This week Mortgage Solutions is talking to Laura Smith – Business Relationship Manager at One Mortgage System (OMS)
What does your role entail and how long have you been doing it?
I only joined OMS at the end of February 2023 so I am still relatively new, although I’ve certainly tried to hit the ground running.
As my title suggests, my role revolves around building on existing relationships and generating new ones. The strength, reputation and perception of the OMS brand and proposition is growing rapidly across the intermediary mortgage market and we are always exploring new integrations, how we can work with lenders, networks, packagers, clubs and brokers as well as constantly evaluating where to better support our users across the system. It’s an extensive and challenging role but one which I am relishing.
What attracted you to working in the mortgage/property/finance sector?
One of the biggest attractions for me was being involved – directly and indirectly – in helping a variety of people to make one of the biggest financial decisions they are ever likely to make.
What maintains the attraction is the unpredictability of the market – especially given the current economic climate – as it always generates new challenges and new opportunities. There is also an overriding sense of community throughout the intermediary market and it’s great to see how genuinely supportive people are across the industry.
What were you doing in the five years before starting here?
I started as a Telephone Business Development Manager (TBDM) at Fleet Mortgages in 2015 and was quickly promoted to become Fleet’s first Senior TBDM. In 2019, I moved onto the marketing department as a Marketing Executive before joining Knowledge Bank as a Sales and Marketing Manager in April 2022.
What personal talent/skill is most valuable in doing your job?
A strong level of interpersonal skills, creativity and approachability.
What personal talent/skill would you most like to improve on?
I like to draw and be creative. This not only helps me to market OMS but also myself. So, I am constantly looking to find ways to improve my artistic skills in a variety of guises.
How has the pandemic changed the way you approach your job?
Very much so. I now work from home which means a heavier reliance on virtual meetings rather than face-to-face ones that I was used to. The lack of travel time means that I can fit more meetings into the day but I’m also conscious of constantly adapting my approach to ensure that I am as engaged as possible in every single one of these.
What is the most interesting/memorable property deal/case you’ve been involved in?
A client was an ex-spy. He couldn’t go on the housing register (even anonymously) as when he was accidentally placed on the register previously, he came home to a threatening message written on his front door and had to move himself and his family the very same day!
This meant that I had to do a lot of work to get around this particular issue in order to successfully progress the case.
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
Running and managing a successful BDM team and being a leading advocate for equality within the workplace.
If present-day you could go back in time and tell yourself something five years ago, what would it be?
Be more confident, trust in your ability and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve tackled so far in your career?
My first task as a Marketing Executive was to complete a brand refresh, with a brand new website within a three-month deadline. It was equally exciting and terrifying.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
Teleportation. This would allow me to visit brokers across the country in a blink of an eye!
And finally, what’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?
In an interview I was once asked – If I was a crayon what colour would I be?
I answered red as this is a strong, powerful colour which grabs your attention and holds it.
I got the job!