Karen Lee, Founder of The Cheshire Mortgage Group
Providing personalised services tailored to everyone – from first-time shared owners to buyers with a broad property portfolio
All my life, people have told me I can’t achieve the things I’ve set my mind to. I love to prove them wrong! From passing my driving test to climbing mountains alone in the UK and abroad, I’ve done it all – including walking 34 miles in 14.5 hours on a charity challenge… I was the only person to finish! Someone close said I wouldn’t pass my mortgage exams; not only did I get my certificate, I joined the UK’s largest brokerage firm.
Over the next decade, I got fed up of management telling me how to do my job. I knew there were better ways to deliver great customer service, so just before my 30th birthday, I took a leap of faith and set up alone.
People told me: “You won’t make as much money.” Again, I proved them wrong! I doubled my income within 12 months and, for the next six years, the business went like a steam train. In 2018, I set up The Cheshire Mortgage Group and expanded to a team of five. My old boss said I wasn’t posh enough to work in Bramhall, so I organised a huge launch party there and packed out the venue!
As official sponsors of Hounds for Heroes, we’ve raised over £4,000. Through the artist Louise Barson, we’ve also become supporters of Chelwood Foodbank Plus. None of it is for personal gain: we genuinely care about our local area, active charity work and supporting small businesses by passing on referrals through networking.
I’ve fallen back in love with a job that I grew to hate in the corporate world. I’m a better advisor because I’m not restricted by time. I work longer hours, but I’m doing it for myself. I rarely dress up for work because I’m just as effective whether I’m wearing jeans or a trouser suit. People prefer down-to-earth advice over fancy corporates.
In these uncertain times for the housing market, first-time buyers are the key to keeping things moving, so I’m planning a series of informative open evenings across the county. You have to be resilient and get on with things. If someone tells you can’t do it, just go ahead anyway!