VAST Commercial Finance
Who are VAST?
Dan Cholewinski & Luke Curtis of VAST Commercial Finance joined the Brokerplan Academy network in November 2021 under our ‘Professional’ commercial finance package. We spoke to Dan Cholewinski to find out how they have found the first year and a half of being in the network.
Director at VAST
1. What was the deciding factor when you originally joined the Brokerplan Academy?
We were looking to invest in a long-term venture. When we first made contact with Brokerplan we were very impressed with the camaraderie of team, the vision and future strategy of the business leaders’ including investment and development of technology, all which gave us confidence that our values and ambitions were very much aligned.
2. What has been your most interesting or satisfying deal to date?
We came across a cracking deal early into our journey having spotted a promotional sign outside a development with the name of a property developer on it.
We cold-called and walked onto the site. As a result of this direct approach, we managed to secure a development deal with an additional requirement for asset finance and subsequent development deal.
Gross fees so far on this deal are £20k for the first development, £2.5k in asset finance and a further £23k for the second development. Running total so far from this contact is £44.5k
Brokers often dedicate themselves to specific products (asset or property or invoice) but we are able to operate as a one stop shop and acting as a financial consultant almost like an old-fashioned bank manager with access to hundreds of lenders, it makes us very attractive.
3. How have you found the support from the team at head office, and how has it changed since you joined?
Our relationships have developed across the team as we have got to know the individuals.
The support received is like having teammates (with a different accent) as an extension to the VAST Commercial Finance office.
The work ethic and dedication of the team is great… it feels like there is never a stupid question… everyone is always happy to help, couldn’t be better.
4. What are you most proud of since joining the network?
We have already learned so much in a short space of time and far more than we expected.
90% of the products we are now selling were new to us both and this has influenced client relationships but we are constantly broadening our horizons and client base.
The foundation for our professional development was provided by the learning & education offered and expertly and enthusiastically delivered by the Brokerplan Academy team.
5. What did you do before joining Brokerplan, and what skills did you bring with you to your new position?
Both Luke and I developed from early-stage career admin roles into sales and management.
The key skills we brought to the role of a broker are our sales skills and the realisation that no matter how much technology and AI is developed, this is a people/relationship business.
You need to take people on a journey to overcome their challenges and offer them solutions and outcomes.
It is definitely not about having years of experience and technical knowledge, people have to get to know, like & trust you to do business.
6. How has joining the Brokerplan Academy changed your life?
Having worked in a corporate background we now own and run our own business.
We have the freedom & flexibility to work to our agenda, as masters of our own destiny.
We have the best of both worlds, working on our own but also as part of a wider, supportive and caring team. Business can be a lonely place without the right team.
7. What advice would you give to anyone thinking of joining Brokerplan?
Before they join, ask themselves why they are considering it.
Think about what they enjoy doing and what are they hoping to get out of it.
If they are interested in running a business, are able to develop long-term relationships, have a consultative approach then Brokerplan could be an ideal place for you.
It is without doubt a huge opportunity, either in the SME market or the property market.
If you are good enough to be a success then back yourself. Don’t be a victim of imposter syndrome, develop self-belief and courage.
8. Do you have any golden nuggets or top tips for those at the beginning of their journey?
Invest time in learning, education, ask questions, research the internet… teach yourself what you don’t know.
- Become the expert
- Keep it simple
- Get in front of people
- Have Fun
9. Is there anything else you would like to add?
Many directly authorised brokers spend far too much time working on and worrying about compliance, as part of a network you don’t need to.
The White Rose Finance team who supports the Brokerplan Academy enable us to be in front of people, to develop relationships and to earn money by doing deals.
The team will assist in guiding what is on the horizon.
As part of the Brokerplan network, we are involved in a long-term business proposition that is invested in and perfectly placed to help us remain successful and at the forefront of the future of commercial finance.
More From VAST
Tell us about a deal you funded...
Brokerplan MD John Kent speaks with network partners Dan & Luke of VAST Commercial Finance about one of their property development deals.