Episodes For The Public Equity Release

Equity Release On Lockdown For Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Huge Disclaimer: The following transcript was generated by a machine. It’s not perfect. It’s definately best to listen to the audio version!

Alex Curtis 0:23
Hello, and welcome back to the equity release podcast. And I’m joined once again by Mr. Stuart Powell. How are you doing?

Stuart Powell 0:30
Good morning, mate. Yeah, really good. Thank you very strange times. But yeah, working hard and speaking to lots of people, lots of clients. So yeah, good. Thank you.

Alex Curtis 0:39
Excellent. So it’s just for everyone’s, so everyone knows it. today. We are recording on Friday, the third of April. And the reason Actually, I got in touch was on the back of your LinkedIn post. Because this week while you’ve been sort of campaigning for lenders to do kind of digital kind of valuations as There’s never been a activity’s deal gone through without someone physically valuing the property. Is that right?

Stuart Powell 1:07
Yeah, absolutely. It’s absolutely Equity Release has got lots of checks and balances, and quite rightly because it it can be the most vulnerable clients in society that consider equity release. So, to face to face, things have to happen with every app to restrict. One being the client has to meet, actually release qualified solicitor to give advice and actually do a certificate for the client on all aspects of activities to ensure that the client was happy with what they’re doing, and is the right type of client for actually release. They’re not to give equity release advice, but it’s a real legal check that we have. And great news is that the city testers can now do all of that they’ve been given dispensation by the equity release council by their law bodies to actually do everything for the client over the phone over video phone, other than wet signature. So that was great news and a real step forward for activities transactions being able to take place but then we still had the major block of every equity release. Mortgage needs a surveyor to go to the client’s property. The great news is that I know the equity release council all equity release lenders and their funders have been in talks about how they could circumnavigate this, but still have the right checks and balances in place for the clients for the brokers for them as as lenders and the funders as well. And the first one to break on this has been more to life who this winner of one of their funders agree that they would accept desktop valuations. And so that means more to life have products that we as brokers could discuss with clients. And actually, we can now go ahead with the whole equity release process from start to finish and go ahead and get the the money the clients request, actually to them. So yeah, huge progress. And yeah, we’ve turned the corner this week.

Alex Curtis 3:42
Absolutely. I think it’s a great thing as well. One thing always kind of I always kind of thought, from my perspective, that in terms of going back to the advice stage, I spoke to a lot of brokers and I think some of the networks or will will insist that the advice has got to be done first. face as well. But now everyone’s kind of getting used to zoom. It kind of feels to me that being able to record a zoom call, feels like there’s evidence of advice there that it actually feels safer in a way than doing face to face because he can’t unless you’re recording that conversation. There’s no reference. So it feels to me that the kind of this remote world feels like there’s more actual evidence being recorded off of everything as well, which seems hopefully for the better go for a

Stuart Powell 4:32
really strong point. And obviously, every part of the advice we give has to be right for the client has to be fully compliant. But in these really difficult times, is there any flexibility? Well, yeah, there is flexibility. But the point you make is a really valid one. The flexibility I think to to some extent has improved the process. So we are speaking to clients on the phone more, we are doing more recorded video calls, we are exchanging more emails. And actually, we’re finding that the process of advice is taking longer. But that enables the client to take more consideration time to ask better, more in depth questions, speak to their family about it more, and then come back to us and then proceed. Whereas My view is when you meet a client once or maybe twice, you walked out their family there, you have an hour or two hour interview, you may see them twice. That’s a lot of information for any clients to take on board. And people have busy lives. So very often the children can’t attend the interview, or be part of the interview. But now we’re doing three way zoom calls, and the children are there and asking the questions. So yeah, this process, actually out of adversity, we may have come up with a better process.

Alex Curtis 5:59
Yeah, sounds good. Definitely, I think that’s great that literally because if my If my mom was doing it, I definitely want to be involved. But again, she doesn’t live too far away. But actually taking some time out being able to do that would be really awkward. Whereas jumping on a zoom call, and she’s getting used to it now as well, because she will have, you know, our daughter will have zoom calls with the grandparents like every day at the minute so I think everyone’s getting used to the technology as well.

Stuart Powell 6:23
Absolutely. My my kids who are eight and 11 every night, read to their grandparents, my wife’s parents because they’re on lockdown and really bored at home. So, yeah, moments like that, where you just come. You can’t get better than that. And yeah, why not do that for us? Why not read storybooks to them at eight o’clock at night, but why not to use that for interviews and recordings and just make our process and our industry more friendly, more client focused, not compliant. driven, client driven. So yeah, we’re coming out the other side of the advice process with with I think, a much better process.

Alex Curtis 7:11
Absolutely. And what kind of inquiries you’re getting at the minute? Obviously it’s there’s some, I’m not sure if it was yourself or someone else mentioned there was a business owner looking at active release. And also, I presume, you know, a lot of people are, although the government have given lots of support to businesses, and there’s like mortgage holidays and things like that, but I presume people are, are struggling financially or depending on how long this goes on will do. Are you getting any sort of inquiries where people are trying to get access to to cash for issues that are going on at the minute in terms of like, debt or just struggling with money in it?

Stuart Powell 7:49
Yeah, you’ve hit the nail on the head there. We we’ve noticed a massive increase in inquiries beforehand. You have people who have Thought about activities for quite a while and I’ve seen your marketing senior advert seen your videos and thought, actually this this is the person I want to speak to in more depth about it. Whereas now we’re getting a lot more initial inquiries that are, yeah, I’m concerned about my personal finances. And I’m concerned about my children. They’re self employed, they fall through the cracks of the government schemes, how could I use my property wealth to help them what is available and what will that cost me? So I think two things will happen with those clients. If this goes on for as long as it’s predicted to and their families are struggling, I think they will go ahead. Secondly, I think that a lot of those clients are using it as a bit of a backstop and to really relieve the pressure on their families. So as an example, I had a client who has a son with a business that’s struggling and we We’ve looked into how much it would cost them to release 50,000 pounds from that property. And the parent has gone to their son and said, Look, this is available, I can get this for you, and have it as a backstop. But now I’ve got the son talking to a bridging and second charge company about whether they are better options for the client. So I think we’re all being more creative. And the industry is working together to find solutions for people who can’t necessarily get the government support.

Alex Curtis 9:38
Yeah, I mean, we’ve got a business finance client of ours, and there are lots of people talking to him saying that they’re still waiting to hear on the interruption loans, and I don’t think I read an article only like 1000 loans have been approved or something like that, and then the interest rates are really high. So all that’s getting kind of delayed. Had a paper, you know, with third of April, there’s just been a payroll gone through. And there’s a lot of people who are there. I’ve got friends who have got clients that have just stopped working with them, and they can’t afford to pay their old invoices. So I think people have struggled with payroll just gone. And there’ll be another one, you know, in four weeks time. And things are moving very slowly. So I think this, people are looking at different options, and as long as it’s right for them, and I think it’s great. Going back to the you can record those zoom calls, and you can give these options and there’s the bridging and other things as well.

Stuart Powell 10:35
Yeah, I think the key thing here is and you have touched on it there is if it’s right, and equity release is a very specific group of products that is only right for a percentage of the population. And I would advocate that most of these people who are contacting us extra racism right for them. Equity release is a long term product for long term considerations. It isn’t a short term fix for cash flow problems in a business in most circumstances, and I think we’ve all got to remember this. Yeah, it’s very, very good to get excited about increased leads, increased calls, but most of the people I’m speaking to from that point of view, now it isn’t right for so so yeah, we must all be really careful that we’re focusing on that. But we have got people calling us and saying my son’s there’s my son’s Oh, tell me your situation. All right. Well, I’ve got an interest-only mortgage with x bank, and we’re on four and a half per cent standard variable rate. And yeah, oh, how are you finding that? Well, we struggle with the payments or etc, etc. But that opens up a different conversation, your mortgage son to an end in a year. Well, what are you going to do after a year? Well, I think we’re gonna have to celebrate Property Do you want say property? Well, no, we’ve been here for 20 years. So so you know, it’s those sorts of conversations. And you noticed, like, the more conversations you can have with people, the more you do find out about what their their real needs are, and then not necessarily their perceived needs that they thought they had. So, so yeah, we’re having lots of really interesting conversations and sometimes helping people not in the way they expected.

Alex Curtis 12:25
Yeah, no, absolutely. I was gonna say, well, things are, you know, real, people’s mortgage deals are still expiring. Or they’re still those sort of things are still going on that that would have happened anyway. So and, and we had someone on the podcast so we were talking about the interest only and he said there’s about a million active interest only mortgages in the UK and speaking to a lot of people that don’t realise they’re on an interest only mortgage as well, which was, which was shocking for me, that they got to the got to the end and didn’t realise that they weren’t actually paying off their mortgage. And that was that was a bit frightening to hear. So is there any other kind of I don’t want to say advice or information that we can give to people who are over 55 who are thinking about actually release is it? I suppose, so many options is just just to have a conversation with an advisor. When

Stuart Powell 13:21
one of the things that you and I were discussing earlier and have done over the past weeks is, you know, there’s there’s a lot of over 50 fives, who are exactly the same as the rest of us and a huge swathe of population and that is there. They’re at home, they’re bored. They’re going online, they’re trying to save money, they’re thinking about protecting and looking after their family. And all of these things are actually quite natural things to be doing in the Straits Times. But you have a lot of equity release brokers out There are the same. They aren’t going into the offices. They’re not doing a lot of face to face appointments they used to do they have time on their hands. Use the head time, use your time or their time constructively just pick up the phone or drop them an email and say, Look, this is my situation. Give me some free advice. We will send you fact sheets, we’ll send you videos, we’ll send you some information so that you’re going from a real education or educated point of view, so that you’re getting the right help and advice and we really don’t care if you don’t go ahead. We really hit tone. We want you to know what your options are. Because from our point of view, if we help you now, you’ll tell your friends, your friends actually may be the one to want activities, not you. If you don’t need that to be released. Now, you might need it in a year. You might need it in five years. Who are you Go to your go to the ones that helped you in the difficult time. So all activities advisors out there that I speak to feel exactly the same. So, yeah, don’t be scared to pick up the phone or email us and and we’ll gladly help and give some advice.

