About this episode
Hello, and welcome back to the lead generation for financial services podcast. This week we have got an equity release advisor, Stuart Powell.
A lot of negative views and beliefs are being said whenever we advertise equity release because of the way the people have seen or heard situations which is not good because of equity release.
Modern equity release is better than the old equity release. Interests are lower and there’s no negative equity guarantee for every product.
Stuart, an equity release adviser in Plymouth, used different methods to show people why modern equity release is much better.
He created short Youtube videos as well to send the message across about the pros and cons of equity release and educate both clients, or other introduces as to why it’s good for the older generation, but also why it’s good for other financial services businesses to understand a little bit more about it.
Stuart used case studies to show real-life situations, approach, steps taken and evaluating outcomes concerning equity release. Case studies will show how much money a previous client saved each month or this is how much less the interest is accumulating.
Before considering if equity release is the right option for you, you must check on the following conditions such as:
the money you can release
Always talk to a professional financial adviser when making these decisions. They will be able to help you understand whether equity release is right for you.
Alex: Hello, my friends in financial services welcome back to the podcast this week I’ve got an equity release advisor. And wow, we’ve talked about loads of stuff, loads of tips from Stuart probably more tips per minute than you get from your marketing expert. And so I think one thing for us as a business when we’ve helped people advertise equity release is a lot of negative kinds of thoughts and opinions of how things were done before a lot of people that are in situations or heard of people in situations that are not good because of equity release. And I’ve seen Stewart sort of on a bit of a mission to try and he’s very passionate about getting this message across that modern equity release is much better. There’s just so much in this episode of like how to negotiate with the press. We talk a lot about videos. So Stuart messaged me and emailed me in June about videos and him starting that video journey. We talk a lot about that. It’s just such an interesting story about partnerships as well about how to focus on marketing to get partnerships not just to get cold leads. So whether you do mortgages, life equity release, or don’t even work in financial services, there’s so much you can get out of this episode from a marketing perspective. So, I want to introduce you to Stuart. How is an equity release at fly advisor in Plymouth used to work in banking used to work in Debenhams went out on his own after sort of a long corporate career and it’s really fascinating to see where he is at now. Hello, and welcome back to the lead generation for financial services podcast and I’ve got a very special guest on today. I have got Mr Stuart Powell. How are you doing today?
Stuart: Hi, how are you? I’m very good. Thank you mate. Thanks for setting this up. Be nice to have a chat.
Alex: Yeah, no, absolutely. I was just well, we just before we hit record, I was just pulling out an old email that you sent me and I couldn’t remember the date of it. And I think I sent you an email on kind of pop my sort of email sequence about doing videos. In fact, I think it’s Yeah, it’s entitled, you have to make bad videos to make good videos.
Alex: He said, you’ve inspired me after listening to this podcast. We now have a YouTube video and four videos on equity release.
Stuart: Yeah, yes. Take a look. Give me some feedback.
Alex: So that was June 2019. We’re now January 2020. So what six months ago and now I’m seeing the videos that you’re doing now and you’ve got like you see you’re not hiring in a sort of production crew and things like what it looks like.
Stuart: Oh, yeah, we got producers, directors, actors, we’ve got that now. Yeah, you know, I think where we were with the business around June and your podcast on, you know, try it. If it goes badly, that’s good because you learn a lot and the rule and this is exactly what people want to see. So I think to start with Sammy, my office manager and I were at probably a simply biz seminar down in Cornwall somewhere and we were on a break, and we were just playing around with the laptop of mom now actually, and just recording a couple of videos out in the sunshine in their garden, and just talking about equity release and she was interviewing me and we were playing around and they were good enough to release but they kind of inspired me to give it more of a go and then I listened to your podcast and yeah, don’t worry about it. If it’s bad, just start somewhere. So yeah, I went into the office. Did I think about a five-minute video? And it got really good feedback even though it was grainy and wobbly but yeah, that’s where it started. Yeah, June last year.
