This week Specialist Lending Solutions is speaking with Jon Durie, business development manager at Alternative Bridging Corporation.
What locations and how many advisers and broker firms do you cover in your role?
I cover all of Scotland and the following postcodes NE, DH, SR, TS and DL in the North East of England.
How have you changed the way you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers in (and after) the pandemic?
It seems like we are going back to normal in terms of interacting with brokers. However, we do still use Teams calls where travel is lengthy or if relationships are new.
What personal talent/skill is most valuable in doing your job?
Communication. It’s important to keep everyone updated on progress, whether that’s brokers, customers or internal teams.
What’s the hardest part of your job?
Accepting the delays that sometimes happen with cases.
What personal talent/skill would you most like to improve on?
Multi-tasking. Keeping up-to-date across multiple deals is always hard.
Where would you rather be stuck, in bumper-to-bumper traffic, or back-to-back meetings that could have been an email, and why?
Probably back-to-back meetings, as these involve meeting people and are usually related to a deal. I also hate being stuck in traffic.
What’s the best bit of career-related advice you’ve ever been given? Who gave it to you?
Time management is key, be protective of your time. A former colleague told me that.
What is the most quirky/unique property deal you’ve been involved in?
Whilst I didn’t actually fund it in the end, I was approached to fund an old sauna which was being converted into an aparthotel. It sat outside of lending policy of where I worked at the time, so we couldn’t do it. However, I believe that Alternative Bridging did do it. The borrower successfully completed the scheme and the aparthotel is now successful.
What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career?
I like to help people and solving problems.
If you could do any other job in the property sector, what would it be and why?
I’d like to be a developer, but I don’t think I have the imagination required to see properties and then change them into new dwellings. I like seeing developments through from start to finish, but it takes skill to spot good deals and understand what can be achieved.
What did you want to be growing up?
A professional footballer.
What makes you laugh?
Bloopers. It’s always funny watching people make funny mistakes.
What’s your favourite face paint design, or pattern to wear?
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
I’d like to be invisible for a day, it would be great to be able to attend meetings when nobody knows you’re there.
What’s your cure for a rainy day or hangover?
Sat in front of the TV watching either football or golf, or alternatively footgolf.
What, or who, inspires you?
Professionally, the work ethic of a former boss inspired me. He worked strange hours that suited his lifestyle and wrote so many deals. In a sporting capacity, again, it is work ethic that inspires me – putting in the hard yards always pays off.
What has been your non-work-related greatest achievement (except for your children, if you have any)?
I played football against a Glasgow Rangers team, which included some big names at the time, when I was 16 or 17 years old. More recently I represented my country at footgolf in the Four Nations over in Ireland this year.
What makes a great colleague?
Someone who always has time for you and will help with anything whether large or small.
Name your favourite restaurant and why you love it.
Spanish Butcher in Glasgow. I’ve only been a couple of times but it’s always been very good. Great food, atmosphere and great wine.
And finally, what’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked and how did you answer it?
Do I really need a valuation, surely my numbers are accurate? My response was that we would really like a second opinion that carries some professional indemnity from someone impartial.