Alex Curtis 15:17
Absolutely, I would echo that pretty much everybody mostly to get an absolute buzz on how they have helped someone achieve something. Whether it’s whether it’s remortgaging and getting them a better rate, saving them thousands pounds or cutting years of their mortgage or stopping them from losing their property. You guys get an absolute buzz out of that.

Stuart Powell 15:43
One where the client says I do not know what to do, I don’t know where to turn. I don’t know what is available on and they are in a horrible position and I hate I hate anyone to get in that position. So don’t get advice early on, but the ones where you saw Issues like that. And any broker can tell you many cases because they’re the ones that stick in your mind. And you know the the one that Wendy cases my case that I tell people about where my lady in Plymouth who’s become a really good friend came to me and had no money wasn’t eating well was wearing one pound 99 Oxfam dresses, didn’t know she had an alternative. And I went to see her just after Christmas and she’s mental health is is completely different. She’s paid off a debt. She goes to m&s most used to when she could get out to get her food, etc. So you know that that resonates with people. So, yeah, don’t struggle in silence. speak to someone before it gets to a stage where you’re worried about it.

Alex Curtis 16:52
Fantastic. Excellent. Thank you, Stuart, so much for all again, I’m sure we’re going to have you back again. When I when I can twist your arm again, thanks again what we’ll do is we’ll drop your like we did on the last episode, drop your email address in the show notes. If anyone wants to speak to Stuart or or Google equity or lease advisor in your area, there are plenty of them around but we’ll we’ll make sure we got your contact details if you specifically want to speak to Stuart, and we will see you next time. Thanks very much.

Stuart Powell 17:24
Thank you, Alex. Pleasure as ever.

Episodes For Advisors Episodes For The Public Equity Release

Equity Release Calculator

Huge Disclaimer: The following transcript was generated by a machine. It’s not perfect. It’s definately best to listen to the audio version!

Alex Curtis  0:03  

Hello, and welcome back to the equity release podcast and today we’re talking about equity release calculators and I’ve got a fee on haggis with me today. How you doing? Very well. Thank you. I am very well, I’m very well. So would you be able to just introduce yourself and just tell us a little bit about what you do?

Ffion Haggas  0:22  

Yes, of course. So, my name is FFion, as you’ve just said, I started the company bots for brokers, because he used to work for the Halifax in mortgage processing. So I’ve always been a bit of that he and I but I didn’t know it really a lot about finances even though I’m a whole no home owner. I didn’t realise how little people knew about the mortgage process until I went to it for the Halifax and I just fascinating because I thought it’s such an essential thing to know how our income works together, and how everything that we do affects what kind of mortgage we can get. So I left my job. So it’s really interesting. I was thinking about becoming a broker, then unfortunately, my department closed. So I just I’ve always been a bit of a geek. And I was into doing chatbots. And I thought, you know, what, my, my love for technology, and this sort of idea that people could do the sort of an easy way to understand the mortgage process. So it led me to, to develop the bots, which a chatbot is basically an automated messaging service. So it’s a way for people to find out information before they actually speak to an advisor, which is what a lot of people want to do. And also, if you try and understand finances, most often, you’ll go onto a website, you’ll be reading information, and it might say, if you’re this, then this applies to you. And if you’re that, that applies to you, and it can be really confusing. So the idea with the bots is you can you can put your information in and then instead of being if you This if you’re that it can say, Well, you’ve told me you’re there. So this is the information you need to know. So, that’s that’s how I started developing my business. And then in October, I got into working with with a broker who does equity release. Now he was in a in a group with me, and I could see he was advertising and he was getting so much abuse on his Facebook ads, some people, this is a scam. We don’t, you know, our mother, she’s lost thousands of pounds from you know, 1990s and I really wanted to help this guy because I knew he was a nice guy. So I thought, well, hang on. I know that my sort of thought process at the time was actually really nice. I’ve got my dad’s words in my head. You know, don’t touch it with a bargepole. It’s a scam. It’s a con, but I thought this guy’s a nice guy. He wouldn’t be scamming people. So I got talking to him and I had realised after doing some research, what how good the product is. So it’s not for everybody. But it’s certainly not a scam. It’s not to rip people off. It’s not It’s not like going to lose your house. It’s not like the, the home reversion schemes back in the 1980s. So and I think it’s I don’t know, whether it’s because I’m a bit of a say this I had sort of, it’s because it gets a lot of hate, I kind of thought, you know, I want to, I want to kind of help to sort of change this perception. So, so since then I’ve been developing some equity release spots, because it is such a complicated area. I want to help to simplify it and show people what their options are. Because if you’re if your related life borrower equity release isn’t your only option anymore, it’s one option and it’s one option that you may consider, but there are other options as well. So, but as we know financial information is can be quite tricky to understand, especially You know, if you if you’re the layman, so my sort of mission now is to help educate people about equity release and to show them, you know, it could work for them and, and don’t, you know, don’t let them get put off.

Alex Curtis  4:14  

Absolutely. And I think one of the reasons why I wanted to do this particular episode was to kind of let the consumers know who were in the market for actually released that. There are some calculators there that are not calculators, we’ll talk about that. And we had one of the brokers on and we had a case study where a calculator couldn’t work that out, I’ll give the solution. I think he had to work outside the box quite a lot. So we want to so we’re kind of on the same page that we think people should be able to help people understand and give a bit of guidance, but I think also at the end of the day, people need to be aware that a calculator is not always going to give you the exact result. You do need to speak to broker as well. But I think one thing you said people don’t want to speak to someone until they’ve got a bit of info first. So it’s kind of that balance of bridging that gap, isn’t it of making sure there’s enough info, it’s not misleading. And we’re not tricking anyone into a phone call that they don’t don’t want.

Ffion Haggas  5:16  

Definitely. Well, I think it’s brilliant what you’re doing because it’s people need this honest information. So, you know, people don’t know where to turn. And equities release is so much trusted. You know, why track people at the beginning? It’ll make.

Alex Curtis  5:36  

So I think we’ll Yeah, let’s talk through that as well. So, there are so there are, I suppose for consumers they are there are brokers and people that do equity release that will advertise their, you know, their service, but they’re also in front of services, a lot of lead gen companies who sell inquiries and it’s all slightly Different now since GDPR, but it’s all still GDPR compliant, they’ve got all the small printers, they’re not doing anything illegal. However, I don’t like the so our business doesn’t sell leads, it’s not something that we like to do. But essentially, there will be companies that will create a brand that will advertise equity release. And they’ll say, use our equity release calculator, and they’ll ask you to put your name your phone number, property details, and then it’s not a calculator, because it will say, or someone will call you back because it’s an easier way to get an inquiry. It’s cheaper to do it that way. So not everyone does it. But there are a lot of companies out so my advice only consumers is to if there’s something that says calculator, and it’s asking for your phone number in the first step that it did, chances are it’s probably not a calculator. Unless it’s one of the big brands that like a vive or or or whatever I’d say. Have you experienced anything or seen anything similar?

Ffion Haggas  6:58  

No, definitely. One of the things is, please enter your postcode, so we can give you your equity release figure. So people think well, if you if you hear that you think, Oh, that makes sense, because it could be it could be to do with property values. But no, they don’t need it. They just need basic to give you a basic calculation, all you really need is your age and the value of the property. quite rightly, like you say, no calculator can never give you a figure on ever on any financial product, because there were a lot of people aren’t aware of is that, yes, your how much you can borrow is based on the value of your property and your age, but it’s also the risk element as well. So how risky the lender thinks you are, how risky they think the property might be, you know, it’s all this all these kind of other factors that the lenders they keep to themselves, they don’t tell you, you know, what they think is risky and that’s the difficulty as well with You know, mainstream financial products as it is, you know, everybody’s got different criteria. And it’s a nightmare. I really do not envy the brokers having to sell stuff. And when I was in Halifax, we used to think that as if they don’t know that the brokers would ring up and ask the question, but actually, when you come out of there in your world of the Halifax criteria, you realise that actually, there’s hundreds of lenders that these brokers have to know the criteria for so it’s, you know, no calculator, like I say, because because of this criteria because of you as an individual, because that’s so important to the lender. No calculator can give you that information. However, you can start with some kind of a guide because that’s what people want to know. It’s like myself, you know, I was kind of thinking about remortgaging I should remortgage I’ve been on the same deal for the last 10 years I thought was a really good deal. And like say I’ve worked in finances, and I didn’t think I did. No, I could use my equity as a deposit until I went to work for the Halifax so it’s, it’s lots of different things that you, you said on another episode you don’t know what you don’t know. And it’s so true with with finances, but having a bit of an understanding. So you know, I might not be able to borrow 200,000 pounds for another mortgage, but a calculator might give me that figure. So then it’s an idea, I’ve got a ballpark figure, then I know that I can’t borrow 500,000 I know I can get more than 100,000. So it’s just to give people an idea, really. The calculators, no calculator can give you an exact figure. But most people starting out, they just want to do a bit of research. They want a bit of a figure where they can start and then continue that research on. They don’t put their information in and then you know and it’s it’s a waste of time. I know myself I put in my details and I do it because I want to see how their calculators work. So I’ve got an idea what kind of questions are asked Because, for me, I want to keep it, you know, as minimal as possible age, how property value, I don’t want to know, you know everything about them. So I like to see what other people are doing. And then I get all these phone calls of people to sell me equity release. And there was one I got this. The other day, actually, I got an email, and it was rates of change, check out the calculator. So went on the calculator, and then the phone started ringing. Now, it was an 800 number. So generally I wouldn’t answer that but because I was coming to do the podcast, I thought I’ll do this bit of research. And it was somebody travellers Home Equity release. You know, I just woke her. I was in bed, I wasn’t for a conversation, you know. So I was polite as I always am. But it’s just, it’s frustrating because I’m not there at the minute I’m not. But it’s gonna be a few years before I’m there for equity release. But if I was actually doing it, for real You know, you’re at that stage around doing a bit of research, you don’t, you don’t necessarily want to speak to somebody, you don’t want to have to give over all your details just to find a figure. So, you know, if you are, if you are, if you’re using a calculator, really good one is the step change calculator. So that one you can put in the value of your property, your age, and how much is outstanding, and that’ll give you a figure, no details at all.