Alex: Yeah. Wow. Okay. It’s great. I love it because like, well, the thing is with having podcasts you don’t get more ratio of feedback to listeners is very different to anything else. Because like on a podcast, there’s no natural place to comment or anything. People have to take the time out to send you a message. So like when you’re putting videos on YouTube is easy to comment and you put posts on Facebook, it’s easy to come up with a podcast, there’s nowhere to comment. So I only get the old kind of message pin when people do actually reach out and it normally is because they’ve done something so it’s always like, brilliant to hear that something that we’ve done has kind of affected someone else. So it was really.
Stuart: Yeah, no, that’s good. I sent you a quick message to say thanks you’ve inspired me. Yeah, but I watched it and got some feedback on it. And I think the feedback was great. I love what you’re doing not enough people are talking about equity release. Not enough people are trying to educate both clients or potential clients or other introduces as to why it’s good for the older generation, but also why it’s good for other financial services businesses to understand a little bit more about it. And I went online and went on YouTube and there’s no one really being real online about equity release other than being lossy companies who and millions on production or they’ve got their remember to morph Sony heart and all that they.
Alex: Oh yeah.
Stuart: They’ve got those types of videos which are great. So I decided to probably shorten the videos a little bit. Because the feedback was great, I really like what you’re talking about. But it’s too much information in a five-minute video, why not 1-minute videos. So, so yeah, I thought, right, let’s break them down and literally put something out on LinkedIn. were based in Plymouth. So put something on LinkedIn, then you will know any good videographers. And a guy called Luke Strata was recommended a couple of times and he and I met he came in the office and wow, what a setter. I mean, the cost wasn’t too bad at all. But the camera equipment I know you’ve seen it on some of our LinkedIn vids. It looks like yeah, so being in next Hollywood blockbuster, this coffee breaks a lot.
Alex: And if you’re in a restaurant or a cafe and I was at Stewart’s house, and they were at the tables, that’s definitely a restaurant or a cafe or something. I was like, I’m in the wrong game from and if you can get a house like that.
Stuart: Equity release, and you’re fortunate And I know that you know that we’re very near the home, which is the beautiful see parts of glimmer, the office and we go down there for a coffee sometimes and of course we’re OSHA mortgages notion act to release and the cafes overlooks the ocean and you know in my brain it made sense but the cafe owner said yeah, yeah come down for the morning and then you know just to make sure you have some tea coffee and bacon buses and you can have the room for free and you know, he asked me about the buses I’m honest. Luke and I went down there Luke set up first and I came in and oh my god, he has taken over, probably half that blooming cafe. And yeah, it didn’t seem like a great idea at the time I took the dog down and I don’t you’ve seen the first video but the dogs and James Bond villain stroking the dog up on my lap. I read two minutes before the video started to shit right. So in the cafe as yes and customers are coming in for breakfast so yeah. Not quite as glamorous.
Stuart: Oh then a storm came so we were filming with the storm in the background so the beautiful ocean waves were quite as I expected but you know you laminate and you’ve got to do better to do it well.
Alex: Well, that’s brilliant. I love that so much has happened to me so much to actually put you off doing it and make it harder to work with it. Let it go baby is still peeling off and I’ve just found my replies to you because I yeah, I think I said yeah, so one thing I think I said was like, Don’t worry about you don’t need an excuse to make the video I think I was like, I think a lot of people do that they sort of when you’re first doing videos, you feel natural. You need to explain why during the video. Yeah. I remember saying that as well. And then yeah, I think I said splitting it up into smaller, smaller ones.
Stuart: Yeah, great.
Stuart: It was fine because the first step videos were very much okay. The clients out there don’t understand about equity release. So let’s tell them what the process is. Let’s tell them why modern equity release is better than the old equity release. Let’s tell them you know, the interest rates are lower than they’ve ever been. Let’s tell them there’s no negative equity guarantee on just about every product out there. So, you know, there’s a real fear in my world is about equity release. So let’s dispel some of the untruths. Let’s tell people what the process actually is. And let’s try and be a little bit more accessible. There are some really big companies out there doing equity release, you know, you have Vivos, Liverpool, Victoria, and there are some huge broker firms. I think the more local the more family-based business, such as ours is where local older people want to be where they want to be, you know, they want the products they want their people to be from where they’re from, and understand a little bit about them and their world. Does that make sense?
