Blog / Retirement

Following on from a standout 2019, the later life lending market continues to grow, with recent figures released by the Equity Release Council demonstrating that the market is showing continued expansion. 2019’s Q1 saw an 8% year-on-year increase in the amount of housing equity unlocked by homeowners aged 55+ (a total of £936m) and a 10% year-on-year increase in the total number of customers served – it all adds up to the busiest start to any year on record and demonstrates that the wider market is showing little sign of slowing down any time soon.

But with the sector going through something of a boom period it’s imperative that those operating within it don’t lose sight of the need to provide gold-standard service to customers. Not only will it help them stand out in an increasingly attractive and competitive marketplace, but in general terms it will also help continue to reshape the perception of a market still held in low regard by a proportion of the population following its darker times of unfit – and often mis-sold – products of the 1980s and early 90s which it has thankfully left behind.

It’s paramount that customers’ needs are considered at every stage of their journey in order to ensure that they’re adequately supported during what may prove to be an especially sensitive time for them, and that they receive as straightforward and as pain-free an experience as possible. That includes understanding their needs and actively trying to cater for them, engaging them through their preferred methods, and understanding the customer journey (up to and including follow-on customer care) to ensure their needs are best met.

Recent research has demonstrated the degree to which the current generation of retirees are confounding existing stereotypes. Far from being isolated and dissatisfied, loneliness among today’s over-65s currently sits at a lower rate than those aged 25-34, and peak levels of life satisfaction lie with those aged 70-74. Similarly, the fastest growing demographic among Twitter users is grandparents (those aged 80+ still prefer traditional/physical methods of marketing, meaning a mix of digital and tangible mediums is required to best meet target audiences).

Resources exist to help advisers make sure they’re effectively reacting to changing customer trends and are reaching their target audience through their target audience. An example is our own marketing toolkit which provides a mix of traditional and digital assets, as well as a recently-added quarterly trends report as an easily-accessible information source.

But however you connect with your customers and irrespective of the resources you use to achieve it, making the most of the sector’s opportunities will nonetheless be dependent on understanding your customers, reaching them effectively (and via their preferred mediums), and by offering the best possible service throughout their journey. Not only will this benefit your business specifically, helping it stand out in an increasingly populated marketplace, but it will also add value to the reputation of the sector as a whole to the benefit of all who operate in it.

 

For more information on our marketing toolkit, visit the toolkit section of our website and see how it can benefit you.

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