Kym Laxy - Mortgage Adviser and Business Owner
What is your name?
What company do you work for?
Mortgage Advice Bureau, Elgin
What is your job title?
Mortgage Adviser and Business Owner
Provide a brief description of your business
Providing mortgage and insurance advice to those buying or selling a house and those whose mortgage is due to be renewed.
Describe your career pathway after leaving school
I got a job in the bank as a Customer Adviser and this involved mostly arranging loans, student accounts etc.
Then, a job came up as Mortgage Adviser and I applied. I had no experience but did well in the interview. I then worked as an Adviser for the bank for a few years and then took a job as an Independent Adviser. In 2008, I lost my job due to the financial crash and took some time out to have my son.
I went back to work and started training in pensions which I didn't feel was for me. I returned to mortgages, working for a national firm, and when I told them I was moving from Dundee to Elgin they let me start up my own office for the company.
In 2016, I went through some tough personal experiences and I lost my passion for work. I thought I needed something to focus on so I enrolled with Moray College UHI and started studying Social Sciences. The course was great and I made some lovely friends but in the end I missed mortgage advice. Perhaps, the course content healed me a little and I was ready to be myself again?
Instead of looking for another job, which can be difficult in our area, I bit the bullet and started my own company - Mortgage Advice Bureau - which has now been going for three years.
Have you ever been an apprentice?
I have never been an apprentice as such, but I have been a trainee. As a trainee, you learn from those with great experience and you feel motivated by their passion, you learn on the job which, in my experience, is the best tool.
What school subjects would be helpful for your job role?
Actually none. A good work ethic is a must and a good attitude, as my business is all about service delivery. Any knowledge of basic tax and maths is an advantage, but it’s very much a customer focus role. If you can nail that and bring a positive attitude, the rest can be taught.
What is your favourite thing about the work that you do?
Without a doubt, the end result for my clients. Being able to tell them that their mortgage is in place and talking to them after they get their keys. It’s also great building relationships, as some customers come back year after year and it’s lovely watching them and their families as their lives progress. At Mortgage Advice Bureau, our hours are very flexible and this is great for a work life and family life balance.
Why did you want to work in this industry?
I didn’t! I sort of fell into the industry when looking for a job after school. I guess it was the right time and right place, because I now love my job.
Did you ever want to pursue another career?
Yes. I did study social work for a while but, although I loved it, I missed the 'buzz' of mortgage advising.
What does a typical day in your role involve?
A typical day involves speaking with clients to understand their needs, searching for mortgages to fit clients situations and making recommendations to them. I also need to be up-to-date with product knowledge and legislation so carrying out research is key most days. My work is mostly desk based but I often visit estate agents and solicitors, house builders and clients their homes.
What skills are required to do your job?
No formal qualifications, but a desire to help and a great approach to customer service. You must also be self motivated and willing to think outside the box.
What is your advice to young people who are considering working in this sector?
Get in touch with an advisor or a financial services company and ask for advice. Look into CEMAP, which is the industry exams you will need to sit. I would advise trying to gain experience in similar roles e.g. bank customer service, travel agents, car sales etc., although they are not regulated and you will learn how to put your customer at the heart of what you do.
Any other comments?
Trying different roles and jobs doesn’t make you a failure. It only helps you focus on what makes you happy and see what you're really great at.
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Here at DYW Moray, we'd like to encourage those of you who are employed in Moray to share your career story with us so that we can promote these to Moray's young people. Go on, share your career story now!