Alex: Yeah, no, that’s exactly what we found when we’ve cuz we’ve run some x release ad campaigns on Facebook. Yeah. We’ve found when we’ve advertised the advisor, rather than a brand, and we’ve made it very personal, they work really well. And the cost per lead is slightly higher than what you typically get with mortgages. Yeah, we brought that down a bit. But the quality when that comes through when we’re advertising the person. What we have found, though, like, you rightly say, a lot of fear, like every ad campaign, we’ve put out, there’ll be loads of people saying this is a scam. Yeah, many of them and we don’t, a lot of our clients aren’t where we’re trying to get. We’re creating written content to dispel the myths but a lot of them don’t want to do video. It would be great if we had with each comment rather than having to hide it. We could put a link out Oh, actually, if you check this, you can see the difference between what you think and what it actually is.
Stuart: Yeah, you know, we played around with some men, we did some Facebook marketing last year and yes, absolutely right. The feedback you get is, you know, it’s quite vitriolic. They don’t hold back. But I was doing it to get that over the phone, but we’ve just experimented with it. And they kept deleting the comments and I’m like, No, no, no, no. If this is the comments we’re getting, we need to address them. So I took over replying to the office as a scam or that you used to get things like oh, my dad took out 70,000 pounds and now he owes 180,000. And I remember one specifically who’d said but you know, you don’t know the backstory, so it could have been his house was repossessed. So we need 70,000 pounds. Therefore 70,000 pounds is a great investment to keep your property or the other thing, and actually, this is what I found now, he has taken it out seven years ago, and the interest rate was 8%. So what actually happened there at the time, it may have been the right thing, but now it’s not that a huge part of our education is well, we need to review it. You know, I was looking at stats the other day, and it’s about 40% of the public are on a standard variable rate for their mortgage for equity release, 92% of the public have never reviewed their rates. Well, that guy went back to and said look really sorry to hear but the interest is accelerated so much more neck to release lets you pay some of the interest, all of the interest and the interest rates start from 2.8%. Why don’t we review that and we reviewed it and got an array of just over 3%? So bring your critics on it. It was brilliant. Because of how many people read that?
Alex: Yeah, fantastic.
Stuart: Yeah, very not so much. And we try to use those case studies because that’s the thing. It’s, you know when we’re talking about rates, when we’re talking about the non-equity release being x, y, and Zed, it doesn’t really mean a lot to people. But when we’re saying this client came to us on an 8% interest rate, we managed to do it for three. This is how much money he saved each month, or this is how much less the interest is accruing by so. So yeah, definitely the case studies would be a tip I’d give any equity release advisors out there, you know, make it real. Use the examples you are doing for clients because that’s what people want to see.
Alex: That’s amazing. I think you may have single-handedly helped, as I was gonna say, millions of people who don’t have lots of light bulbs. Go Often in my brain, I’m sure and you’re on it but I know we get a few people listening to the do equity release as well that are thinking Actually, I can use and you do well that’s made me think of randomly. Have you ever seen suits the
Stuart: Yeah, Meghan Markel and all that.
Alex: Yes. And it just reminded me of Harvey spectre saying when there’s a gun pointed at you, you turn it around and you’ve turned that negative feedback into a positive by going into a colour, no-win situation of someone slagging you off on Facebook, into a new client, you’ve literally acted them, ensure.
Stuart: It’s good to do and you know, it’s quite good for the soul because if you’re putting yourself out there in any context, we started off talking about videos, but this is Facebook advertising yourself out there and people are actually not slacking off your company as such. But then you’re in and you know, my Facebook has got all my friends on my family on and if people are actually seeing The industry I’m in, it’s got a bad reputation, then that tells what I do. So I want people to understand the passion I have for actually getting people to understand that modern equity release actually is a very far cry from where it was five years ago, and actually is the right thing for a lot of people. It’s not the right thing for a lot of people as well. Yes, they need to approach us so that we can, you know, with full integrity, sit down with them and go, actually, it is right for you, or Actually, no, let’s phone your lender and just renegotiate your deal. You know, we’ve done that for a couple of clients where we’ll come into the office, we’ll look at release, and you know, they’re in their late 50s. And I’m like, well, no equity release can’t be right for you at your age, because we don’t want to pay the interest and the amount you’re learning when you get to the age you’re probably going to get to is a huge chunk of the likely value of your property. So let’s speak to your life. And see if they will let you continue on your interest-only mortgage, let’s be about other options for you. And if none of those options work, actually, equity release might be right for you. But it has to be right for the person at the time, the wise people and says, actually, I think equity release might be suitable for you, but in five years, but in five to 10 years, so let’s stay in touch over the next few years and see if your position changes. So I think integrity has to be a huge part of it, which is why we’ve got to get out there and talk to more people.
