious and have a genuine interest in mortgages and real estate, so that helps, and I really enjoy talking to my brokers.
What personal talent/skill would you most like to improve?
It would have to be HE. I can use all systems; however, I would like to be a computer whiz because I’m sure that would really help me be better at what I do.
On a personal level, it would be my singing and being able to sing karaoke. I’ve always liked to sing but not everyone likes to listen to me.
Where would you rather be stuck, in bumper-to-bumper traffic or back-to-back Zoom calls?
I prefer to see people in person, face to face, but wasted time in traffic does not help anyone or the environment. So I’m going to have to say consecutive Zoom calls if I had to choose.
After the pandemic, I think we can all use our time more efficiently to get the most out of the day, that may mean a little less travel.
What’s the best career-related advice you’ve ever received?
Over the course of my career, I consider myself very lucky to have had some truly excellent and supportive bosses (including the ones I have now). These people showed that they trusted me and had the utmost confidence in me to do a great job. They helped me gain self-confidence and believe in myself. I can never thank them enough for that. Believe in yourself is my advice.
What is the most original/unique real estate transaction you have been involved in?
Although not particularly original, it had many parts. I believe it was an “incorporation” application where a client transferred all of the properties he personally owned into his limited liability company. This involved a large number of properties in the portfolio, and family members were added to the new limited company for future planning.
This transaction was complex due to the number of properties involved and required the involvement of our deeds department, underwriting, appraisers and lawyers. It was interesting to go all the way and help the client restructure his property. Paragon is unique enough to be able to help with that.
What was the biggest lesson you learned during the pandemic?
To get more out of the simple things in life. A walk with friends or family, enjoy our countryside and what is close by.
What was the first social event you attended after the restrictions eased?
A simple visit to my local pub to enjoy a nice refreshing pint (half a pint wouldn’t have sufficed that day). I really missed the simple pleasure of going to your local.
What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career?
I had worked in banking for 33 years when I joined my current position at Paragon, but I had never been in the field. The opportunity to travel and meet people while doing the job I love was the attraction. I haven’t looked back as I have met some great people on my travels and formed relationships and friendships with so many of my brokers.
If you could do any other job in the real estate industry, what would it be and why?
What did you want to grow?
A policeman – on horseback because I loved horse riding. I ended up marrying a policeman by chance. However, he does not like horses.
If you had a super power, what would it be?
To be able to travel in time perhaps and relive precious moments because life really goes by too fast.
And finally, what is the weirdest question you have ever been asked?