Equity Release Calculator
StepChange Equity Release Calculator

Alex Curtis  11:26  

I was going to say what other kind of bits, I suppose warning signs for consumers? I think I can only think of if it’s asking for you for your phone number early on. Probably it’s probably going to be a lead gen site, and that’s going to be best to avoid that. I think the problem is there are 13,000 searches in the UK a month around equity release calculators. There’s a huge demand for people wanting to use an equity release calculator. That’s that’s a lot The pressure from an equity release is a really competitive market in marketing advertising, that the cost to advertise in activities on Google is very, very expensive. So your there’ll be a marketing manager or a marketing person at a company that’s spending a lot of money to advertise. And they’re getting pressure to get more to reduce the cost per lead the cost per inquiry. So they’re doing all these kind of shortcuts to get the cheaper costs in. And then what’s happening is the law of averages is the more people that speak on the phone, the more deals that go through, because you know, it is a good product, and they are they are good advisors out there that it’s just this rat race of trying to get as many people’s phone numbers as possible. And that’s a bit of a problem. Because it’s just like you say his activities already got a bad rep. And then if we’re like, making people feel even worse about it with these fake calculators, it’s kind of

Ffion Haggas  13:00  

I suppose it just compounds the problem, it’s a it’s a problem for the consumer for equity release advisors, mortgage advisors, it could be really good opportunity, because the big companies that are doing this and the lead gen companies, they, it’s just cold, it’s just we want your sale. And I think that is quite obvious from the start. And it’s, you know, it’s like this bait and switch tactic that they’re doing. Whereas the sort of the kind of brokers, the advisors that that I work with, they’re, they do it because they’re passionate because they love the consumer. So I think that for for these guys, the more transparent the more honest they are, the more information they’re giving people up friends without saying, Give me your contact details or give you an answer. What they’re saying is, we want to make our information so good that you’re going to come to us you’re not going to even think about Anybody else and then they see the other companies, the shady ones more for what they are because they see the sort of the, the good advisors and to be honest with you, the majority of advisors, I mean, they, they are good advisors, you know, they really, really care about what they’re doing about helping people. It’s a it’s a vocation, it’s, it’s, it’s a life for people, it’s not a job, you know, it’s not like working in the bank or working anywhere else. It’s helping people get get their get their ideal homes, get their dream homes or get any home. You know, and it’s really to, you know, the brokers I know that get so much job satisfaction, they love doing it, and they’re not out to trick people into rip people off. So I think if they can take that passion that’s that they’ve got anyway and give this information to people tell people what they know, without jumping through hoops to get that information. I think it’s a really good opportunity.

Alex Curtis  14:55  

Absolutely, I think that’s the way forward the problem the problem is with these bigger companies They’ll see their cost per click, or there’ll be luck, there’ll be a delay of leads coming in. Because you’ve got to spend a bit it’s a no one, you know, you’ve spent a bit of time warming, you know, getting that message across educating people letting people think about it, that I can’t see the big companies doing it, which would be a massive shame but I think the advantage then is for these smaller equity release advisors, maybe they’re self employed work themselves. You know, I wrote the book on isn’t out yet, but on the how mortgage brokers can stand out and the principles are. Another Same for activities is that when people buy from people, everyone loves a specialist. If you give information without expectation, you’ll build rapport. So that’s giving info without a sales pitch on the end. And failure breeds success and the more they are helping people on whether it’s on video or a podcast like this, letting people get to know them a bit. It’s your sort of people can get to know them before picking up the phone, they’ll be less scared to pick up the phone and then maybe they won’t need the calculator because I’d be quite comfortable just ringing Joe Bloggs or broker because I’ve already got to know him a little bit. Yes, that kind of

Ffion Haggas  16:11  

Yes, definitely. This is the thing is it’s a challenge with financial services for smaller brokers, they haven’t got the big pockets, but they’ve got something that the big companies can’t compete with. They’ve got the fact that you can ring them and they’re going to be at the end of the phone, you’re not gonna have to go through the call centre. And it’s it’s not you know, I’ve spoke to this person and then it’s you speaking to some gal she q in, you’ve got that local advisor, you can pop into their office if you need to, you know, so I think it can be really it’s a really great opportunity for the smaller brokers to you know, in these times, you know, social media, everything is the is the great leveller. You know, I know, you know, it’s maybe you can’t compete on budget, but you can compete with your passion and with your heart and I thought When everyday in my, in my books?

Alex Curtis  17:03  

Absolutely, absolutely. I so I do hope some of these bigger companies do that as well or, or at least start investing. Like don’t switch their budget overnight if they’re, if what they’re doing is kind of working for them. do that but also spend some time on that education piece as well, like keep, like they can do it. You know, if they’ve got a marketing team, they can be creating content, as well. And they can be using some of their advisors to do the same. You know, they’ve got advisors just as like the self employed people. It’s just like encouraging people to get to know their advisors as well like doing it on scale. So I hope we start to see

Ffion Haggas  17:41  

that because generally equity releases shoulders, you can have a holiday, you know, you you can do this and it’s selling the dream to people. And that can be quite dangerous because you get, you know, you get an idea in your head and once you’ve got that idea, the simple stuff you you want that and there’s nothing like money to get that dopamine going in your head, and you don’t listen to reason. I know myself, I’ve sat on Amazon ordering things, and I know I shouldn’t. But I do it before the logical brain kicks in and says, Don’t do it. And, you know, with financial services, there’s a big responsibility. He said something earlier, you know, things, it’s, you know, they’re doing, what they’re doing isn’t illegal. But it’s kind of irresponsible to be selling the stream and look at look, all this money you can release from your house for free. Wow. And you know, it’s it’s kind of no one that people are mistrustful of that because you don’t get anything for free. You know, it’s it can be can be good for the right you know, the right people, but it’s not going to work for everybody and it shouldn’t be sold. It shouldn’t be so so by getting people excited about this sort of dream lifestyle. They could have a but maybe I’m being a bit naive there really, because that’s marketing at the end of the day, isn’t it? But I think

Alex Curtis  18:59  

Yeah, It’s tough I, I understand it. I do understand the pressure that marketing because I have worked as a consultant in a call centre type environment with a very, very big advertising budget with pressure every day to get those people busy on the phones. I understand why people take those shortcuts whether I agree with it or not. No, I do. I think there’s a much better way of doing it. If you take, if you don’t just always look at the short term, look at the medium and the long term as well. And you get yourself to a position where you don’t need to do anything. I’m trying to think of the right word, but not kind of misleads, probably the wrong word. But you don’t have to do like little shortcuts, like you said, When like getting people to come back to look at new rates, and then you can tell with tracking that they have and then ring them, that people will be coming to you. So you’re like you’re you’re attracting people rather than trying to push for that business so hard. That you’re you’re trying everything you people can. Like we’ve we’ve seen how many people are searching for activities just on the calculator set, you know 13 13,000 searches a month in total just on calculate if you look at equity releasing in general it’s it’s huge there are people out there looking. And if we if we mark it in the right way I think we can get. I’m just refreshing now just of what so yeah, yeah, was it hundred and 50,000 searches in the UK around equity release.

Ffion Haggas  20:30  

So that’s every single month hundred and 50,000 people that need good information and let’s say we’re in the call centre environment. The good thing is with the brokers, the equity release advisors, they haven’t got that pressure so they can be more transparent, I believe, you know, it’s not something I would do. And you know it this is a vulnerable age group. However, you know, I know that younger people. This I think is a difficult thing with the equity release as well because if you go on the equity release comm Council. You got the the FCA ombudsman, you see the complaints about equity release, the majority of them are my parents took this out. And they didn’t know what they were doing. Now, just because they’re older doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t know what they’re doing. You know, so it’s getting this balance as well, because it’s very, you know, they might have just have, you know, they might just not want to tell them to tell their children they were doing it because they thought it’s my money. I’m doing what I want with it. But this, but this doesn’t help the industry because then it’s, you know, people complain in my, my parent was vulnerable. Well, that’s a difficult one. So because you have got because you’ve got to be sensitive to this. I think the more transparent you can be the the better it is for Well, the better you can sleep at night, and the better it is for consumers. There was one thing I wanted to say about the sort of calculators and this was something that I saw the other day so it it didn’t ask cue to put in your details it did give you a finger birth, when you put your finger in, it was preset to inflation. So house prices rising by three and a half percent. So when you put the finger in, it was like you can release 64,000 equity. And then 60,000 is what you’ll have after 15 years. So you think for four grand, that’s cheap, that’s really good for equity release. But when I put the inflation to zero, you were left with nothing. So it’s, again, it’s getting this into people’s hands. I can have that,

Ffion Haggas  22:39  

you know, and then they might be sort of looking at

Ffion Haggas  22:42  

it. I think it’s the first idea that about people getting to the head can can stack and I don’t think it’s right that the first thing should be on inflation because it is interest rates is house prices. It’s a lot of uncertainty with equity release. I think, in my opinion, you need to start with zero house price inflation. And then say that this is what could happen. So I think you need to start with worst case rather than what might happen next.

