‘I always think how can this process be better, how can we do more’

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Michael Stratton MS Lending Group

In our latest Five Minute Interview, Tony Sanchez speaks to Michael Stratton, managing director at MS Lending Group.

MS Lending Group offers bridging finance on residential, semi-commercial, and commercial properties.

As a business, they look at every case on its own individual merits and work closely with their clients to ensure their financial needs are met.

They have no set product range in order to ensure they are agile in the market and able to best suit their customers.

MS Lending Group is based on real products, by real people, making real decisions.

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

The fact that every day is different. No two cases are the same. I get the same buzz from a £50k deal as I do for a multi-million pound transaction purely because I see how each one helps a customer, and I’m so happy to facilitate this for them.

What keeps you focused?

I have a spreadsheet of targets on one side of my desk, and a picture of my son on the other. Both drive me and keep me on track.

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

Honesty is huge for me.

How they speak and treat those around them is also key. There are roles and responsibilities of course but everyone knows nothing is beneath them or out of their reach when it comes to tasks.

We want our employees to feel comfortable completely being themselves because it’s so important our customers feel we’re approachable, and not robotic.

Are you an optimist or a pessimist?

I’m an optimistic pessimist. I approach something aware of what the absolute worst-case scenario is and then tackle it from there.

What did you want to be as a child?

Manchester United’s number 9. Now I’m just Sunday leagues number 5,

Gradually going backwards with age!

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

Lenders giving the sector a bad name by lots of overpromising and under delivery which puts a customer off bridging altogether.

I think valuation time frames will also factor heavily and that’s why we push our no valuation necessary up to £500k

Who or what makes you laugh?

My son. He’s currently 19 months old, with a wild & fiery personality. He’s extremely confident.

You should see when he’s in the office, remodeling the place & bossing everyone around.

Do you dread Monday mornings?

Not at all. I can’t wait to get in the office, get underway. See how everyone’s weekend has been.

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

I’m never quite satisfied, I don’t rest, I always think how can this process be better, how can we do more.

I ensure I congratulate the team but then I’m quickly onto what’s next. But I think this often gives us the edge.

With whom would you most like to have dinner?

My Grandpa Jack. He passed away before I set up the business. Although he was never into property he was an incredible businessman.

I was so proud of everything he achieved, and how hard I saw he worked for the whole family. That’s what drives me.