The Five Minute Interview with Harriet Smith, Head of Bridging Finance, Crystal Specialist Finance

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Harriet Smith

Crystal Specialist Finance is an award-winning Specialist Finance distributor, providing Commercial Finance, Bridging Loans, Second Charge Loans, Development Finance and Specialist Mortgages.

We speak to Head of Bridging Finance, Harriet Smith:

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

The speed at which things work and the adrenaline this brings- no two days will ever be the same and it certainly keeps things interesting! There are also some really great people, it’s a very tight knit sector of the market and everyone works together to help promote the industry.

What keeps you focused?

The customer at the end of the transaction. There is always a need for a bridge and that can sometimes be stress inducing. I’ve always aimed to do everything I can to keep everyone communicated with well, to ensure peace of mind things are moving forward and being dealt with.

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

Dedication and passion- bridging sees its fair share of highs and lows and the team here are able to keep going through out the whole process to get things over the line.

Are you an optimist or a pessimist?

Optimist- there generally always a solution possible in our market and overcoming obstacles is the best challenge and reward.

What did you want to be as a child?

I never really pictured my future career however me (and my Mum & Dad!) always knew I would be doing a role that relied on my organisation, people skills and co-ordination of a team. I used to get really frustrated when on TV people made plans and didn’t specify a time/date/place to meet- disorganised!

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

I see it really as an opportunity, but the dreaded B for Brexit is nearly upon us. This could cause a flood of business for bridging- last minute purchases, opportunists who are seeking complete quickly. It will be for us to see how lenders and crucially surveyors respond to this to ensure we can all continue to operate.

Who or what makes you laugh?

An awful lot- it’s something, for anyone who knows me, I spend the majority of the day doing.

Do you dread Monday mornings?

Never- I’ve always had roles with a lot of autonomy so Monday is mine to be taken.

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

I definitely wouldn’t mind being a few inches taller!

With whom would you most like to have dinner?

David Attenborough – I would love to hear all about his life.