Alex Curtis  23:08  

Well, yeah, exactly all create some tramlines of worst best average, if there is an average, but you’re, you’re shooting yourself in the foot there because the expectations if that when you speak to the client, the expectation is going to be the wrong way around. So it’s gonna be hard to actually complete that deal because in their mind, they think are amazing. And then when you actually go back to them with reality, it’s not gonna be as good. So from a sales perspective, you’re shooting yourself in the foot by not making people aware of the worst case scenario. Absolutely. Awesome field bots for brokers. Thank you so much. Now that has gone in like two seconds. Obama is a rapid fellow. We’ve barely scratched the surface, but thank you so much. What we’ll do is we’ll have a link to your website in the show notes for if there’s any brokers that want to get a transparent, kind of calculated done, that is not going to be be taking people’s details without giving them a you know, we just want people to inquire when they’ve actually when they want to rather than trick them into. So, you know, pleased that you’re helping people do that. And thanks very much for your time.

Ffion Haggas  24:12  

No problems. Thank you for asking me to be on. I’ve really enjoyed it.

Alex Curtis  24:16  

Excellent. Speak to you soon. Bye bye bye

Episodes For The Public Equity Release Types Of Equity Release

Equity Release Interest Only Mortgage Expiring

Huge Disclaimer: The following transcript was generated by a machine. It’s not perfect. It’s definately best to listen to the audio version!

Alex: Hello, and welcome to the equity release podcast. And today I’m with Mark Thompson from CS Retirement Solutions who just surprised me off air by saying that majority of inquiries that you’re getting in business, you’re doing it on people that don’t realize they’re on an interest only mortgage sort of burying their head in the sand thinking they’re paying off their mortgage but no, I just couldn’t believe people didn’t know they were on interest payment.

Mark: I know. It’s amazing, isn’t it? That about 20% of the overall equity lease market in the country. And there are over a million interest only mortgages ongoing as we speak in 2020. But the staggering figures is 126,000 of those are going to be coming to an end.

Alex: Yeah.

Mark: This year in 2020. So you’ve got somebody there has an interest in him or he’s been paying the interest only in their mortgage, and the bank has turned around to them and say or the building society. Okay, your mortgage comes to an end in June. So we want you to pay back the amount that you owe us. So customers are left thinking, well, what am I going to do? Because my situation now in retirement is a lot different or coming up to retirement a lot different to was when I was earning a lot more 15 or 20 years ago. So a lot of people are faced with actually losing their homes.

Alex: Yeah.

Mark: The banks are quite brutal, just say, we want the money to be paid back please. So where do you go?

Alex: Yeah, exactly. So it kind of makes sense that I suppose it depends on everyone’s situation is gonna be different. And so they I suppose that actually does not really help every single person there. They need the right amount of equity available. And so what do I do then? If I’m kind of I’ve just realized today that I’ve got an interest only, the banker chasing me, what’s the first thing I should do?

Mark: Well, a lot of people approach initially seeing if they can get a mainstream mortgage if you like it.

Alex: Yeah.

Mark: And all mortgages, you know, is the one available and how much does it cost?

Alex: Yeah.

Mark: The thing is, if you’ve been paying an interest only mortgage, you’re paying less payments per month.

Alex: Yeah.

Mark: So quite often the face with the fact that if they’re looking at then a capital interest where they’re paying back some of the capital, that then becomes prohibitive in terms of the amount they’re gonna have to pay back or what, you know, what vehicles they’ve got in place to pay back the money in any event. So a lot of the inquiries come from people that are just generally looking out there in desperation, lots of cases it’s people tend to leave things to the last minute in the mortgage world. 

Alex: Yeah. 

Mark: It’s amazing that they don’t always plan ahead. 

Alex: Yeah.

Mark: You know, I’ve had a letter from the bank and in two months time I’m going to be homeless, what can you do for me? And you made a valid point though that equity release it’s not it’s not for everybody and it isn’t everybody’s situation is different. So we don’t just go into equity release is the answer. 

Alex: Yeah. 

Mark: But it’s one of several possible solutions, one of which you sign for a home which a lot of people don’t do a mainstream mortgage, but they have to service that payment then. So if you’re taking a normal mortgage, you’ve heard of possibly other retirement interest only mortgages where you can carry it, take another interest only mortgage, but based on your retirement income, but you’ve got to service that in interest. And so you’ve got to be earning enough and have enough pension enough income to make sure that can be paid back. 

Alex: Yeah, absolutely. 

Mark: So give me just an example. 

Alex: Yeah. 

Mark: The easiest things a couple came to me a few weeks ago, and they’d had a letter from the bank, you know, they’ve been in their community for 20 years. And the bank was saying we want you to pay back the money. Now they were both retired but both had small part time jobs to maintain the lifestyle. 

Alex: Yeah. 

Mark: And they were fairly desperate because this has been stressing them out. They were faced with selling the home that they didn’t want to do, guess they could downsize, boom, they spent 20 years in their home and invested in it, it was lovely. It was their palace. And all of a sudden they’re faced with having to move out. And so, we go on to talk about equity release solutions. And when they understood the concept of it and how easy it was, and the fact that they could take an interest only equity release lifetime mortgage, which meant they could pay back the interest if they wanted or not. They were so grateful and happy to be able to move into that position. So they just took an amount of pay off their existing mortgage. They then had a lifetime mortgage, which didn’t then have to be repaid until either one of them died, the last one of them died or went into long term care, which is the beauty of the equity release product. So they were never going to have to pay it back until the property was fully vacated. And they had the potential of paying back the interest if they wanted or not. So they can service interest or just let the interest build up. And their decision was, well, we can take things a little bit easier because these jobs that they’ve been doing to keep the lifestyle going all of a sudden meant that they weren’t working, it wasn’t end of the world because they wanted to pay back some interest on the mortgage, they could but they didn’t necessarily have to so fantastic solution for those people, you know, and try their alternative was, you could sell a house because there was no other mortgage available to them based on their income. Well, that would have got them out of that situation. 

Alex: Okay. So what would happen then if one of them did pass away to the other person, if they’re in that equity release? 

Mark: That’s the question. Nothing per say in terms of the surviving partner is losing the house until their death or they go into long term care? 

Alex: Right. Okay. 

Mark: So that’s the key thing that you never lose your home on a lifetime mortgage.

Alex: Yeah. 

Mark: And so they basically would live there until they no longer have a need for it. 

Alex: Yeah, absolutely. 

Mark: So it’s that straightforward.

Alex: And then what happens when they’re both gone property goes up for what complications are there in the terms.

Mark: There aren’t really, it’s like any other mortgage, the lifetime mortgage or equity release with a lifetime mortgage is just a mortgage. 

Alex: Yeah. 

Mark: It is, as it says on the tin, it’s a mortgage for life. And it’s fixed for life as well. So we have the payment, the payments are fixed. And as with any mortgage, if the property sold the mortgage plus the interest that accrued, it’s been paid off. 

Alex: Yeah. 

Mark: So it’s whatever is outstanding at that time. 

Alex: Yeah. 

Mark: Isn’t paid off any balance obviously goes to the state. 

Alex: Yeah. 

Mark: The benefactors children, whatever. So if the mortgage itself is just paid off, this concept of losing the house is something that people struggle with. 

Alex: Yeah. 

Mark: The old equity lease as was many years ago that wasn’t fully regulated. 

Alex: Yeah. 

Mark: And there were these things called home reversion plans where people actually sold their property. So companies where we’re buying, we’re buying the property. 

Alex: Yeah. 

Mark: So the property wasn’t mine, all of a sudden, I just sold it to a company. They let me stay in it, but I didn’t own it.

Alex: Yeah. 

Mark: Which isn’t the same as having the mortgage. Home reversion plans now make up a very, very small percentage of the overall equity release mark up. I think it’s something like .5% 

Alex: Yeah. 

Mark: The overall market in total. So just like a normal mortgage, it has to be paid with the interest if somebody is paid the interest often serviced interest as we say. So if you bought 100,000 pounds and you service the interest, then you owe the hundred thousand pounds. 

Alex: Yeah.

Mark: You know if you’ve taken 100,000 and you’ve let the interest just compound that build up an interest on interest, then you just pay back what is owed at the time. So it was people’s decisions or what to do.

Alex: And then what the factors the lenders look at we’re not kind of looking at income and things like that if we’re if we’re so if you are kind of retired, you’ve got an interest only coming up what they’re looking at your age and what’s gonna left in the properties. 

Mark: Yeah. Generally the equity is your property generally you’ve got to be over 55. Property has to be of a certain value lenders are all slightly different. But usually a property was worth at least 70,000 pounds as a minimum. And a property that’s going to be saleable. So obviously if they grant you a mortgage for life, they will know when they get the property back that it can be sold. But generally there’s no income, so I will not be interested in income. It’s based on a client’s age, and the value of the property, and more importantly, how long they expect that client to live. So the amount they’ll lend depends on the life expectancy. So a bizarre label, if somebody is ill and hasn’t got a great life expectancy, they can borrow more money because there’s less risk to the lender in terms of the amount of time that the mortgage will be outstanding.

Alex: And what they send like surveyors around to the properties and work out the value house price. 

Mark: Yeah. It’s still like it will still be severe go around in the main to evaluate it, you know, and to make sure it’s saleable. 

ALex: Yeah.

