The Growth Series

Podcast #54 - New Year 2021 Insights: Part 2


In episode 54 of the Growth Series podcast, Nicola Alvarez, Corporate Account Manager - Proposition Development at Accord Mortgages, speaks with two selected industry experts to discuss what they learned through 2020, a year more eventful than most, and looks forward to how they plan to approach 2021. Nicola is joined by Greg Cunnington, Director of Lender Relationships and New Homes at Alexander Hall, and David O’Leary, Policy Director at The Home Builders Federation. 

Nicola discusses the nature of the role of each of the guest speakers and they each reveal insightful examples of what they have learned about themselves over the last 12 months. They then cover the year’s highlights and their stand-out achievements before talking about what there is to look forward to in 2021. The guests share their experiences, and their views of how they see the new build market developing over the next 12 months.

Greg Cunnington discusses becoming a parent for the first time during a pandemic, moving to a remote working setup, and learning that he can be very pragmatic and adaptable when required, which he notes are attributes he’s seen mirrored by the industry as a whole. For Greg, the importance of proactively looking for opportunity, and having a client focused approach shine out as key considerations for the year.

Obviously besides becoming a father, Greg pinpoints seeing how well colleagues and lender partners worked together throughout the year as a highlight. He refers to the great attitude he witnessed throughout 2020 and the ability to maintain high levels of service for clients despite difficult circumstances as an achievement in itself. Not to mention seeing that hard work be recognised through numerous award wins.

Greg goes on to cover what he’s looking forward to as 2021 progresses, which includes the continuation of an increase in mortgage product options and lender service levels. Helping first-time buyers get onto the ladder has always been one of Greg’s personal high points, and particularly for those who don’t have access to the bank of mum and dad, high LTV mortgages are extremely important and he’s excited to see those product options return. To close off their conversation, Nicola and Greg explore where they see the new build market developing over the next 12 months.

David O’Leary considers the importance of the interdependencies of the industry, and how the industry worked together to identify pinch points during the first lockdown. He talks about the impact of the market on the wider economy, and how that impact really became clear throughout 2020.

Nicola asks David about any specific highlights from the year. He pinpoints the engagement that The Home Builders Federation have had with their members as something that as an organisation they are particularly proud of. Working remotely has been a challenge faced by us all throughout the pandemic, and David talks about how the interaction and engagement that they were able to maintain was far better than could have been expected.

They then go on to discuss what David is looking forward to in 2021. He says that although the beginning of 2021 feels like a bit of a continuation of the year we’ve left behind, with more clarity emerging he feels certain that there will be plenty to look forward to later in the year. He points out that there’s a lot of innovation still to come, including changeovers with the help-to-buy scheme and energy efficiency, and numerous exciting products in the pipeline. 

David and Nicola round off their discussion by looking at their hopes for the new build market in 2021, and the roles of all stakeholders; mortgage lenders, brokers and customers, as we move forward.

The Growth Series is a dedicated resource that aims to help mortgage brokers grow their business using digital and communications marketing techniques. For more hints and tips on how to grow your business, you can sign up to the Growth Series for free, here.

1.33 - 31.02 discuss:

  • An introduction to Greg’s role
  • The adaptability of the industry
  • The importance of proactive approaches and positive attitudes
  • Greg’s 2020 highlights
  • Unsung heroes of the sector
  • The opportunities that 2021 holds
  • Operational challenges that were overcome in 2020
  • The return of broader product options
  • Upcoming technology
  • Greg’s hopes for the new build market
  • An introduction to David’s role
  • The importance of partnerships and the interdependencies of the industry
  • How an organisation is only as good as its relationships
  • David’s 2020 highlights
  • Challenges and successes of remote working
  • Things to look forward to in 2021
  • New home energy efficiency
  • David’s hopes for the new build market
  • Outro
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