Lead generation a major concern says Bridgewater

At the latest event, held earlier this month in Exeter, attendees were keen to discuss the various methods by which they could generate leads for equity release business. The group compiled a list of the ways in which specialist equity release advisers could reach their target market including the use of advertising, client seminars and introducers such as solicitors.

Advisers did express concern that the sector continued to battle with its own image and the sometimes negative perception of equity release from the press in particular was one area which needed more work. A number of ideas were also generated to help with the consumer’s understanding of equity release and constant education of the client was highlighted as a fundamental area for work by all advisers.

Other issues highlighted at the Forum included the tightening of underwriting criteria, increased professional indemnity (PI) costs for equity release and the increased compliance burden, plus the down valuations of properties for both lifetime mortgages and reversion plans.

Bridgewater has also announced details of its next Equity Release Broker Breakfast Forum, which will take place in Norwich on Tuesday 2nd June. The venue for the forum is the De Vere Dunston Hall, Ipswich Road, Norwich, Norfolk, NR14 8PQ – free parking is available. The Forum begins at 8.30am and runs to 10.30am with all attendees provided with breakfast and reduced golfing rates available.

Bridgewater’s regular forums are aimed at advisers looking for further information on the equity release market and provide an opportunity to discuss and debate the current market and its opportunities.

Places at the Norwich Forum are strictly limited and those advisers wishing to register or enquire about the event should phone Alison Stephenson on 0191-269 5982 or e-mail: astephenson@bridgewaterequityrelease.co.uk.

Alison Beeston, Compliance and Communications Manager at Bridgewater Equity Release, commented:

“Our Breakfast Forums continue to offer equity release advisers a chance to meet with their peer group to discuss the market and the issues they are facing. Bridgewater offers an informal discussion group and importantly we are there to provide continued help and support for advisers looking to make the most of their participation in this sector. Understandably, many advisers are currently looking for guidance on how to generate leads in this economic climate and we’re pleased to say that a raft of ideas were drawn up to help our attendees further their marketing reach.

“Advisers are also concerned about the bad press equity release continues to receive, with many disturbed by the recent comments made by ‘Which’ on the quality of equity release advice it has witnessed via a mystery shopping exercise. Many were disturbed that ‘results’ were being revealed after only a small proportion of the visits had actually taken place. Advisers would like to see a much more pro-active promotion of equity release to help combat some of the negativity which still exists around the sector.

“Bridgewater will continue to offer advisers across the country a chance to meet and discuss the equity release issues of the day via the Breakfast Forums. This is why we have already organised the next event due to take place in Norwich on 2nd June. We would urge those advisers who would like to attend to book their place now as all previous Forums have been very well attended. The Bridgewater team look forward to meeting advisers in Norwich and throughout the rest of the country in the months ahead.”

For more information on Bridgewater Equity Release, visit: www.bridgewaterequityrelease.co.uk

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