Mark: That’s the main thing. 

Alex: Yeah. 

Mark: Like any other mortgages, 

Alex: Yeah. 

Mark: If they thought, well, we’re going to invest money in this property. This is our security. 

Alex: Yeah. 

Mark: Is it good security? Is it something that we think we would sell on the market. 

Alex: Okay. Excellent. Anything else I should be aware of? Or any other options are there? If I’m in that situation where I’ve got that letter? Or I suppose the broad question.

Mark: What well, yeah, it is. I mean, obviously, you should first and foremost speak to your bank or your building site to establish the position with them and whether or not they can help you in any shape or form. So that’s the first port of call. It is really, what is your exact position? There’s no point, you know, getting where you need to understand. seek legal advice. As well, you know, people always seem to be a bit slow in seeking the proper advice. But then speaking to people like us that, you know, we’re there to sort of guide them and direct them to the right place. You know, and obviously, with this work where we could, and I would say the point it’s not just right, this is equity release, we’ve got a look at all the options and identify the best option for the client at the time. 

Alex: Okay. 

Mark: But like anything if they don’t want to move now, then what are their options, you know?

Alex: Excellent. So it’s kind of like don’t bury your head in the sand. It might not be the end of the world you may not have to sell. 

Mark: Um, it depends on most definitely and look at it earlier.

Alex: Yeah.

Mark: Don’t leave it to the last minute.

Alex: Yeah.

Mark: You know. I used to say many years ago talking to clients that so are my bankers gray, right? Well, they’re all moneylenders. 

Alex: Yeah.

Mark: That’s what they do. You know, they’re lending you money and they’re lending you money at a rate. What you want to do is get the best rate you can. 

Alex: Yeah.

Mark: But if it comes to a point when you’re not paying them back, then they take on a different persona in that sense. 

Alex: Yeah. 

Mark: Repossessions if you’re not paying your loan back, they’re going to repossess It doesn’t matter how nice they are. Like that’s what they’re in business for.

Alex: How often should I review it if I say I’ve taken it out? The lifetime mortgage? Can I review it? Or is it set in stone? You talked about a bit of flexibility?

Mark: Yeah, that’s a really good question. Interestingly, about 5% of the market are people actually either taking more from an equity release notes, or actually totally swapping one architraves product for another. In fact, you know, the old equity release as well as with the higher interest rates, the higher interest rates where the interest if you didn’t pay it back was compounding very quickly, and people could see the depth going up. There were still those deals around and that and that’s what gives the industry all the money, a bit of a bad name, but with some of the all time low interest rates now, there’ll be a lot of people out there that should be thinking, well, I’ve got an equity release product. The only alternative is perhaps another equity release product, but the new one will be so much cheaper than the original let’s say that forms about 5% of the market. So that’s quite a heavy number. Really? 

Alex: Yeah, absolutely. We have to come back to that case study earlier whether that couple was AC grands that they kind of owed on interest only what were their payments compared to what they were paying before was? 

Mark: That’s a good question. Not too dissimilar if I recall probably slightly cheaper. Again, the rates with an equity lease vary depending on how much you’re borrowing, how much borrowing against the equity, how old you are. So the rates again, the rates are different for everybody. 

Alex: Yeah.

Mark: I think what does surprise people is how cheap the rates are. Bearing in mind the historic Oh, yeah, yes, eights, nines 10s 12%. So I mean, I’m old enough to remember them highly. 

AlexL Yeah.

Mark: Unfortunately you know, there is a fixed rate mortgage interest, you know, for life at 2.5%. 

Alex: Yeah. 

Mark: Which, where can you go and borrow money and fix it for life at that rate? I’m not saying every case is like, 

AlexL Yeah.

Mark:  But obviously they vary, but there are some extremely cheap, right.

Alex: A lot of people search online for an equity release calculator, but it feels like there’s too many factors at play to have a form or a calculator on the website, that’s going to give you the best solution.

Mark: Well, yeah, I mean, obviously, as a mortgage professional, I don’t advise anybody doing it online. Yeah, it was, I mean, you know, it’s amazing that there’s so much online but unless you’ve got a full knowledge of the old saying is garbage in, garbage out. If you put the wrong information in, and you’re gonna get the wrong information out. So as with just the general rule of mill markers I get, I get so many people coming to me saying, well, I’ve got an agreement in principle, and I’ve got it online and then you look at it their situation you think, but you’ve neglected to put in this or the other and actually the worksheet that that way, so before you know it, they can follow 40,000 more than they thought or 50,000 less than this. Yeah. So, and yet, it’s always good to, I like my clients to have knowledge and knowledge gives them the confidence to proceed with it. When I’m first dealing with anybody I’m at, you know, I want them to understand what it’s about, understand the concept. So it’s an educational thing, really getting to really understand the point and they feel more comfortable with it, you know, quite a frightening thing to do and quite foreboding, especially as people are getting older. Having said that, a lot of the older clients are a lot more savvy than some of the younger clients are gonna be very careful. 

Alex: Yeah.

Mark: I’ve got some elderly clients that will run around the block on finance. 

Alex: Yeah.

Mark: Very, very savvy, which is good. But I think anything that educates them about what they’re doing and you do find clients do do that anyway, I speak to people who have been looking at it for a while. It’s not unusual to say to myself, I’ve been looking at this for a year now. 

Alex: Yeah. 

Mark: And thinking about it. But what I can explain in 10 minutes or 15 minutes.

Alex: Yeah.

Mark: You know, overcome what they can take, and if they’ve got quite understand or the real end of the stick with something, so, so

Alex: Yeah.

Mark: I like people to have that education on it. But sometimes, a little knowledge in doing yourself.

AlexL Yeah. 

Mark: And then you’re only looking at maybe one provider and as it’s at all different. So I wouldn’t even know until I go on a system and look at the thousands of products that there are, isn’t it which is going to be the right one for the customer? Right, right. Right. So

Alex: I think I’ve got one last question. 

Mark: Yeah. 

Alex: I know he says kind of plan and not leave it to the last minute but someone’s listening now. And they have how long will this process take if we had a meeting with you, we arranged it. you were available tomorrow. How long will I know that there’s something that can be done. I don’t have to sell if I don’t want to.

Mark: And we’ll, two questions. The first one, how long does the process take? I think the average equity release time scale is about five weeks. That’s the average. 

Alex: Yeah.

Mark: So you can have some that take quite a lot longer than that. 

Alex: Yeah.

Mark: Sometimes it depends on the income all sorts of things come up with regarding the property our clients where they’ve looked at the property and said, Actually, we have to lend you the money, but the property isn’t quite where we want it to be. So we want you to do this repair, do that repair, make that roof good.

Alex: Okay.

Mark: Yeah. So that can contract something on here. I’ve literally known of clients get money released when they’re looking to buy a house. Awesome, because, again, people don’t understand they can take it on the property that they’re going to buy in the transport. Leave politics with you guys. They can have an offer out within less than a week. So again, it’s like a normal mortgage. I have some offers come out in a day and some 

Alex: Yeah.

Mark: But yeah, it is, it is a much quicker process. And generally, I would say about the industry average is about five weeks. 

Alex: Yeah. Okay. And then if I’m, if I’m panicking and thinking I really left this at the last minute, will the banks consider that I’m looking at it? Would they ever delay if they say we’re gonna, we’re gonna go to pay this in too late?

Mark: That’s a really good question. I mean, again, in my lifetime of advising people, yes, you would all banks have got a duty of care to the client. 

Alex: Yeah. 

Mark: And they’ve got to be seen to be doing the right thing. And if they can see that you’re doing something, if you’ve got the right bank and the right person on the end of the failure, then there’s no reason why they shouldn’t give you more time. 

Alex: Yeah.

Mark: To sort something out. And again, that’s why I would always encourage speaking to the bank, and keeping a good dialogue with them. So yeah, that’s a really good, really good question. But yeah, you would keep in touch. And you would hope the bank would give you time. I mean, it’s not gonna be looked up very nicely in court. If, yeah, you know, some elderly couple has told me that I moved out of the home on the basis that they’ve not given them time to actually resolve the situation. Say, actually, this is when we’re relevant, can be can be sorted very quickly.

Alex: Fantastic. So if I’ve not asked any questions, I’m thinking of an okay to drop you an email or how’s the best to kind of cover it off if someone listening has got a question about

Mark: Well, give my phone number if they want to know. 

Alex: Yeah, absolutely.

Mark: 07789941700 is the mobile and is the email address. I mean, obviously they can go to the CS Retirement Solutions website and see the team there. There’s some great information on there. They could probably even get a picture of me too. So all I am but they can get information from there as well. So I would send them down at them to go to the website or if not to contact me directly.

Alex: Fantastic. Thank you very much. Thank you Cheers.

Episodes For Advisors Episodes For The Public Equity Release

Why do Equity Release Advisors, Mortgage Brokers and IFA’s need to work together more?

Huge Disclaimer: The following transcript was generated by a machine. It’s not perfect. It’s definately best to listen to the audio version!

Alex: Hello, and welcome to the equity release podcast. My name is Alex Curtis and I am joined by Mr Stuart Powell today. Stuart, how are you doing?

Stuart Powell: Okay. 

Alex: I’m very well, thank you. So I know you quite well, but I’m guessing the people listening in may never have heard of you before. So can you give us a bit of a background about who you and are what you do?

Stuart Powell: Yeah, sure, no problem. So I’ve been helping clients buy mortgages for go on 17 years now. Most of that for the high street bank. But three years ago, I started a mortgage company. Had a few clients talking about equity release, I’ve done my qualification. So I thought, okay, I’m going to start advising and learn a lot very quickly. Then, over the last three years, the business has morphed into a predominantly equity release business A because I love helping people with late-life lending issues. And B because, yeah, it’s the future. It’s booming. And I want to be part of that. So yeah, that’s a little bit background there.

