Know your BDM: Sian Varone, Accord Mortgages
This week, Mortgage Solutions speaks with Sian Varone, Business Development Manager for Accord Mortgages covering London.
What locations and how many advisors and brokerage firms do you cover in your role?
Very lucky to cover the top of the London circle to include Harrow, East/North London and Romford in particular. I work with about 700+ brokers in my area.
How have you changed the way you build and maintain a good relationship with brokers during the pandemic?
I like to jump on the first point of contact. Whether it’s an email or a phone call, it’s an opportunity to build a relationship with the broker and from there grow the relationship either through face-to-face support face or virtual, especially now that technology has evolved during the pandemic. Anyone else hears the MS Teams ringtone in their sleep… I do.
What personal talent/skill is most valuable to do your job?
Be a people person – people buy people! And second, having a good knowledge of your product and service is a skill in its own right. We work in an ever-changing and fast-paced industry, so remembering and keeping up to date with the criteria changes that happen so often can be a difficult task.
What personal talent/skill would you most like to improve?
Prioritization. I try to manage everything as I go. So if I’m in the middle of something, I can often lose track of time. I’m learning things unfortunately I 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 go anywhere, but at least I can pick the soundtrack.
What’s the best career-related advice you’ve ever received?
Learn the art of resilience. I am a sensitive soul.
What is the most original/unique real estate transaction you have been involved in?
We see many non-standard properties through buy to let generally those above or below commercial will be considered – a refurbishment of a former nuclear bomb shelter however was a bit too quirky.
What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career?
I like to chat and build relationships, I am very sociable. With extensive underwriting knowledge to my credit with Accord, it felt only right to put the expertise and personality on the road with the aim of growing our mortgage business even further into buy-to-let and the residential.
If you could do any other job in the real estate industry, what would it be and why?
I’ve always liked the idea of a real estate agent, I’m curious and would love to see into everyone’s homes!
What did you want to grow?
A teacher, closely followed by a hairstylist – who I’m proud to say I passed, so if anyone is looking for a cut and blow dry let me know.
What’s your favorite face mask design/pattern to wear?
Of course, Accord mortgages marked one.
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 is the weirdest question you have ever been asked?
What is your minimum income on buy-to-let? I’m still shocked that people don’t know we don’t have one.