The Five Minute Interview with D’mitri Zaprzala, Head of Residential, Octopus Real Estate

By Tony Sanchez -

D'mitri Zaprzala Octopus Real Estate

Octopus Real Estate, part of Octopus Group, is a leading specialist real estate investor, with over £2 billion in real estate assets and secured lending, and a highly experienced team of over 100 professionals.

They focus on the property lending and healthcare sectors. The property lending team provides bespoke, customer focused financing solutions across the UK residential, commercial and development sectors.

The team has lent more than £4.8 billion across over 3,750 loans, providing competitively priced financing throughout the UK and spanning the property investment lifecycle, with loans typically ranging from £100,000 to £50 million.

We speak to head of residential, D’mitri Zaprzala:

What is the best thing about being in the property finance business?

The short-term property finance industry is disrupting the status quo of property lending and the disruption is one of the best things to be a part of.

The recent market conditions have also shown that we are also in the business of adapting, quickly!

What keeps you focused?

Constantly looking for ways to improve our offering to brokers and borrowers alike helps keep me focused.

During the recent lockdown we had to adapt and find new ways to communicate with our community.

As the industry looks to make a come back to its new norm of working, we need to ensure that these communications channels stay open and we are focused on service.

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

I work with some incredible people at Octopus Real Estate. Across the team we look for humility, honesty, hard work and drive.

I look for people who put as much emphasis on what they do, as how they going about doing it.

Are you an optimist or a pessimist?

Optimist.

What did you want to be as a child?

Footballer. Centre forward for Arsenal. When I realised that was no longer a possibility, I focused on becoming a professional darts player. That dream has yet to fully die.

What will be the greatest challenge facing the property lending industry in the coming months?

The industry will be faced with many challenges over the coming months as we return to the new normal.

But the challenge that still remans for all of us is finding a way to differentiate ourselves from each other. Continuing to disrupt is key.

Who or what makes you laugh?

Dad jokes. Typically my own.

Do you dread Monday mornings?

No. Love them. If you do not love Monday mornings you really need to ask yourself if you are in the right role, business, or industry.

Culture is so important to any business and I feel that my team have managed to keep this through remote working, the energy and buzz remains, all be it more virtually than face to face at the moment.

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

I wouldn’t change a thing. If pushed I would improve my humility.

With whom would you most like to have dinner?

Arsene Wenger. I would let him know that many of us wanted him to stay.