Alex: Excellent. So, obviously, the main reason for this podcast is there’s a lot of kinds of myths and kind of issues around what happened before what’s happening now. So we want to tackle that but specifically, we were talking off about situations were actually an equity release advisor, mortgage brokers and IFA could really do with working together. Can you talk me through that kind of situation you were talking about earlier, where someone I think someone was, wasn’t right for equity release, but they could there is a solution.

Stuart Powell: Yeah, absolutely. I think mortgage advisors and I’ve been guilty of this and kind of become siloed as to equity release advisors. We’ve become experts in our chosen field. And if we can’t help the client, it’s not necessarily the best practice to work with people who can refer, you can refer the client too to help in a different way. And I’ll give a quick example of this equity release, lenders will lend up to a maximum amount of about 55% of the loan to value in the property. So, putting that in simple terms and £100,000 property that whenever I go and buy a property equity release lender would lend up to around £55,000, but that’s if the client is 80 and above, equity release starts from age 55 if not £100,000 house that only lends you about 25 to 30,000. That becomes a problem for an equity release advisor. So if you’ve got a 60-year-old client who wants to borrow, say 40% of the value of the property upwards, there is a lender out there that would do it. My concern is that equity release advisor simply says to the client, no can’t do it, I’m afraid not. However, if that equity release advisor is working closely with a mortgage advisor, or is able as we are to give mortgage advice as well. There is now a raft of lenders who will do an interest-only mortgage for an older person who will do a repayment mortgage for an older person, or there are specific products, retirement interest-only mortgages that would be right for that person. So given the example, I’ve said, if you had £100,000 property and a £55,000 mortgage, there are the whole sea of lenders who would consider lending to that person. And I’m just concerned that client when they get to see an active release advisor, isn’t necessarily getting the full holistic advice they need and given the opportunity to take a mortgage instead of activities.

Alex: Yeah, okay. Interesting. So, if I put my shoes in, let’s say my mom was looking at equity release and she maybe her first thought might be about money aspect to an IFA, but what advice would you give someone who is looking then, do they ask the activities of either IFA, like who they’re working with or how limiting my options are? What’s the best approach do you think if you are lookout? 

Stuart Powell: Yeah, you know, that’s a great question and I really don’t think that’s a question that the market, customers, and clients are asking because they go to an IFA assuming that they can help with all their financial needs. And it is brilliant in many respects. Equity release advisors are experts in their field and mortgage advisors are very capable people. But if those three groups can work together to help all the client’s needs, then we’re actually providing a great service for every client. In your mom’s example, if she went to an IFA, they may well be an equity release advisor if they are great. Some IFA’s remember old equity release, and I’ve had the experience where they’ve told clients don’t go near it because it’s not a good concept and, you know, compound interest is an awful thing, etc, without really understanding the changes that have happened. So, yeah, I’m a huge advocate on IFA’s, either working with an activities broker or working with a mortgage broker or both and vice versa because for sure we can help our clients with all those needs and help each other’s businesses as well.

Alex: Okay, so it could it can get a little bit confusing then if I’m sort of in the market for of actually knowing that we really obviously want to get sit down with these people. It could be a crowded room, we’d like all three of them in and so I know you do mortgage advice, and equity release as well. But I’m also kind of thinking if someone’s listening now and they’re sort of partway down the road with someone. How do they know they’re getting the full picture? What should they be asking an IFA is it. I know, there’s obviously the equity release council. Should they be asking are they members of that? Yeah. Are there any questions that we could ask?

Stuart Powell: Yeah, it’s a good question. And I mean, if they’re seeing an IFA for mortgage advice and it is the IFA mortgage and equity release qualified, that would be the first question that I asked. I mean, if we’re talking about ensuring that the advisor is experienced and gives great service, then I would also be pointing clients in the direction of And I’ because that’s the main place where advisors previous clients review the advice, and that’s great. If the client had good advice. My only question would be how does the client know that they received full advice? If you go to an equity release broker, they will give you equity release advice. But could a mortgage have been more suited to their circumstances than an equity release product? So there’s definitely a gap in the market. I know that the stock gap in the market it’s a failure of the market currently to link together. I know, our group are looking to link mortgages and equity release advisors together so that less experienced and the more experienced advisors are helping each other. I don’t know if that is going to have a branch where mortgage advisors work with equity release advisors, and I think perhaps we as advisors need to work together to close those gaps.

Alex: Yeah, no, absolutely. Absolutely. So have you got a kind of like a case and as such, where someone has been told there’s nothing they can do, but then you found something for them. We got like a scenario you could walk us through.

Stuart Powell: Okay. Yeah, that’s a really good question again. I’ve prepared a good example actually, because this happened a couple of weeks ago with a client who came to me with a £275,000 property and had £108,000 outstanding on a Halifax interest-only mortgage, with only three years left to run, and no repayment vehicle in place. 67-year-old couple. So in three years time, the banks can ask for £108,000 back and with no prospect of doing anything other than selling the property or taking an equity release. Unfortunately, as he is 67 as his wife, there’s a limit to how much they can release. Using activities around 33% of the property value, which didn’t get them enough, so 275,000 33% to that would get the £90,750. So if you remember the 100,800 was the mortgage the are around 18,000 short of where they need to be. And you can’t just directly release for some of them out of your mortgage, it has to be the whole amount. However, equity release wasn’t the right option I go decline and say nope, sorry, can’t help I say right. Okay, let’s look at other options. Well, they are on standard variable rate with Halifax and paying £398 a month. And I was able to negotiate with Halifax a new deal one and a half percent and they were paying £135 a month instead of 398. Going on to that deal, they say £263 a month. If you multiply that by the number of months left 36 months, I feel like Rachel Riley at the moment so and that calculates to £9,500. So if they carry on paying what they have got used to paying on their mortgage, they will have 9,500 of the shortfall gone in three years. So the shortfall is £17,000. They’re paying back 9,500 of it. So there’s only a £7,750 shortfall in three years time. In three years time they will be three years older and three years time, in theory, their property value will have increased that stage it’s far likelier that we could find them an equity release deal that would enable them to rate mortgage the balance that they have left, which would be about 99,000 if they had carried on overpaying. So I guess it’s not a precise are it can’t be because we don’t know what’s happening to interest rates. We don’t know what’s happening to property prices, but from going from a position of despair, where they thought their house may be repossessed, we’ve thought outside the box and created a potential solution for them. And I think that’s something we need to do more of as an industry.

Alex: Absolutely. And we’re gonna do another episode at some point on calculate online calculators and things like that. There isn’t a calculator that could have come up with that solution because you’ve got to think about all those different factors. But that’s incredible. This is why I love working in the industry of just hearing how you guys can step in and just what you did with the payments is incredible. So thank you for that. That’s brilliant. There are a lot of mortgage brokers thinking in this way or not how common I guess it is that?

Stuart Powell: We’re not yet common enough, I think, I know mortgage advisors are incredibly busy people and, really taken the time to work on and then grow their business and there are some fantastic mortgage advisors out there. But what’s that George Bush phrase? I don’t know what I don’t know, because I don’t know what it is. Yeah, you know, that’s why my mission in life is to educate clients, but it’s also to educate fellow mortgage brokers and activities brokers into other possible opportunities for their business and certainly their clients. So a lot of the LinkedIn stuff that I do is did you know that you could help clients in this way you could help clients in that way. And just last week, someone responded to one of my LinkedIn posts an IFA, we went for a coffee and I just started talking to him about how modern equity release has improved. And, and he had the old fashioned view of equity release, you know, high-interest rates, not very well regulated and flexible things like that. And I updated him with how it has changed. And literally yesterday he and I went to see one of his clients, who was stuck on a 7.24% equity release rate. Only £60,000 outstanding on their active lease. I was able to source a 2.9% rate for the 60,000. Just putting that into real terms, their monthly payment was £362. And we can do it for £145. So that saving of £2,600 a year and over 10 year period, which you know, looking at their ages that is realistic for them to live for at least that that will save £26,000 over the next 10 years. So the IFA was shocked and delighted for his climb. 

Alex: Oh, I mean that would be, that’s incredible. It gives me another reason why we definitely need to continue doing this podcast because that is incredible. So if someone has taken out equity release before that’s not kind of set in stone then we could be reviewing these on a regular basis or what regular basis reviewing them if you think you’re hard done by again.

Stuart Powell: Yeah, no, absolutely. I think there is a statistic that does the rounds that 94% of equity release clients have never reviewed their equity release, which is a shocking statistic. And in my experience is because they do not know that they can. And part of my work is spreading the message. Mortgage brokers out there will realize that I think the people whose standard variable rates, usually about 35-40%, but the equivalent of standard variable rate for mortgages is I’ve been on my equity release rate since I took it out. So the first thing we look at when we are reviewing someone’s existing activities, right is what is the early repayment charge. And the early repayment charge for the clients I just mentioned is zero because they took it out 10 years ago. So we will check first of all, what their ERC is. And when that runs out, if it does run out, or if it reduces, and we’ll do some maths that says, actually, this is how much we could save you. And even if you’ve got an early repayment charge, this is how long will take before you’re saving on your new rate. Now ways how much your early repayment charges. So that’s what I would say, I would say, over the last two to three years, interest rates have really gone through the floor with equity release. So if anyone has a rate of that which they’ve had for more than three years, review it. And the thing is us, as a group of equity release, brokers will do that for free for the client. So free review. You know, I would say, probably for every three reviews I do, to the advice will be actually no, it doesn’t make sense to do. It might make sense in three years when your early repayment charge reduces might make sense in five years, but at the moment, actually, it doesn’t make sense. Some of those reviews will be actually it will take you six months for paying you. Some will be actually in three years time. You will have saved more money than it’s going to cost you to do this. Yeah. But yeah I think we need to have those conversations and individualize them for each client to show them what is right for them.

