‘Authenticity is key, we need to be honest when things are and aren’t going well’
By Tony Sanchez -
In our latest Five Minute Interview, Tony Sanchez speaks to Tirath Singh, Relationship Manager (Midlands & the North) at Avamore Capital.
Avamore Capital is a principal development and bridging lender with a forward-thinking approach.
They are dedicated to providing outstanding service and understand that developer needs are consistently evolving.
What is the best thing about being in the bridging and development finance business?
I’ve been working in the bridging and development space for over 3 years now and the thing that I’ve loved is the fast-paced nature of the way things move.
I started my career at Natwest and the difference of working in a big regulated bank and then moving to the non-regulated space is huge.
A lot of people eventually make that same switch and probably have similar motivations.
Our market constantly changes, the emergence of new entrants pushes lenders to do more and think bigger; that means we can innovate and bring dynamic options to our customers.
It’s that fresh energy which is constantly injected into the space that I love most.
What keeps you focused?
We are a relationship focused business and that’s what really keeps me focused.
Any Relationship Manager knows how hard we each have to work to nurture and foster partnerships. We also all know that as challenging as they can be to build, they can be so easily lost.
The thing that keeps me focused is always putting myself in the shoes of the customer. It’s easy to do the things that I think are right but, what is more important is thinking if I am doing right by the broker.
I make an effort to understand the priorities of each of my relationships and will never take a broad-brush approach.
That means delivering for every one of those partners takes a huge amount of time and attention; this is what keeps me focused.
Making sure I do this consistently is also paramount so that partners know that’s what they get from me every time.
With so many cases on the go, ultimately, the thing that keeps me organised and focused is having a list written out with good old-fashioned pen and paper, I think everyone loves that feeling of crossing your to dos off!
What qualities do you look for in your employees or colleagues?
Avamore is a customer focused business; it seems relatively easy to say that, but it was so clear that this ethos ran throughout the company when I met with all of the team.
I value a can-do attitude in my colleagues because that’s how I approach things for my broker partners.
The lending process is a collaborative one and we really all have to drive in the same direction. I love working with prudent and knowledgeable people who want to get the deal done as much as I do.
That doesn’t mean dropping standards, it means, maintaining those high levels of professionalism and integrity but finding a way to overcome issues and roadblocks.
When you aren’t in front of the customer, it is so much easier to put the shutters down and say that something won’t work.
What I love though is working with people that have the same drive and determination no matter what they do in the business.
Are you an optimist or a pessimist?
I am a complete optimist, the glass is always half full.
Especially in a sales based role, you have to maintain a positive attitude, if you’re downbeat or something is not going right, it’s so hard to mask and that attitude rubs off on other people.
No one wants to deal with someone that is a downer. Having said that, authenticity is key, we need to be honest when things are and aren’t going well.
As long as you are pragmatic and solution driven and do not accept defeat easily, your attitude will always come through.
What did you want to be as a child?
I definitely wanted to be a footballer as a child; sadly it’s not something that was ever realised but I’d always be up for an industry friendly!
What will be the greatest challenge facing the bridging and development finance industry in the coming months?
We are seeing massive demand in the refurbishment space at the moment which is likely to be driven by the government relaxation to PDR laws.
It’s great to see that after a year of hesitation and uncertainty, developers are making the most of the support packages available to them and that the government have implemented schemes that are actually working.
The challenge, however, is if the industry sees an uptick in a certain type of scheme there is going to be increased pressure on the service providers working on those transactions.
From a project monitoring perspective particularly, it is hugely important that standards do not slip as a result of increased pressures; in a competitive market, producing a high-quality end product is imperative.
With more units being produced and government stimulus packages for the more affordable end of the market, there will be plenty of buyers who have the opportunity to be more selective than ever before.
Who or what makes you laugh?
I love Jimmy Carr, definitely my go to when I need a laugh!
Do you dread Monday mornings?
I don’t dread Mondays because I’ve normally planned out my to do list on the Friday or Sunday before.
I don’t like feeling like I am on the back foot so as long as I am organised, I feel pretty relaxed about the start of the week.
A good Monday usually sets the tone for the days following so I always try to make it as productive as possible.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Well due to lockdown I am carrying some extra weight so maybe being able to fit back into some of my clothes!
With whom would you most like to have dinner?
I’d love to have dinner with Elon Musk. He’s had a hugely interesting life and is a great leader / innovator. Definitely someone we could all learn a thing or two from!