Alex: Yeah, absolutely. I think just linking this back to video so if I put myself in. So my mom is 70.
Alex: She wasn’t elite mortgage-free debt-free. If she wasn’t, and I am. I worked in a different industry and I didn’t know about equity release, and I didn’t know about any sort of financial services like that. I would be worried about my mom at her age sitting down with any kind of financial advisor without me being there? Yeah, because they watched too much rogue traders and stuff like that and you’re very protective over your parents. So linking this back to Vivio I think the great thing about video for me, if I was looking at it for her, and I saw you doing all these videos and you come across the way you do, I would feel much more confident picking up the phone to you and saying, Can you sit down with my mom and talk to her about it? Because I’ve got to know you a little bit and like you say, integrity, and trust.
Alex: Really, really important for me and I think there’s a lot of people who are like me.
Stuart: I totally agree. And, you know, I can hear myself saying this to clients and I’ve said it’s a mom, dad that five years ago, I wouldn’t have done equity release for my mom and dad. Today without a doubt. In fact, we’re talking about at the moment I would get mum and dad to do it. And if someone can say that they would advise their parents to do something like, I think that’s hugely rare of how they feel about it. And yeah, you’re right that the videos do help because people see you, people get to know you a little bit and it’s only a little bit isn’t it because it’s a one minute, but they see you, they see you with the dog, they see your family business, and that does grow some confidence. And we, you know, but it’s only one part of many, I would say, you know, our reviews are fundamental to us. Both have good reviews and are vouched for and vouch for, I think a brilliant company, who have really helped our business grow with their reviews and the way they do things. I also think if you’re looking for an equity release advisor for your family, or for you, your business to work with Got to be by referral. So who would someone recommend? And you know, are they a good company ethically? And that’s tricky to work out. And are they a member of the equity release council? That’s the one that I would look at, you know, the equity release Council have standards for our industry. If an advisor or a company is part of that to release counsel, actually, they’re taking steps to almost certificate how reliable they are. So yeah, videos are important, Alex, but I think, as a part of several other issues that people should consider.
Alex: Absolutely. Do you think the equity release counts or do enough to make people aware that they as a body should be you know, they are that stamp of authority because you go to a website and you see that there but I think a lot of consumers may not know what that means.
Stuart: Excellent question. I had this conversation with the equity release Council, probably about six months ago, I was in contact with the chairman, the CEO and the marketing department. And it was good. I’d made the videos. And then I thought, well, let’s connect to the risk councils website, see what videos they got? And check. No, no joking at all. I think the most up to date video was from 2016. And maybe 2017. I think they modernized recently and went to the marketing department. I said, Look, I don’t understand. And we are trying to get across to people how modern equity release has changed how the products for everyone out there. But your videos are just not up to date. I’ve made some videos, how about I send them to you. And you have a look, why not use them on your website. And they’ve used to, I should have told you. Sorry, I haven’t told you that.
Alex: I think I mentioned something about the equity release count. So like you said, I got a mention in a blog or something.
