VAS Group

'Women are great at building and maintaining relationships, which will allow them to take the industry by storm'

If anyone had told me when I was younger that I would own a valuation panel management business, working in a male-dominated industry, I would not have believed them.

VAS Panel was launched in 2017 and has come such a long way in a relatively short period of time, during which the business has successfully navigated several challenges and continued to support its clients regardless.

I had to oversee our team working from home during Covid and made sure our service to clients wasn’t interrupted. We’ve moved offices three times in four years and I have personally overseen our technology advancement, which has been a huge challenge.

Seven years ago, I was selling Nissan cars in a local dealership — so you can imagine the challenges I have had to face in order to cope with so much change in my career.

I am massively proud of what I have achieved since launching VAS Panel.

We panel managed over £5bn of valuations in 2021. The business has 30 employees across Middlesbrough and Wilmslow — of which 24 are women. Some 13 of our employees are in senior positions, of which eight are women. I have personally self-developed many of them to become managers across the business, which makes me super proud.

I love the industry and the people working in it. I cannot recommend enough the opportunities that are available across the market to get involved in lending, finance, valuations or brokering.

Being brave, resilient, and flexible has allowed me to flourish, and the same will help any women entering and prospering in this environment. People are at the heart of the industry, and women are great at building and maintaining relationships, which will allow them to take the industry by storm.

Potential is everywhere. I have found our staff working in totally different industries and have personally approached several when I saw what brilliant service they gave to me in their previous jobs, including working in supermarkets, retail and restaurants, where I can see they have great potential.

I am sure they thought I was odd when I approached them but, after a chat, they got my passion and saw the opportunity that was available to them. Seeing these people develop has been one of the biggest highlights for me.

I know a valuation is only a small part of the whole lending process, but we are providing our clients with a very efficient service, and our team have built up brilliant relationships with lenders, brokers and valuers all over the country.

To own and work in a company that is a key partner for some of the biggest bridging and challenger banks in the country, with a fantastic valuation panel consisting of some of the largest firms in the country, goes to show that no matter what background you come from, if you have the dedication and determination to succeed, you can.

Are you a woman in the financial services industry keen to get your voice heard? Contact [email protected] — we would love to chat!

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