Meet the team…. Lara Hawkins

What is your role at SBK?
To use my many many… too many… years of experience in the property industry (you’ll see my wrinkles!) to look at ways in which SBK can innovate and develop our ancillary services (namely conveyancing and financial services), in order to serve our clients in the best possible way.


What is your job title?

Business development manager


What does your job entail? Is there a typical day?

I work in any of the offices, offering any support to the team in terms of the financial services and conveyancing relationship and after a coffee I crunch some numbers and liaise with our B2B resources… and work on how we can be positively different, better and brilliant!


What did you do before this job?
Worked for ASAP, a dedicated sales progression company. Mike spotted a little word called Hoowla on my CV and recognised my experience working with that customer relationship management (CRM).


What attracted you to working for SBK?

The fact SBK is truly an independent agent at heart, with the desire to offer the very best service. I was also super impressed by the experience that sits around the table. I’m pretty sure the entire alphabet can be covered by the number of letters we all have after our names.


What’s the best bit about your job?

Working with the team – and having the freedom to think outside the box.


What qualifications or training do you need to do this job?

The biggest one is life experience – but for me it has served me well having full FPC, CeMAP and I’m also ANAEA*. Looking at an ancillary business means understanding both sides of the job and I’ve been lucky enough to learn every single aspect of estate agency, quite literally having served my time from the ground floor up. There is no doubt industry qualifications teach you competence, but nothing teaches you how to work with people like doing the job.


What motivates you to work hard?

Positive client feedback when the job is done. What’s the point in developing the best legal service companion or financial service offering for our business if the client thinks it’s rubbish. So that and perhaps the odd bottle of vino!


What are your career goals?

To be a director. I would love the other senior managers within the business to think I am good enough to be a key decision maker.


What is the best piece of career advice you have ever been given?

Listen. Listen to praise and learn what you are doing correctly and listen to feedback you don’t agree with. Over the years I have learned when I don’t agree, it’s often because I don’t understand the real objective!


*FPC – The Financial Planning Certificate was for a mortgage adviser. It has since been updated and replaced by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII). This has also since been replaced by the following exam modules: UK financial service, regulation and ethics (CF1), investment and risk (CF2), financial protection (CF3), retirement planning (CF4) and integrated financial planning (CF5).

CeMAP is the industry standard qualification for mortgage advisers, the Certificate for Mortgage Advice and Practice. You can study CeMAP online, fitting it around your life and work, with on-demand course work that lets you learn in a way that suits you. Over three modules, you’ll gain the expertise you need to advise customers on mortgage products. You’ll learn about the regulations that govern the UK mortgage sector as well as the factors that affect customers’ personal financial plans. And because CeMAP is the mortgage industry standard qualification, when you pass you can apply for your ‘licence to practise’.

ANAEA stands for the Associate of the National Association of Estate Agents.