Stuart: They put two of the videos on their website and we’ve set up a YouTube channel with all of our videos and they learn this but I completely understand if they can’t be seen to be promoting one company. And you know, my argument to that was no, I don’t want you to. I want you to show the equity release advisers out there, what is possible, you make videos, and make them interesting, make them popular, and we’ll publish yours too. They started off with it’s become my famous video now. It’s the Wendy Bohunan video and it’s a lovely lady from Plymouth who first got in contact with me last year, who and she’d seen an advert I put up a local glossy Plymouth magazine that goes up to about $40,000 And she’d seen it and she saw the family. The family photo as I call it. My wife sent me the office manager and the dog and then said I’ll, you know, bulk bloke with glasses looks like a nice chap. They think I’ll get him around. So I wrote around to see her and she was in a bit of a safe state. That was a horrible phrase, but she was suffering and her son was bringing her food parcels. She told me, she was wearing a 199 Oxfam dress, or someone’s bringing her food parcels each week and a half, pretty dilapidated, and she got a call while I was there, from someone chasing her for money. Fast forward six months. I went to see her just before Christmas, and she was wearing a nice outfit. She now treats herself to Marks and Spencers once a week her son doesn’t bring food parcels. The property has had some improvements and she no longer gets phone calls from people. Because she took out equity release, that is it’s mental health has improved as well, that is a kind of rags to riches story for me because it’s real. And she blesses her. She was recorded by the local paper who got hold of the story and she gave a one-minute explanation of what had happened and it was super Android equity release council saw this and said we want to use that Stuart, it’s, it’s a great story as to how to release can help people in the right situation. So you have to cancel since then. I’ve opened up this to equity release advisors. So if you are an extreme supervisor and produce some good video footage or a good blog, they couldn’t have it on that site. So yeah, a good little tip there.
Alex: Lovely, brilliant. Perfect. So I want to find out the kind of like because you were we’ve been talking off the air, we were kind of mentioning your sort of retail background, and then you’ve done you were sort of your last sort of employee job was with Santander. Is that right?
Stuart: Yeah, that’s right. Yeah. Yeah. I spent seven years straight from uni with deponents. And loved it there. Yeah. through the various management roles. You know that a lot about people and service, then, yeah, just happened to get into banking and was doing branch management and mortgage supervisor roles, regional mortgage manager roles. And, and then actually, I thought I could do this and I could do it as a business and there are so many marketing things that I want to do that a big corporation looks at and goes, it’s not really the brand is not really what we want to do. It’s not really where we want to go and I thought, well, actually, a good friend of mine owned financial investment companies. Short financial planning. And I said to him, Look, you don’t have any mortgages. And I know you don’t want to do mortgages, how about I have a room in your lovely offices, and I start a mortgage company, you helped me by being my supervisor. And then we came from there. And that was, what, two and a half years ago. And last year, it changed and we wanted to rebrand. We felt that we were growing to such a size that we saw the alarm in the background. Really, we thought, yeah, it’s time to go out on our own. I bought his shares off him. Then we rebranded the company in January last year, and have a look back we went directly authorized and the big thing has been all the marketing we do all the branding we do is up to us. We’ve got no one saying oh, no, that’s not what we want to do. That’s not how we want to do it. We would play in our own funnel. And, and that’s really, really how we want to do things. So, yeah, as a great step for me. And as I look back on it, we’re sort of done 10 years before. So yeah.
Alex: Was it scary?
Stuart: Hell yeah. Yeah. Because you go from a decent salary to knowing money is coming in. And I know, a lot of advisors out there. I’ve done similar and it is scary. My wife had to work a lot of hours to pay the bills, and what it’s like there’s a pipeline for business and it takes two-three months to come in. So yeah, the early days were scary. But then we grew as having a reputation. But we started off as a mortgage company, Alex, residential is only and we started getting more and more equity released inquiries, and I’ve done the exams. And I thought I love this. I love how life-changing equity releases. And it’s a booming business. And it’s a niche. So all of those things made me think, actually that’s the direction I want the business to go.
Alex: Yeah, fantastic. And what’s the kind of the plans for the future then are you kind of thinking about this? I’m happy to sort of, as far as we are or want more advisors or you know, want to go national or want to keep it local? what’s kind of in your Have you thought about it? Because we’re sort of about a year over sort of Christmas. I was thinking about the next year, what you know, future and things like that.
Stuart: Yeah, very much. So I think, probably about six months ago. I thought, right. Okay. So, and you notice like you get anyone gets to a stage with a business that actually this business takes over nicely. I do the things that I want, I can pick the kids up, I can drop them at school. I don’t have to work weekends but don’t want to or we can go to the next level. I think because I’ve started collaborating with a lot of businesses around the country. We’ve got some good institutions in London, Oxford, Bournemouth, Basingstoke, new Bri, actually, we want to expand the business. I want to be out there more and meeting new introduces. So we’ve got two new advisors who actually are just going through their CMPA now. They’ve got a week away in Bristol next week doing what the week after, and then they’ve got two months gap, and then they’ve got another week in Southampton. I think the second one is.
