‘Having a positive attitude helps to motivate me in reaching my goals’

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sophia lee avamore capital

In our latest Five Minute Interview, Tony Sanchez speaks to Sophia Lee, Internal Relationship Manager 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 finance business?

This is the first time I’ve had a bridging finance element to my role, but the best thing seems to be how quickly it is possible for a deal to be seen through to completion.

Historically, I have worked in development finance and what I loved most was tracking a project from start to finishing and helping property entrepreneurs reach their ambitions.

Checking in on progress is the best thing because it’s amazing how fast, motivated people move through a project; I find that often, your expectations are exceeded.

What keeps you focused?

The thing that keeps me most focused is my relationships with customers. They take so much time to build but can be very quickly destroyed if they are not nurtured effectively.

A repeat customer is so valuable and so, making sure that those first interactions make you stand out and then, providing a consistent service from there on is what ensures that they keep coming back.

Once you’ve got that first deal over the line, you know that the customer has complete faith in you to get more done and so, it is paramount that you do not drop the ball.

Communication is key and I never want a customer chasing me so making sure everyone I speak to is always up to date gives me the focus to be targeted in my day-to-day job.

What qualities do you look for in your employees or colleagues?

I am part of the origination team, and I am surrounded by highly motivated relationship managers that are excellent communicators.

Naturally, they are enthusiastic and keen to get the best outcome for the customer; it’s that level of commitment and dedication which I enjoy being around and look for in my colleagues, if we are motivated to pull in the same direction, ultimately, we will all benefit.

The wider team also reflect that ethos, everyone is incredibly hard working and being around colleagues that believe in their business, their products and are looking to achieve the same goals are the best qualities to have.

Are you an optimist or a pessimist?

I am a complete optimist, in a sales role, you really have to be!

A lot of my job involves being resilient which comes more easily when you are seeing the good in circumstances.

Every conversation or interaction I have is a learning experience and I think it’s important to take something out of the situation even when things don’t go your way.

Having a positive attitude helps to motivate me in reaching my goals.

What did you want to be as a child?

As a child I wanted to be a shop keeper because I believed the money in the till at the end of the day was mine to take home!

It might be a silly thought but I think it shows that I have always been money motivated and that is what makes me so driven to reach my goals.

What will be the greatest challenge facing the bridging finance industry in the coming months?

The property market has historically benefited from a number of government stimulus packages; the changes that came in last year showed how important the industry was to the overall economy.

The stamp duty reduction was a huge success in making the lower end of the market more accessible.

This relief certainly benefited Avamore borrowers with the average GDV of completed units in Q1 2021 being at around £426,258.

The relief widened the pool of potential purchasers however, with the scheme tapering off by September, developer exits may not be as easily achievable.

Who or what makes you laugh?

That’s easy because I laugh at anything and everything!

Do you dread Monday mornings?

Definitely not! When you are working for a business that you are truly passionate about, it motivates you to get up and get going which is so important.

Everyone loves the weekend, but I think if you were in a position where you truly dreaded work on a Monday, you’re probably doing the wrong job!

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I would definitely like to get better at time management.

We always think there are not enough hours in the day but actually, if I was able to use my time more effectively, I’d maybe get the chance to do and see all the things I wanted to in the world!

With whom would you most like to have dinner?

I’d love to have dinner with Lewis Hamilton, not only am I a Formula 1 fan but he uses his success to drive change.

Lewis is an advocate of creating a greener world and highlights core issues such as racism in sport. He is an example of a true leader!