Mortgage adviser Carla cleans up
Ambitious mortgage adviser Carla Peel swept to a top honour at our annual staff awards event - 15 years after starting out at the company as a branch cleaner!
The mum-of-two was recently named Mortgage Adviser of the Year at Nottingham’s Belfry Hotel.
Carla, who is based at our Arnold branch, smashed her targets in 2016 and gained fantastic customer satisfaction levels to brush aside colleagues and land the honour.
It all came just a decade-and-a-half after Carla joined the business as a part-time cleaner at the Hucknall branch, close to where she lives.
The 43-year-old takes up the story: “I absolutely love being a mortgage adviser. It gives me a tremendous amount of satisfaction helping people, but when I think back to where I have come from - as I did fleetingly when my name, to my surprise, was read out at the awards - I can’t quite believe it.
“Fifteen years ago I was a single mum who needed a few hours’ work to help in bringing up my daughter, Hannah. I saw an advert for a cleaner vacancy in The Nottingham’s window, applied and got the job.
“Prior to Hannah being born I had worked in customer-led jobs for over a decade and always held a desire to get back into similar work. I’m thankful that The Nottingham supported me in achieving that - initially in being flexible enough to allow me to fulfil hours that meant I could devote time to bringing up my family and, further along the line, in progressing my career.
“When my daughter was heading towards school age I applied to become a branch customer adviser and later on became a senior customer adviser, a role which at the time incorporated being a mortgage adviser.
“The Nottingham helped me to achieve my CeMAP (Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice) and then become a full-time mortgage adviser. And three years ago, when the company introduced Nottingham Mortgage Services (a wholly owned subsidiary of The Nottingham) and started searching the whole of market for its customers, I was delighted to join that team. I’ve not looked back.”
Carla, who has since remarried and had a son too, Josh, says that the whole of market mortgages - a search of over 50 lenders to find the most appropriate mortgage or re-mortgage deal for the customer - proposition has had a tremendously positive impact on her career.
“The challenge prior to whole of market was that The Nottingham, quite rightly so as a responsible lender, has got strict criteria around who it gives its mortgages to. So, for all the right reasons and so that people didn’t end up in financial strife, we were turning a lot of people away as we could only offer The Nottingham’s products if they qualified.
“But that has now been turned on its head. By searching over 50 lenders we dramatically increase the chances of landing a deal that is bespoke to people’s needs. What is really positive is that we say ‘yes’ to many more customers now.”
So what is it that really makes Carla ‘tick’? How can someone who was mopping the floors in-branch just 15 years ago now be an award-winning mortgage adviser? The answer, as she describes, probably lies in the word ‘local’.
Carla adds: “I try to be the best I can be in the role - to stay absolutely committed to understanding the customer’s aims and ambitions and to ensure I am always learning in an
environment where mortgage lending criteria rules change on an almost daily basis.
“But, ultimately, I hope that people see and trust me as a down-to-earth girl from this side of Nottingham. I know the areas in and around Hucknall, Arnold, Sherwood and Bulwell like the back of my hand and I think that people around here really ‘buy into’ that. That’s what has helped to build my positive reputation.
“I recently had an appointment with a couple who were looking for a mortgage three years after I helped them get onto the property ladder in quite difficult circumstances. They were both self-employed at the time and struggled to secure funds elsewhere but we managed to find them something that worked and, three years on, they came to see me again - along with their new baby. Life is really moving on for them.
“It was a lovely feeling to have played a part in that. I am extremely passionate about helping people get on to, and to move along, the property ladder. Long may it continue.”
Carla has risen from cleaner to award-winning mortgage adviser