Advisers get ready to be rated
The site, which has already made an impact in the IFA sector, works like TripAdvisor but was set up to help consumers find quality advice.
Launched in 2012 there are already over 2000 IFAs using the service, and nearly 10,000 clients have left a review.
Adam Price, founder of VouchedFor, said: “Inviting mortgage advisers to join VouchedFor has always been a goal.
“We have helped hundreds of thousands of people seeking independent financial advice and we’re now offering the same service to people looking for a mortgage.
“Put another way, we’ll be introducing quality mortgage advisers to lots of new clients.”
Price added: “VouchedFor.co.uk is all about helping consumers to find the best advice.
“Historically clients have sought advice through personal recommendations but in this day and age people expect to find those recommendations aggregated online.
“You only have to look at the impact sites like Amazon, Tripadvisor, RatedPeople, and VouchedFor in the IFA space, have had to see how this expectation is growing.”
As in the financial advice sector, VouchedFor will help consumers to find whole of market advisers. Tied and multi-tied advisers cannot currently have a profile on the site. The rationale for this, according to Price, is that whole of market advisers offer consumers the best choice.
He said: “Currently too many people are going via their estate agent or bank and getting tied advice. It’s simply too hard to find a recommended whole of market adviser.
“Following the Mortgage Market Review it is highly likely that more people will seek advice. We’re here to make sure that consumers find the mortgage that best suits their needs and we believe that advisers need to have access to the majority of mortgage products to provide this service.”
Price says the service offers the benefit of new business enquiries as well as providing an online presence populated by ratings and reviews.
Advisers will need to register on VouchedFor and then invite their clients to leave a review, a largely automated process. Reviews can then be featured on the advisers own website via a widget as well as on VouchedFor.
Registration is a three step process and involves inputting contact details, creating an online profile and selecting a ‘plan’ – either a free of charge ‘basic’ plan or a paid ‘standard’ plan.
The paid plan costs £40/quarter and advisers pay for the individual enquiries based on their value.
Stewart Twidle, IFA and mortgage adviser at Asset & Investment Management, said: “I’ve been using VouchedFor for the past 12 months and had in excess of a hundred new business enquiries through the site – approximately a third of these have been mortgage related.
“The quality of the enquiries has been exceptional and I’ve taken on board around 30 new clients as a direct result of VouchedFor. I couldn’t be happier.”
A consumer launch to the national press in tandem with an online marketing campaign will launch the site to people looking for mortgages next week.