23 April 2021

Making local connections that work

An interview with Jane Hanlon, Mortgage Club Manager at Advise Wise. 

Also a former adviser, Jane shares her views on how advisers can overcome myths, generate new leads and build local connections to make their lifetime mortgage pipeline flourish. 

Tell us a bit about your background

"My first experience of equity release was back in the 1980s, where I worked as an Assistant Manager at the Cheltenham and Gloucester Building Society. I then moved to the Bank of Scotland, where I worked as a Business Development Manager for many years.

Watching the industry evolve made me realise I wanted to help people make more informed decisions about their finances. I trained and qualified as an adviser in 2009 and set up the Premier Equity Release Club in 2014.

In 2020 I joined Advise Wise. I run the Advise Wise Mortgage Club and focus on the helpdesk and placement service."

What attracted you to working with Advise Wise Mortgage Club? 

"Every equity release case is different, and for every case there’s a reason why you’d place it with a specific lender. For the adviser who doesn’t write this business regularly, the club offers great support. We can say which lenders’ products will work for a client, and which ones won’t. The market is continuing to evolve and the more confident advisers become with equity release products, the better client outcomes they’ll achieve."

What has changed with advisers entering this market?

"Not a day goes by without us receiving a call from a new adviser who's starting out. The most noticeable numbers are from wealth fund managers. They can use lifetime mortgages alongside pensions and investments for inheritance tax planning. 

What’s the best way for new advisers coming into the market to source leads?

"It’s the most asked question in this sector! Buying leads can be a good way for new advisers to gain new business. However, the preferred model is to self-generate leads through referrals. The referrer partners their client with a specialist adviser who knows the market. The adviser receiving the referral collects a warm lead from an engaged client who already trusts them. This means advisers can avoid spending time sourcing leads and focus on their core role."

What local connections could drive new business for advisers?

"Since the pandemic, many families are wanting to live closer together. At the club, we’ve seen parents upsizing to more expensive areas to be near their loved ones. Purchase business is therefore becoming increasingly important. Having referrals in place with local estate agents could prove invaluable. Many branches won’t have an equity release-qualified adviser in house, but they will have clients who could benefit from the product. There’s a great synergy between the two businesses.

Tapping into clients wanting to speak to a local expert could also generate new business. This could come from solicitors, accountants or debt advice companies to name a few. Soft advertising in parish magazines, town papers, or even on the radio can also increase people's awareness of local services."

Any final thoughts on where the lifetime mortgage business is headed in future?

"My prediction is 2021 will be a record year! The local community would welcome the spend as they try to repair the damage caused by the pandemic in 2020. I also predict the older generation with large assets at their disposal will be the biggest spenders of 2021.

The industry is well-equipped to support the development of advisers in this market. There is plenty of content available, such as marketing toolkits and resources to expand their knowledge of lenders. I’m looking forward to helping advisers continue to build their lifetime mortgage business."