"I am a fan of face-to-face meetings, which I believe will continue to have an important place in our market, when life returns to some form of normality."
We spoke to Justine Gainer, head of sales at ULS Technology, about why face-to-face meetings will continue to have an important place in the industry and why there is still huge potential for innovation in the mortgage and conveyancing markets.
FR: What is your role?
My role is head of sales at ULS Technology, where I have been for the last four and a half years. It’s varied, which I enjoy, and involves leading a team of sales professionals, in addition to driving compelling relationships with many of our intermediary clubs and networks, as well as lender business partners. Plus of course delivering solutions to myriad new partners, which provides the excitement of go-live and growing these relationships strategically.
I’m very competitive at heart and enjoy working in the financial services ‘family’ – one which I have been part of for the last 26 years, and it would seem, you never leave!
FR: How has your role changed as a result of Covid?
Other than the obvious lack of travelling to physical meetings and events, I’m not sure my role has changed that much. Technology and the likes of Zoom, Teams and BrightTALK have come into their own – other systems are available! They have, I believe, enabled the more personal side of face-to-face meetings to continue to some extent.
There is far more diary flexibility when travel is out of the equation and there are obvious advantages to this. However, I am a fan of face-to-face meetings, which I believe will continue to have an important place in our market, when life returns to some form of normality.
FR: What do you like and dislike about working from home during Covid?
One of the best things has to be mothballing the early alarm and avoiding the long waits on railway platforms for journeys into London, during which I invariably have to endure people loudly chomping through bags of crisps or crunching on apples. That said, these meetings are both enjoyable and worthwhile, and London does have an undeniable vibe. Note to self, remember headphones when we are through this!
I can honestly say there’s nothing I dislike about working from home, although I am very lucky to have the surroundings I do.
Getting the work–life balance spot-on is a skill, and ordinarily the former wins as I like to have everything tied up at the end of each day, where possible. Working perpetually from home returns the time usually spent travelling around the country, giving me a better balance between work priorities and home life.
FR: What’s the most interesting opportunity in your market?
We have huge potential for innovation in the mortgage and conveyancing markets, through technology. I believe having conviction in your product is key, and that ULS technology is leading the way in digitising and evolving the conveyancing element of a client’s end-to-end mortgage journey. We have already deployed our new digital platform and are continually finding new ways to support advisers and lenders in what is not the most exciting, however, remains a critical part of the home moving and refinancing process.
I’m excited to see what the appointment of our new CEO will bring us in terms of this innovation and digitisation push. He has over 20 years’ experience within digital and technology platform businesses, so this will undoubtedly enable us to capitalise further on DigitalMove and catapult our growth in the digital space.
FR: What has been your greatest success to date?
This is an interesting one. If I focus my attention away from work for a minute, then I’d say one of them has to be challenging my intense fear of heights by taking on the second biggest sand dune in the world at 355 metres - Big Daddy in the Namibian Desert. On paper this sounds a doddle however, when climbing on an edge that gets narrower and steeper as you ascend, the legs starts to tremble, and you begin to question your sanity.
I fought through it!
The final 50 metres sadly defeated me, although the view at that point was stunning, and a combination of rolling and running uncontrollably down into the famous Deadvlei delivered a treat on landing!
FR: How do you like to unwind?
I’m lucky to have an excellent locally run facility nearby which specialises in fitness, conditioning and mental wellness which I have been making the most of this year. I’m also blessed to have a brilliant significant other – he keeps life outside of work fun and complete.