Alex: So it sounds like an absolute no brainer, especially if you’ve taken something out before. Like you say that you know, even if one in three people could be on something better, then and it doesn’t cost anything to check, then it just feels to me than sitting down with someone, and coming back to the kind of the overall topic, make sure you’re speaking to someone that understands modern equity release mortgages, all the kind of later life lending options.

Stuart Powell: One thing I don’t understand is why equity release advisors don’t review their own clients and that’s a concept for the last year or so that I’ve been trying to get my head around. And I had a case come to me last week and it kind of, I kind of understood a little bit more and that was an IFA from Paul came to me and said, I’ve got a client whom I did some equity release for five years ago. And she wants to borrow some more money, but the lender won’t let her do it until she’s had advice. I can’t give advice, because I used to do mortgages, then I did activities now I’m just investments and pensions. So I don’t have the license anymore. So there may well be advisors out there with a bank of clients that they’ve advised in the past, that they’ve never gone back because they no longer are qualified to give the advice. So So that might be resonating with some of your podcast listeners.

Alex: No, absolutely. Absolutely. Um, so I feel like we’ve covered loads, but I also feel like I maybe like George Bush. I don’t know what I don’t know. Probably not asking the right question. Well, we definitely going to have you back on because I know you’re very humble about this. But basically the industry of coming to you and asking for your advice on things. There’s obviously a big bank, another big organization, wanting to sit down with you. So I’m sure you’re going to feature again. And then I don’t want to make this podcast a sales pitch. However, I’m sure people may want you. Are you happy if people were to ask you a question on anything if I’ve not been able to clarify it?

Stuart Powell: Yeah, absolutely. I think the thing is, I have a lot of conversations via email, phone and LinkedIn with people who are asking different questions and yeah, you know, you’re absolutely right. My aim is to get more people having more conversations with moreover 55 to get clients in the right position. And yeah, that rising tide, lifts all ships, whatever that other phrase is coming out of cliches today, that really resonates with me. Because if we’re all talking to more people about this, we’re helping more clients and we’re all growing our businesses. And you know, to don’t have to be mutually exclusive. They work really nicely together.

Alex: Absolutely fantastic. What we’ll do is if I can, is your email address easy to spell, or do I need to put the link on the website?

Stuart Powell: Yeah, put the link because I made the mistake of having a long email address.

Alex: Absolutely. So we’ll put that on there. Thank you so much. Stuart. There is again like we said, we’re scratching the surface. So many other topics I want to talk to you about. We will arrange to record more episodes as time goes on. But thank you so much for sharing that. I think that kind of for me. The one key message is to make sure you’re getting kind of full advice. on all of your options, and a no might not always be a No, it’s just a no to one product or one thing. So again, if I go back and think about if anyone asked me I’d say just Are you talking about you’re talking to an IFA, they are amazing, however, do they know about modern equity release and the mortgage options as well. So yeah, thanks very much.

Stuart’s website:

Episodes For The Public Equity Release

Is Equity Release A Scam?

One of the main reasons for starting this podcast was to address the question; is equity release a scam?

I hope we address this in most episodes but it’s one of the first questions we ask equity release advisor Trevor Smith.

Huge Disclaimer: The following transcript was generated by a machine. It’s not perfect. It’s definately best to listen to the audio version!


Alex: Hello, and welcome back to the equity release podcast. And this time I’ve got a former professional footballer which I just found out a couple of minutes ago. Trevor Smith, how you doing?

Trevor Smith: Yeah.

Alex: And we were having a lot of the first time we met I gave you a rugby ball.

Trevor Smith: Yeah. (laughing)

Alex: When he found out now what must be a year later?

Trevor Smith: Yeah

Alex: It was. So we met at a sort of mortgage kind of event conference and I was using like a cuz I love rugby. And I was in a hostel. And then I ended up giving out a report to your professional footballer that when we want to talk about equity release, obviously.

Trevor Smith: Yeah.

Alex: And we had a chat before. I’ve run advertising campaigns for our clients and we’ve had a lot of negative kind of comments on them. That’s one thing you kind of picked out. So we want to sort of tackle today. And I think my first kind of question, Trevor would be, is equity release a scam? (laughing) Because that’s what people think.

Trevor Smith: Well, I think people are just generally uneducated about equity release, I think, you know, if you want some financial advice, go and ask him down the pub. That’s how it seems in equity release. You know? And, of course, it’s an economy you know, you look at like the Legal & General and Liverpool Victoria, Aviva, you know, these companies have been going over 150 years, you know, the 10s of thousands of patrons. Can you honestly see that if they would get involved with something that’s a scam?

Alex: I’ve seen that. Well, one of the reasons I’m doing this podcast is because I don’t know all the finer details, but having met people like you. The other people that I’ve interviewed that I’ve met, I just know that they would not be involved in that. But absolutely great points as well, these massive companies. Yeah, they just absolutely wouldn’t. It just wouldn’t.

Trevor Smith: Exactly.

Alex: It doesn’t make sense.

Trevor Smith: The best is the, you know, the British economy, really major employee employers out there, you know.

Alex: Yeah. Absolutely. So why do people think it is?

Trevor Smith: I think it’s just a lack of education. And I do think it’s the fault of these big companies. I don’t think the spending of money, time and, and effort on getting that message across I don’t, I think, as I said, people are misinformed that, you know, they listen to their friends and their family of probable things that happened 20 years ago.

Alex: Yep.

Trevor Smith: You know, it was a different world back then, you know, pre-credit crunch, you know, it was a different world, certainly with equity release, you know, so

Alex: Yeah.

Trevor Smith: I think mainly back in the day, it was a different type of equity release is what you called home reversion where you used to, you know, you sold a percentage of your house or the hot or the 100% of the property it would be to divide it would then the value of the house below market value and give you a lump sum and then interest was charged on top of that. Yeah, so, yeah, so, I think that you know, that’s where, you know, people were actually losing their homes at that point for a lump sum mine, but,

Alex: Yeah.

Trevor Smith: That’s where the bad press came from. Today. You know, 25 years later, 20 years later. Lifetime mortgage it’s not, it’s not a point 5% of people do home reversions 99.5% you’d like to our mortgages

Alex: Yeah.

Trevor Smith: release which is a different type of equity release which basically means that equity release today is a different world it wasn’t an equity release today, you know, one of the main benefits of it is you will always own you’ll always have title to your own properties just like a normal mortgage, you know, just basically you’re all you have title of the property, you’ll always own the property. And if the property goes up your benefit, of course, like a bike if it goes down, you have to take the hit, but you know that it is just like having a normal mortgage, but it’s just called a lifetime mortgage.

Alex: Absolutely. And then if someone still feels sceptical because you mentioned obviously before people were kind of valuing the house low.

Trevor Smith: Yeah.

Alex: What if somewhat, someone’s I can assume someone’s thinking now what’s stopping anyone from doing that now?

Trevor Smith: Well, of course, it’s the independent value is our independence. I mean, we know, we don’t, we don’t appoint about it. The value is the lenders do just like you know that west in and net the nationwide will appoint a value-added to the value for you know for a normal sort of room is no different.

Alex: Yeah

Trevor Smith: Just the lenders have different lengths of legal in general a beaver pulling Victoria those are the sort of lenders in this year you know like equity release lifetime mortgage arena so yeah, they appoint an independent value with the goal to go out and value the property. So, yeah, we know there’s no down values evaluations from like they did in 2020 years ago.

Alex: Yeah

Trevor Smith: Which is a different again, you know,

Alex: So he thought he’s basically much fairer

Trevor Smith: Yeah.

Alex: Whereas before it was

Trevor Smith: Just like done like exactly the same way it was an old mortgage don’t know because there’s a lifetime motion because now we equity release now he can serve you can actually service the interest you can actually make payments repayments you don’t yeah you know you’re not you know you don’t lose control of your property you can actually make payments towards the interest if you know if you wish you know, yeah that’s one of the things.

Alex: I’ve got quite a lot of options now as well then see, it is quite fast. What do you have to make the decisions straight away or can you if you want later on or how does that work?

Trevor Smith: You can make optional payments if you wish. But those optional payments you’re not you know, once you make a payment, you could you know, you can make a regular payment every month to sort of contributing towards paying off the interest. But if at some point in your life and something happens and you don’t you do want to make up him You can stop that payment is no come along and say you stop making payments to your mortgage your lifetime mortgage issue repossession proceedings you remember not you know never ever happened you’ll always have tenure in your property we can do it optional payments you make payments and then and then and then take you to know you can maybe take a holiday or stop playing altogether and just treated like a normal equity release later mortgage.

Alex: Okay

Trevor Smith: so you have options you know I mean you do you know you can make payments you can you know you can check a lifetime mortgage not make any payments to tell you to yourself really.

Alex: Yeah, nice one. So, when someone’s thinking I’ve seen comments, where some people say are the rates massive it’s ridiculous interest rates and things like that. But all the advisors I’m speaking to are saying that there are really low rates at the minute is that people again comparing things from 20 years ago?

Trevor Smith: I mean, the rich coming down all the time we get we get. What I’ve noticed with releasing lifetime mortgages that lenders are changing the rate every week, the lender will change amazing how closely it works, I guess to the markets. Where’s it? Where’s your over mortgaged? I’ve noticed that you know that every change every, every month, every two, three months, whoever receives the weekly and the rates are coming down on some other one from legal and generally sweet to me like 2.76 or something. I’ll have to check it. Check it.

Alex: Yeah.

