The importance of which was highlighted when some recent research revealed that homeowners preparing for retirement are more open to professional advice regarding equity release than those who are already enjoying their retirement.
This may be because individuals are preparing for their retirement well in advance and don’t wish to deviate from the plans they have made once formulated is unclear, but it shows how important it is for equity release advisers to contact older homeowners before the equity release ship may have sailed.
Just how advisers go about establishing contact with individuals they think could benefit from equity release is up to them, although there are a number of clear opportunities and strategies open to them.
The most obvious is to look at those existing clients who may be approaching retirement age, but there are also less apparent tactics to adopt.
Many employers offer their staff human resources support on a range of issues and pre-retirement advice is just one facet of this.
If advisers are able to foster relationships with local companies, then they can be on hand when such individuals are exploring their options and may be seeking advice on equity release.
Advisers may wish to host seminars for such businesses, or even organise locally-advertised seminars for anyone wishing to find out more about home reversions and lifetime mortgages.
With increasing technological and financial literacy among older generations, the next crop of retirees are undoubtedly more clued up than their predecessors were in terms of the options available to them once they cease employment, but that doesn’t mean equity release advisers can rest on their laurels and expect unsolicited enquiries to roll in.
Instead, they must be proactive in working with providers to generate and raise awareness of the advantages of equity release and to formulate original and mutually beneficial ways in which they can establish relationships with potentially interested parties.
Chris Prior is business development manager at Bridgewater Equity Release