‘Teamwork, reliability and a strong work ethic’

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Paul Watson Blend Network

In our latest Five Minute Interview, Tony Sanchez speaks to Paul Watson, Head of Lending at Blend Network.

Blend Network is an award-winning and one of the UK’s fastest-growing specialist development finance lenders.

It provides blended senior and mezz debt of up to 75% LTGDV to experienced property developers doing residential schemes all across the UK.

What is the best thing about being in the bridging and development finance business?

It may sound like a cliché but truly the best thing about working in the development and bridging industry is to be working with some of the sharpest minds across both the real estate and the finance industries.

At Blend Network, we are privileged to be lending to some of the most experienced and sophisticated property developers in the market, especially since we launched our new 75% LTGDV product and our Development Plus facility powered by LDS Sales Guarantees, products that are specifically designed and tailored to established property developers.

It is fantastic to interact with these knowledgeable property developers who have been around for many years and have seen it all when it comes to the property market cycles. This is something that I truly enjoy.

What keeps you focused?

Being able to deliver strong workable solutions to our property developer clients. We all know that property developers are extremely busy people, often wearing several hats at the same time.

So, the last thing they want is to have to worry about the finance side of the scheme. Instead, they just to work with a lender who can make their lives easier by proposing and delivering solutions that work.

Property developers want to be working with lenders they can trust. Working with developers to propose and deliver solutions that make their lives easier is what keeps me and my team focused.

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

Teamwork, reliability and a strong work ethic are three of the most important qualities I look.

Teamwork is of course a requirement in most work environments. At Blend Network we love to say that ‘teamwork makes the dream work’ and it’s true that successful collaboration truly elevates the bar when it comes to exceeding customer expectations.

This is why being in an office and bouncing ideas off each other is so important. Regarding reliability, I feel this is an important factor because it provides you the assurance and the confidence that the job will get done and it will get done well.

Are you an optimist or a pessimist?

Always an optimist and glass half-full 😊 I feel at Blend Network we are all a team of optimists.

As the saying goes ‘a pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty’.

This is our attitude at Blend Network. We are here to grab the opportunities!

What did you want to be as a child?

A pilot at first, and then growing up I wanted to be a property developer, which is great because now I work with property developers but with the lender’s hat on and trying to help them bring their schemes to life by providing the funding they need and practical solutions that work.

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

I think it will be the consolidation as we see the market move towards being more regulated for the benefit of borrowers who need and deserve more transparency and protection in the market.

Who or what makes you laugh?

When we get a loan request from a property developer saying they want 100% LTGDV and 100% LTC and have no experience doing developments 😊 Jokes aside, my children make me laugh.

Do you dread Monday mornings?

No, I love Monday mornings and they are actually my most productive part of the week!

There’s something great about having a blank week ahead of us. Apparently, it’s not only me saying that. A study, from the Institute of Work Psychology at Sheffield University, has proven that Monday morning blues is a myth.

It’s just not true that we all feel unhappy on a Monday. It’s Thursdays we need to worry about as more of us are grumpy on this day.

Funnily enough, I’ve also read somewhere that Mondays are meant to be the least rainy day of the week due to man-made pollution decreasing over the weekend.

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

MMM, this is always a tricky question.

Well, this isn’t something I would change but rather it’s something I am striving to improve on.

I am working on my skills at table tennis to be able to beat our one and only Dani Netzer, Lending Manager at Blend Network, who is a table tennis pro!

You see, we have a small table tennis in our office and in between serving our customers, we like to challenge each other to a game every now and then.

Dani is our best player, and we never manage to beat him. So, one thing I would like to improve on is my table tennis game to be able to beat Dani!

With whom would you most like to have dinner?

I’d love to have dinner with the Queen, a truly inspirational woman who throughout her reign has been a remarkable leader for both the country and everyone across the commonwealth.