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Rising Star: Matthew Dilks, Clever Lending

Mortgage Solutions is talking to Matthew Dilks, bridging and commercial specialist at broker firm Clever Lending.

What does your role entail and how long have you been doing it?   

As a bridging and commercial specialist at Clever Lending, my primary role is helping clients and brokers source financing for bridging loans, commercial mortgages, development finance, buy-to-let (BTL) properties and BTL portfolios. As part of my role, I also regularly liaise with lenders, surveyors and solicitors. 

What attracted you to working in the mortgage/property/finance sector?   

My main career was in investment banking but I left the sector when I moved to Lincolnshire as there were limited opportunities in the area. I really enjoyed working in finance though and wanted to stay in the industry. Mortgages and property really interested me, so I decided to retrain. 

I love the variety that comes with working in the mortgage industry and the fact that I get to work with lots of different people and help clients with various needs. No two days are the same.  

What were you doing in the five years before starting here?    

I have actually done a lot of things in the last five years, including being a stay-at-home full-time dad for a number of years.  

After that I worked as an insurance fraud investigator for a while before becoming a private banker for Natwest Retail Bank. I then moved on to work at an estate agency as a valuer before deciding to get back into bridging and commercial finance with Clever Lending. It’s been a busy five years and I appreciate calling me a rising star might be considered a stretch. 

What personal talent/skill is most valuable in doing your job?   

Given the fact that my role involves dealing with lots of different people and juggling lots of different clients, the ability to properly listen is not only extremely valuable, it’s also very important as no two clients are alike.  

I also like to think that I am a straight talker who gets to the point as being open and transparent is a key part of my role, as is being solution-focused and getting the right deal for the client.  

Remaining informed and staying in the loop and up-to-date on current products in the market is also important, particularly in the current economic climate.  

What personal talent/skill would you most like to improve on?  

I would really like to be more efficient and use my time more wisely. Another big focus for me, particularly over the next few years, is it to significantly build up my broker and client base. 

How has the pandemic changed the way you approach your job?  

Like many people, the pandemic made me re-evaluate many things, including my work life balance. In terms of the day-to-day stuff, it is probably the need to look at any current bounce back loans (BBLs) or Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) that may need to be taken into account for affordability purposes as the effects of the pandemic are still being felt.  

What is the most interesting/memorable property deal/case you’ve been involved in?   

I have one builder client that contacts me every year looking to raise the build costs to fund his next development. He converts barns into executive properties and the finished product is always absolutely awesome. I love seeing the evolution of his projects and it is fantastic to have such a good client relationship that he comes back to me every year. It is a privilege to work with him.     

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?    

Hopefully with a large portfolio of my own clients specialising in larger deals.   

If present-day you could go back in time and tell yourself something five years ago, what would it be?  

Probably the following weeks’ winning Euromillions lottery numbers. 

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve tackled so far in your career?   

Definitely working through the pandemic as the stamp duty holiday meant that business volumes were absolutely crazy. It was such a strange time.  

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?   

That’s a good question. I think it would have to be the ability to see into the future and to know what’s coming. That, or maybe just to be like Wolverine.  

And finally, what’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?   

Probably this one. 

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