Two-thirds of advisers think later life market will choose tech over paper processes
Just over two-thirds (36%) of advisers believe that the later life lending market will choose technology over paper-based processes, according to more2life.
This sentiment was the strongest among advisers working at larger firms, with the majority (67%) of respondents who cited this answer working in firms with 31 advisers or more.
More than four in five advisers (84%) have already made greater use of video conferencing apps to communicate with clients, while a similar number (81%) have done the same to maintain rapport with colleagues.
Advisers have also been using lender services more during the COVID-19 crisis; over the last 12 months, 36% have increasingly used lender portals to support them with equity release business.
This is up from 19% of advisers who said the same at the start of the pandemic.
Furthermore, almost half (45%) of advisers have been engaging with lender support teams, while 30% say their use of sourcing systems has increased during the crisis.
Almost a quarter (23%) of advisers said they have used professional social media channels such as LinkedIn more often during the last 12 months, while 20% said their use of personal platforms like Facebook has gone up over the same period.
When asked what would be most beneficial to their equity release business over the next 12 months, 17% of respondents cited the use of technology, while only 10% saw the adoption of digital tools as their biggest challenge in the next year.
However, nearly one in three (29%) said that being unable to provide face-to-face advice would be their biggest challenge.
Dave Harris, chief executive at more2life, said: “Technology has clearly proven itself to be a key asset to advisers’ business during the COVID-19 crisis.
“It has been really encouraging to see the majority of advisers using digital tools like video conferencing platforms and lender portals to support their clients and ensure high levels of customer service, particularly during a very challenging period.
“Maintaining this momentum will become even more crucial as we emerge from the crisis and identify where we can improve processes for lenders, advisers, and customers alike.
“Now is the time for equity release lenders and advisers to consider the technology they can implement that can further strengthen their business over the long-term.
“Digital-first processes are set to be the landmark of the later life lending market post-COVID, but only if lenders, advisers and other key players take the necessary steps to put these in place and drive change across the industry.”