Uncertainty and regulatory worries inhibit equity release advisers’ use of social media

Michael Lloyd

June 5, 2018

Even though almost 80% of equity release advisers have at least one social media account, only 38% use these channels to promote their advisory services, and a mere 32% use it to share equity release news and developments.

The research by equity release provider, more 2 life, highlights potential missed opportunities for advisers to use their social media network to  promote the benefits of equity release to potential customers and therefore grow their businesses.

When surveyed about the greatest causes of concern around using social media, half of advisers cited uncertainty over how to employ it effectively. A further 42% said regulatory worries were the main cause for concern.

Stuart Wilson, marketing director at more2life, said: “Social media is becoming an increasingly important communication tool in our everyday lives.

“Advisers in the equity release market should be using this channel to stay updated on the latest industry news, whilst also highlighting the value which equity release can bring to older borrowers.

“Our recent survey clearly shows there is an appetite for greater use of the social media among advisers, but more knowledge on how to utilise it successfully and greater clarity on how to do so while remaining compliant with regulation is needed.

“The FCA has previously indicated its support of advisers using social media to interact with consumers, so it’s vital for the industry to tackle these issues, before they become major barriers to future development and progress in the sector.”

More than half of advisers (53%) expressed a desire to use social media from a business perspective more than they do at present.

In addition, 74% would be interested in receiving help to improve their social media presence, revealing that a lack of education is preventing its use, rather than a lack of willingness.

As the third largest equity release lender in the UK, more 2 life is aiming to raise awareness of the power of social media in helping further the equity release industry.

The company has developed a guide to social media to help educate and inform advisers on how to use these platforms more effectively in sharing industry updates and news, as well as how to identify and communicate best practices.

In addition, the lender, which recently launched its own Social Media Influencer programme designed to help promote positive messages about equity release, is calling on advisers, lenders and industry experts to consider sector-wide improvements in this area.

This way, firms can ensure that consumers are aware of the comprehensive range of equity release products available to help them meet their needs in retirement, and also support the continued development of the sector.

Wilson added: “As an equity release lender at the forefront of innovation and modernisation in the market, we believe it is vital to raise awareness of the integral role social media can play in growing the sector further.

“As well as our influencer programme, we are developing other support for advisers who are keen to explore social media, including a webinar and marketing guide.”

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