The rise of the lifetime mortgage into the mainstream seems to be inevitable. An ageing population and shrinking pension pots combined with the fact that the baby boomers feel less inclined to leave a sizable inheritance means products like the lifetime mortgage will continue to become more popular. As the market expands and modernises we will need more advisers capable of delivering the sound, intelligent advice that homeowners will need. So, what makes a good equity release adviser?
- Knowledge. As they say, ‘knowledge is power’ and this is certainly true within the equity release industry. Becoming a successful adviser is predicated first and foremost on a deep knowledge of the products available and the suitability of these products for each individual client. Before new advisers enter the equity release market, a serious and thorough period of research must be embarked upon.
- Foresight. When dealing with clients who may not understand the future implications of things like compound interest, equity release advisers must also have the ability to predict future pitfalls, complications or negative outcomes with great consistency. Analysing the finances of a client and reviewing whether or not equity release is a good fit for them is a major factor of every meeting – an adviser must be able to tell whether or not equity release is right for every client. If not, knowledge of the alternatives is essential along with an understanding of how state benefits interact with releasing equity.
- Precision. Equity release advisers must ensure that they are meticulous in all their dealings – not only because of compliance, but also to ensure their clients are getting what they deserve i.e. the best advice possible.
- Support. New advisers can benefit massively from the knowledge pool, established systems and comprehensive compliance support along with general support by joining an established equity release advisory firm. Specialism within this industry is at the heart of excellent advice and continuing development is essential to professionalism.
- Ethics. At the bedrock of every successful equity release adviser is an ethical core in which the best outcome for the client is at the centre of everything they do. So, for those advisers who feel that they do indeed have the ethical core, the skill of foresight and are keen to expand into an exciting market whose future is destined to be rosy, then preparation and research along with the required qualifications will help with the journey.