Women make their mark in mortgages

The mortgage industry has always been seen as predominately a man\'s world, but with more and more female advisers entering the market and lenders beginning to tailor their marketing to appeal to female borrowers, this is set to change.

As society changes and women start to catch up with men in terms of wages, the time has come for lenders to sit up and start considering women as a target audience.

In our cover feature starting on page 38, Linda Will, managing director of Accord Mortgages, says her firm recently had to change its advertising because it was seen as being too macho and did not appeal to females. If a lender’s advertising is not female friendly it runs the risk of alienating would-be customers.

For more female customers to enter the market, the industry itself must welcome a female presence and make sure it does not make women feel uncomfortable about seeking mortgage advice.

The Women’s Financial Adviser Group was set up to help tackle this problem. Its founder Fiona Price believes women bring something different to the profession, and the number of male advisers reaching retirement age means the opportunities are there for women.

But lenders such as BM Solutions have come under fire for using women as promotional aids and been accused of alienating female advisers.

As society evolves, so the mortgage industry will have to adapt. Lenders such as The One account have already identified a new breed of woman called SASSY, who is Smart, Ambitious, Self-sufficient and Young. And it will not be long before other lenders home in on this market. But lenders will have to be careful they do not patronise women by offering them female orientated incentives. And women will must make sure they do their homework before buying a property.

With more than 23% of today’s mortgages being taken out by women – and this number set to rise – this may not be a man’s world much longer.