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Equity release can be a broker goldmine

by: Chris Prior
  • 07/08/2012
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Equity release can be a broker goldmine
The recent findings in a survey by Just Retirement have highlighted what us stakeholders within the sector have known for some time.

There is a lack of awareness and understanding amongst UK retirees about what equity release actually is, which companies offer equity release products and where they are able to source appropriate, professional advice about the options available in this area.

The report revealed a number of headline statistics including:
• 60% of respondents want reassurance that equity release products are regulated
• Nine-in-ten cannot name an equity release provider
• 40% had no idea where they could seek advice from

This last statistic is particularly worrying when considering how we ensure potential equity release clients have the necessary information to be able to source a specialist adviser and make the necessary advisory steps towards a product solution.

Of course this is not just an issue for specialist equity release advisers and this research shows how important and invaluable strong relationships between advice professionals can be.

A significant part of my job is talking to equity release advisers and one of the areas I often concentrate on is how they can form relationships with IFAs/financial planners/wealth managers/mortgage brokers, etc.

Many acknowledge they could do better in this area particularly as it does not mean a lot of effort on their part. All it requires is the specialist to conduct some research of their own, make contact with the individuals concerned and arrange a convenient meeting where they can discuss how together they can all mutually benefit from a relationship, including of course the potential client.

Conversely, if you are an IFA or wealth/retirement planner or adviser or mortgage broker then there is nothing wrong with you making the first move.

By not having a strong relationship in place you may be missing out on the many ways in which equity release can help your clients who are 55 years and over.

Setting up such a relationship could cost the price of a coffee but this will be money well spent if you can set in train a long-lasting relationship that benefits all concerned.

Chris Prior is business development manager at Bridgewater Equity Release

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