Jump inside the mind of David Slater. A COO who goes the distance for charity as well as TPBC
Welcome to what is the first in a series of ‘Meet-The-Team’ style blogs, designed to give you an insight into what goes on behind the scenes here at TPBC. Think of it as your dose of inside access into the team behind your property sale. Something we’ve chosen to do for good reason.
You see finding a buyer when selling your house is no laughing matter, so it's only fair you know a bit more about the people behind it. Take David for instance. While you won’t run into him over the phone unless you’re calling on business matters, he’s one of the major components behind your sale. Let’s just say that without David, there’d be no 7-day completions or fast cash payments.
And as we speak (well, write), David is currently on with a humongous charity challenge all in the aid of Mind and CandleLighters. So, to discover more about his challenge and what he gets up to when he's not at work, keep reading...
Want to get to know David extra fast? Use the menu below...
- UPDATE: David's BIG 10k Charity Challenge!
- David and The Property Buying Company
- Confessions of a 'Propertyholic'
- Who is David Slater outside of work?
As a means to raise awareness of both Cancer and mental health, our COO, David, has set himself an almighty challenge. He's tasked himself with running 10k every single day over the space of 10 weeks. The idea being to raise funds for the charities Mind and CandleLighters.
"I chose these two charities for a reason.
"What with Lockdown, mental health is now a bigger concern than ever before. Being hemmed inside all day isn't easy, and neither is it good for cognitive health, hence I'm running on behalf of Mind. Whereas, the reason I'm running for CandleLighters is slightly more personal. I had a close friend lose their daughter to childhood Cancer a few years back.
"But I would like to point out that this challenge is designed to inspire positivity. So, instead of looking back, I'll be looking straight forward, fresh air in my lungs, spurred on by an open mind. The only time I will look back is when I cross the finishing line, hopefully with £10k to split between the two causes."
As any regular readers of our blog will know, the mental health and wellbeing of our team here at TPBC is of top priority. Hence why earlier in the summer, we also built our team a state of the art gym at our headquarters in Leeds. Here's our CEO, Jonny Christie, to tell you more...
Help David make a difference - his Just Giving page one click away...
Your journey with TPBC – when did it all start?
"My journey with TPBC began back in the October of 2018."
"Originally, I joined the business as the Financial Controller - essentially the person who kept an eye on the finances and made sure the company's cash flow was enough to cover its overheads. So you could say I'm a numbers guy.
"However since my appointment, my role at TPBC has evolved and now I'm a member of the company's board of directors. A role I've now been in for close to two years! All of which means I have larger say in what the business does and also get to advise CEOs Karl and Jonny on where the business should go next.
"A typical day for me is an amalgamation of financial matters, paperwork and board meetings, as well as the occasional long-distance run during my lunch hour."
If someone would’ve told you that you’d be working for a Sell House Fast company, would you have believed them?
"No - not at all!
"For 15 years I'd worked in the commercial side of property - everything from facility management to retail owner businesses, so let's just say that the transition to residential was quite a shock. However, because I'd bought a few houses previously, the process wasn't completely foreign and I soon knew my stuff. Now it's become second nature.
"But earlier in my career, it wasn't yet clear that property was the way to go. In fact, I found myself working at a bank on a temporary contract, although soon I did manage to worm my way into a full-time position. I must have impressed them because they were who sponsored me to start my first accountancy qualification. A move I'll forever be grateful for.
"Looking back, there are 3 people in particular who helped me along the way. I like to think of them as guides, who showed me the way to go and helped me unlock my potential. The three were:
- Diane Lunn - my team leader
- Rachel Akrigg - the manager of the dept
- David Bradley - my manager in finance
"Now I know this is no awards ceremony, but I would like to take the chance to thank each and every one of them for what they did for me. Without their willingness to show me the ropes, it's likely I wouldn't even be where I am today. Part of a team that's vibrant, colourful and most importantly, here to make a difference. Besides, thank yous - they don't cost a thing."
Fan of what David's doing for Mind & CandleLighters? Help him help others today...
Is there anything particular about property that excites you? Are you a ‘Propertyholic’?
"At the time of writing this blog (2021), I've been in the property industry for over 17 years! I've worked on both side of the fence too - in residential and commercial. So yes, I think a Propertyholic is definitely a fitting way to describe me.
"However, my background in accounting and finance means that figures are more what excite me. Look at it like this and I guess my role at TPBC was almost meant to be. You see, while I do deal with figures just like I could at any other company, what I'm also doing is helping others, be that upscaling to their dream home or selling their house fast as a form of equity release. And you know what, that makes the whole business of property incredibly satisfying."
What about your job excites you? Tell us anything…
"So while property excites me and that is of course a major part of what I do, when it comes to my actual role I'd say it's more the variety of each day that keeps me on my toes.
"For me, no day at The Property Buying Company is the same, and I'm proud to say that I'm still saying that after years with the business. One day might see me purely concentrating on finance reports - i.e. in my accountancy element. Whereas the next may have me discussing future plans or adaptations with the directors, managers or even the entire team.
