View more on these topics

Become an equity release referrer

I made the point last week that you should think carefully before deciding how to enter the equity release market and I hope you have taken my advice.

Used in the right way, this product can become a substantial secondary income to your business. So what options do you have?

The most popular choice is to become a referrer, which means clients approach you, they qualify for equity release under the basic rules, you pass their details to a third party specialist firm and they take over the advice process.

The drawbacks are that you can lose control of your clients and have to trust the specialist to give them the same care you would give yourself. Some firms are good at this and some aren’t so before deciding on this route make sure you choose your partner wisely.

You also need to ensure the specialist’s contract gives you flexibility and that it isn’t an onerous one-sided agreement with a long lock-in. There are a number of new companies about to come to market that are experienced in the broker sector so look at which ones are offering the best proposition.

Working as a business referrer should be a partnership, not just an outsourcing of skills, because you need that firm to be presenting itself in the best possible manner and also passing back additional sales opportunities it sees.

Equity release should not be sold over the phone so the firm you opt for must have a sales team that can visit clients at home.

Also look at their sales process as this will give you a feel for how your clients will be treated. Next week I will look at other options.

Recommended

RPI inflation below 0% for first time since 1960

For the first time since March 1960, annual inflation measured by the Retail Prices Index – which includes housing costs such as mortgage interest payments and Council Tax – fell below 0% to -0.4%. And the Consumer Prices Index fell to 2.9% in March, down from 3.2% in February.

Scheme not a quick fix

Housing minister Margaret Beckett finally launched the government’s long-awaited Homeowners Mortgage Support Scheme last Tuesday – nearly five months after it was first announced.

OFT bans Croydon estate agent

The Office of Fair Trading has issued a prohibition order banning a Croydon estate agent from estate agency work after she failed to disclose a personal interest in the sale of a property.

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up