So what exactly does an equity release adviser do? We were asked just this question by the Equity Release Council who wanted to find out after our top ranking performance in the Sunday Times as the VouchedFor top rated equity release adviser-firm, for England. We have been working closely with VouchedFor this year to establish equity release advice as a service it its own right.
As we are members of the Equity Release Council, they could easily get in touch to find out more and this is what they discovered....
A Week With Paul Saroya - Director of Viva Retirement Solutions
Monday We knew we were going to be in the Times supplement yesterday, but we didn’t know quite how it would look. Having seen the supplement before, we were a bit worried that equity release would just get lost, but we were all buzzing when we saw it. It looked really good and I had a few lines in the accompanying write-up which focused on how the sector is putting its house in order. I’m one of the directors at Viva but I’m a front-line adviser too, so after making a few calls to congratulate the team, it was back to the other job, so to speak, which is just as well because we noticed an immediate spike in calls off the back of the article.
Tuesday Today was the first workout in a while, at home in London Colney (Hertfordshire), with my wife Sarah. I’ve got a charity football match coming up soon, so I need to get in some kind of shape, which is getting harder these days now I’m in the veterans’ league. I used to play as semi-professional but even at my peak, I was a little way off playing for my beloved Spurs, to say the least!
We’re expecting another busy day on the phones today. I’ve also got a couple of Zoom meeting with lenders and an introducer too, which has come off the back of the VouchedFor rating. That is another reason why these things are important. It’s not just potential clients who take notice. We have always asked our clients for handwritten testimonials, that’s nothing new, but websites like VouchedFor have turbo-charged the process.
Wednesday More training today. Sarah is the one cracking the whip and she devised the workout routine, it’s just a home workout but I’m feeling it. We have got three children Taio (12), Blaise (10) and Anais (3) who need dropping off at three different places, schools and nursery, each morning, so getting through that and a workout is a bit of a mission. Wednesday is a paperwork day for me. I catch up on cases and I catch up with colleagues. One of the other directors, Mark Lambert, is expecting his fourth child so whenever I’m feeling a bit stressed with parenthood, the joke is at least I know he’s going to have it even worse. Not that either of us would have it any other way of course.
Thursday The last workout of the week today and then back to the home office. In between the usual client calls and a new starter interview we had an update from our colleague Liz Murley who is on the Equity Release Council’s Standards Board. The industry has come on in leaps and bounds and that is in no small part down to the Council so we try to be active members of it.
Liz had been presenting to the Standards Board on our proposals to extend the consumer protections required by provider members. Downsize protection, 10% fee-free overpayments and compassionate windows are commonplace now, but the T&Cs are often very different which could lead to confusion and ultimately consumer detriment. We would like to see these features standardised and mandated. We believe the clarity would be extremely beneficial for consumers and the sector itself, much like the no-negative equity guarantee has been.
Friday We always have a team catch up on Fridays and it was a sunny day, so I had lunch in the garden with Sarah. However, the unusual thing about today, apart from the nice weather, was that I had my first face-to face meeting with a client, since the pandemic started.
It was a little strange to put a suit on again, but it was great to get out there and see clients. There really is no substitute for seeing people in the flesh, when it comes to addressing their needs and potential vulnerabilities. It cuts both ways though and the clients were happy to see me too. Zoom is great, but it’s not for everyone and many clients prefer face-to-face meetings too.
If you would like to work with a team of equity release advisers who treat you like a member of their own family, then get in contact with us today to see