"What with the sharp growth we're now experiencing, I can expect this to become an even larger part of my role in the future. Tell you what though, that has to be the most exciting thing about working at TPBC - seeing the company's bright future unfolding and knowing that you're a part of it."
Why does The Property Buying Company stand out within its niche? What gives it the edge?
"This is hands down the easiest question you could have asked me - it's the team, end of story, full stop."
"You see, while businesses operate around cash flow and margins, the one thing you can't put a price on is a proactive and vibrant team. Businesses can pump as much money as they like into marketing and advertising, but if they don't cherry-pick the right team, it'll only go so far. Hence why The Property Buying Company is growing at such a rate. Just watch the team at work and you'll see exactly what I mean.
"There's a real bond between everyone that you don't seem to find at every workplace - in many ways Team TPBC feels like an extended family. Let's just say we don't encourage a 'sit in silence' work environment either. There's hustle, bustle and a real energy about the way we work at TPBC, which if you ask me, shows in our results. Because of this, not only are team members more than happy to offer assistance when someone's got a lot on their plate, but also this same energy relays itself onto our customers.
"So instead of ramming a sales pitch down their throats, we teach our team to be open, honest and more importantly, listen to people's problems. As my Grandma used to say "you have two ears and one mouth - listen twice as much as you speak". What this does is come together to mean that anyone selling their house to TPBC isn't just a number on a spreadsheet - they're way more than that. Call them a part of our extended family"
If you could only own one house for the rest of your life, where would it be and why?
"Not going to lie, I'm not into all this lavish living and swanky possessions. Call me a simple family man at heart, so safe to say this house wouldn't be a mansion. Ideally something with about 3 bedrooms and a couples of acres of land.
"Log cabins intrigue me (Canadian style in particular). They seem to have some magical quality about them, which you don't seem to get with a 2-bed terrace. If money was no object, I'd also opt for the biggest log burner I could get my hands on and have a full length window facing at the front, so every evening I could sit back and watch the sun set over the mountains.
"I'm also one for being self-sufficient, so you'd probably catch me growing all sorts of crops in my spare time too. I know this rustic survivor lifestyle isn't for everyone, but there's just something about a rural setting that makes me feel... alive. So if you're looking to sell your log cabin for cash, do reach out!"
Could you run 10k every day for 10 weeks? That's what David's doing...
What’s your favourite part about doing a property reno?
"Out of the two properties I've ever bought, my latest was a new build, so the majority of the D.I.Y. was already done. Saying that though, I did build a raised decking area in the garden, which filled me with a great sense of achievement. I’d never undertaken anything like that before, so looking back and struggling to find a fault really did give me a sense of pride.
"It was at my first house where the more adventurous renovations took place. Unlike the majority of houses these days, it was 3 feet below street level. Yet, somehow I managed to build a driveway by constructing a double skin retaining wall, which I then filled with hardcore before levelling it off. To this day it's still standing (smug face)."
Where did you grow up? Who did you look up to as a kid?
"I started life in Bingley - a small market town in West Yorkshire. And because the town was within walking distance of the countryside, I wasn't one to spend a lot of time indoors. In fact, climbing turned into a major hobby of mine.
"Whenever the sun was shining I'd head up to Baildon, and try my luck on its vast selection of climbing routes. I'll never forget the one summer that I was housebound - not being able to go outside irritated me to the core. You see, while climbing I'd had a bit of a run in with a spike, that meant for months I could barely move.
"At the time there wasn't such thing as the internet, so my influences remained mostly within my family. If I'd have to pick one I'd say my Grandma. She was one of those who was always up for a chat and packed some pretty amazing advice. She also made a killer Sunday roast.
Outside of work, what are your hobbies? Anything exuberant that we should know about?
"I've always been a runner - ever since a young age it's been a HUGE part of my life. Over the past I've done everything from running cross country to sprinting up mountains for charity. In fact, it was this joy of running up mountains that has encouraged me to take up climbing and later on mountaineering. Let's just say I'm a very active guy outside of work.
"Some years back I even climbed the Swiss Alps and next year I'm heading off to Africa. Both there and in Russia I'll be doing some climbing, which should see me reach the top of the tallest mountain in Europe! Hence why I've decided to undertake my 10K challenge. Not only is it a way to raise money for two very worthwhile causes, but it's also the perfect way to prep myself for the trials and tribulations ahead."
Tell us something we didn’t know about you when we hired you (gulp)
"So, where do I start...
"I used to be the mascot for Bradford City, the bantam, or for those of you who don’t follow football, a chicken. This had me dressing up and parading around the stadium during the game. I was given the chance to dance on the Wembley pitch during the league cup final against Swansea and I even got invited to star on the One Show with Chris Evans & Alex Jones. At least I thought it was great fun, although the novelty soon wore off for my children. They ended up hiding from me in the stands. At that point I knew it was time to hang up my wings."
Cancer & mental health need addressing - help David make a difference...