Trevor Smith: We’re under 3%. I mean, some of you take a five year fix mortgage out with NatWest, now you’re looking at you know, two-point something 2.3. Something like that

Alex: Yeah.

Trevor Smith: Rates, you know, Well under 3%.

Alex: Yeah.

Trevor Smith: So yeah, I mean, that argument is no longer really, I mean, I think that you know, the really, really competitive. What am I? Well, Alex, you on your previous question that you can actually make lump sum repayments on the equity release as well, you can make up to 10% pay off 10% per annum of your balance without penalty.

Alex: Right, okay.

Trevor Smith: was making payments to the interest you can actually be about lump sums if you wish, you know

Alex: that is nice because there’s a lot of situations where people are kind of gifting deposits to children and they may want to pay their parents back and put the equity back in as well as pay the interest.

Trevor Smith: Yeah.

Alex: Okay, well, can you take me through a couple of people that you’ve helped them don’t obviously name any names, but talk or any kind of situations where you’ve kind of helped people and where these scenarios where equity release because it’s obviously not for everyone, is it? I think every activities advisor says you know, this is really good for some people but not for everyone so if you’ve got a couple of scenarios for us.

Trevor Smith: Yeah, this is what really frustrates me when I get the comments on Facebook, you know, putting it on Facebook and I lost it on there you know, it frustrates me but you know, when I see everyone see a client, I looked at it those people who were trolling me to an appointment and you know, one or two appointments have been on is just unbelievable. I’ve had a client who was terminally ill in the past, with cancer and the affairs You know, he wanted to get his affairs in order. Before anything happened, and you know, the other few credit card debts and a couple of cars financing you know and the one he wanted to take out a loan he couldn’t obviously couldn’t work either working or anything like that. And so the one you wanted to get his affairs in order but also he was a big Elvis fan and you want you wanted to try and get to Memphis you know as you know to visit you know Graceland where Elvis was lived and that was one of his wishes and as well and yeah so I mean you know, we sorted that out and you know and got his all his affairs in order for him it was unable to pay his credit card bills off and pay the car loans off and get himself out to Memphis book you know, you can’t tell me that, that that, you

Alex: One thing I was going to say is when I’ve seen people put you know it can pay for a holiday you know I’ve never in my mind thought of it being that kind of holiday you know where and in fact that’s just huge kind of advice huge.

Trevor Smith: Yeah.

Alex: So what’s the so for his partner then, what’s the what would have happened if they’re not got actually it’s obviously got a lot of debt. They’re not working credit card debts car finance payments that she would have had responsibility for I presume without equity release whereas now that’s all paid off still can live in their own home yeah she doesn’t have to sell

Trevor Smith: What would have happened to her? She’d probably let her go bankrupt.

Alex: Yeah.

Trevor Smith: And then probably would have, I guess, for the cows come for the house.

Alex: Yeah.

Trevor Smith: You know. Yeah

Alex: Would they What are they? Because you’ve got to talk to them about other options. Is there any other option for them? If they can’t I suppose they’re not they don’t. Because equity release we were obviously they’re not we’re not looking at income. We’re looking at what actually they’ve got property. I can’t I mean, I’m not an advisor to say, but I can’t think of another option.

Trevor Smith: No. In that case, it wasn’t really teaching them 2.5 for the mortgage, certainly to get enough too, you know, to what they needed. Really.

Alex: Yeah.

Trevor Smith: That was that was the that was the option, really.

Alex: So that’s fairly unique. What are the kinds of scenarios because then the majority of people take them out? Well, in terms of the question, as you can, is the majority for people using it for home improvements to actually increase the value of the property?

Trevor Smith: People who I mean at one another guy that it was a scenario he would literally fall out. And he had he was retired and he and he had a property worth about 3,000 who lived on his own. You had no brothers, no sisters, no cousins, you know just totally on his own. And he and he and he wanted to borrow 25,000. You know to go on a few holidays to do some woman proves to me how safe it is for him because it was getting a bit run down the property in that. Yeah. And, and he also wanted to go on a cruise and he and he thought and thought about buying a little fishing boat.

Alex: Yeah.

Trevor Smith: You know, but his scenario is that he had nobody to leave the house to, you know.

Alex: Yeah, right.

Trevor Smith: I don’t even know. So you know that many things happen to him that will probably be sold in the crown.

Alex: Yeah.

Trevor Smith: So you don’t mean why would Why is not a good idea why is not

Alex: That’s a brilliant idea obviously uh why you can’t take it there’s no point in being the richest person in the graveyard and if you’ve got that there to enjoy it absolutely and especially when we if we always never forget that he’s never gonna lose that. I can still live in it.

Trevor Smith: Yeah. You know, to suit his circumstances, you know, he can put some guardrails on the front door. And but you know, again, no matter how safe for him so he can live there, you know, and didn’t want to move. You know, he was quite happy there.

Alex: Yeah.

Trevor Smith: It’s perfect.

Alex: Yeah, that’s really two kinds of polar opposite scenarios where this can work. And what are the types of inquiries you are getting any kind of activities? Kind of

Trevor Smith: One of the ones I’ve got, I’ve got, I’ve got a couple of new houses repossessed who if we don’t sort something out a bit careful.

Alex: Are they on interest have they been on an interest-only loan?

Trevor Smith: Interest-only mortgage and it’s coming to the end of the term in a few months from now. And we’re trying to get them an equity release to pay off the mortgage and it’s not it’s proven really difficult this one and to be honest with you I see that if we don’t start here I cannot live in the house. You people see remodel the going downside they’re 30 years and there’s dementia there and in one of the applicants and I worry for that person you know if the, first if you’re gonna, lose that house.

Alex: Yeah.

Trevor Smith: Because the lender the mortgage credit interest-only mortgage increment end of each term and they’ve got and they will start repossessing proceedings again. And this guy will not survive.

Alex: Yeah.

Trevor Smith: If they moved, and we were having a problem China would get a lender dude to lend it to them. So, you know, that’s, that’s really worrying that one for me it really concerns me. I don’t know how that can be put in that position, you know, the lenders have got a lot of answers to really the outcome there is going to be the moment I haven’t got the answer, because we were struggling to find a lender.

Alex: And is that because of just not quite enough equity in the property or is it the state of the property or what.

Trevor Smith: the property is fine. It’s just near Italia. It’s near a pylon nice

Alex: To the word about being able to sell it. Well, after it’s all

Trevor Smith: Yeah, been a hundred years parlons probably been 30 years and within sort of 50 meters, I think.

Alex: Right

Trevor Smith: And the lenders and value are going out and they’re not and again it’s getting back so it’s not looking great man but I’ve spoken to it an equity lease and the way that what the difference would be but I spoke to an equity release homie reversion because they are desperate.

Alex: Yeah so that’s when there is that option yeah.

Trevor Smith: I think one of those companies and look at it you know but we’ll see.

Alex: Okay, what is it’s been a really interesting way to think about like always kind of different scenarios where you are helping people it’s such a shame that people have got, you know you’re getting people like almost attacking you on Facebook when actually if they listen to this, I do hope they do. It’s just the opposite. And like I said at the beginning if you know, having met you I’m a good judge of character. I can’t imagine you would be involved in anything like that. And like you said, All those lenders as well and I hope that case gets get sorted right but it sounds like what you’re doing is you’re helping people in a situation where they’ve got no other choice or you’re actually really it’s a really good option because you know there’s that guy that the money wasn’t the there was no one to inherit that property anyway and he’s enjoying a really nice rapid retirement. I think it’s a great product and I’m really glad we got you on to chat through these travels. So if anyone’s got any questions about equity release is it best to head to your website or when Can someone get in touch with you?

Trevor Smith: You can get me on Facebook. For more advice on Facebook, get me on my website. You can do the usual ways really.

Alex: Yeah. I’ll put some links on the show notes here. If anyone’s got a question for you. But, Trevor, thank you so much, mate.

Trevor Smith: It’s been great. Thank you.

Alex: No worries.

Trevor Smith: Yeah, really.

Alex: Speak to you soon.

Trevor Smith: Thank you. Bye.

Equity Release

About The Equity Release Podcast

The first episode of the equity release podcast is all about why I’ve actually gone ahead and launched it.

So equity release has got a bit of a bad reputation but I know it’s a good product. I work with some people who wouldn’t be doing equity release if it wasn’t.

My name is Alex Curtis, I run a digital marketing agency in financial services. 

I’ve ran some advertising campaigns for equity release and especially on Facebook there’s been a really kind of hardcore reaction from consumers saying it’s a con it’s a scam, this is disgusting, interest rates are really high, they’ll steal your house and all this kind of crazy stuff. Which I knew wasn’t true but, I really wanted to understand the product more and actually find out why people were so negative about it. 

It turns out before it wasn’t regulated. There were these things called home reversion plans where people are actually selling part of the house. Where that is a really small part of the market now.

So, I actually recorded a different introduction before recording my first lot of interviews and I thought this podcast was going to help consumers more than anyone else.

But listening to the equity release advisors, it sounds like there’s actually a massive knowledge gap in the industry as well so IFA’s, people that don’t specifically work in equity release advice still think it’s like the old days.

So it feels like there’s a massive knowledge gap between people that do marketing like me, people who are wanting to use equity release, the consumers and also people in the industry as well.

So I wanted to learn more and I think a podcast is a great way to do it.

I’m interviewing lots of equity release experts and thought it’d be a great idea to publish all of this so everyone else can sort of join me on my journey as I get to understand equity release in more detail.

So, enjoy, and I hope it helps.

If you want to be on the podcast if you want to know anything about equity release if you head over to the website and submit your ideas there and we’ll do our best to get the people on and get the answers that you need.

And I will see you in the first proper episode.