Stuart: So yeah, we’ll have three of us advisors, recruiting additional admin, but we want to grow organically. So one of the advisors has been our office manager, so that’s Sammy, and other ones my wife, so it’s still keeping it a very close-knit family business. Because, as I’m sure everyone out there knows, recruitment is really difficult. Getting the right person that fits in your ethos in your model in your business, given the service that you give is very difficult. Whether we go that way in the future, I don’t know. But it’s interesting because I’ve just been working on this in the last couple of weeks. What do we want the business to represent in 2020? Well, we want to continue the education we’re doing around equity release. We want to continue the collaboration we’re doing with Well, we’ve got solicitors, we’ve got accountants, we’ve got mortgage brokers, we’ve even got equity release advisers who don’t really like doing it to lease sending us business and with commission sharing with them. Because you know, if you’ve got a mortgage business and your equity release qualified, but you don’t do many equity releases, it’s difficult to actually sit down with Brian, and go, these are your options because you’re not up to speed with it. It’s fast-moving, so yeah, we’re working with groups like that. And that’s what I want my role to be going forward. But last year, our best things we did were the things where we went to events, we ran events with our introduces with our partners. And I’ll give a couple of examples. So far this year, we’ve got fine dining experience. We’ve got a gin tasting event, and we’re going to horse racing, we’re going to eat now but races and then they help for our partners and are introduced as where we say, thank you. We say thank you for introducing that business to us last year. And don’t forget us this year. Because for us, having fun at work is really important. You know, in the past, I’ve had mental health issues and I’ve struggled getting up. So the balance of business is really important to me. So yeah that’s what 2020 looks like.
Alex: fantastically you have me at gin tasting I am I’m a huge draw to know what my may want to know my knees or regulation is.
Stuart: Come on.
Alex: Find a gene that I like more than sip Smith.
Stuart: What’s it called?
Alex: Sip Smith
Stuart: I’m actually writing this down what flavour?
Alex: Well it’s like a London dry gin. There’s nothing fancy about it.
Alex: Every gin that I try.
Stuart: It’s like it’s good, but it’s not quite. So my solution is to find a gene that I like better than sip Smith.
Alex: Oh, you have to try and then do a lemon drizzle lemonade just have the normal the green one. It’s got a swan on it. I’m on like, it’s one of the gin is on my things like I’m I think I’m known for having beard glasses. Loving and drinking gin is like the key things
Stuart: So I’ve just written down green with swan. So.
Alex: Yeah, I’m after that. Well, if you love Sip Man, then you’d have enjoyed the research that I was doing last week of places in Devon, that have good gin events. And one of them and I’m not making this up, we’ve got the National Marine Aquarium in clover.
Stuart: They got an event coming up in a few Saturdays time called Gins with Finn. I’m honestly not making that up. They somehow have managed to get the National Marine Aquarium and the gym company together, and they didn’t know what to call it. So it’s an evening event where they’ve got a company with several different gyms and obviously the sharks and the various animals they’ve got in the tanks are the fins. So yeah, you might have to come up with four gins with fins, Alex.
Alex: Well, the other thing I love is a good pun. I absolutely love it. So
that sounds like it. My event well it’s a full house.
Alex: Oh, my so I’m gonna touch for a second I’m not gonna pass away this year but my funeral should be called gin’s event.
Stuart: Yeah. People will be pleased to hear we’ve actually decided against that one as Baba has 143 different gins and now teaches you how to make them and part of the event is you get your first three as part of the deal. So yeah, I think we’ve got. I think 12 of our introducers and partners come into that one. So yeah, it’s all part of it. It’s yeah, enjoy business, enjoy collaborating and let’s make up days fun, I think is the key.
Alex: Absolutely. Well, we’ve got a I was just looking at my podcast schedule and there was a guy we recorded with Adam King who, so when yours goes live, his would have already been on the thing he talks about is partnerships. That is massive for him so yeah it just makes sense doesn’t it getting those right partnerships where it’s kind of a win-win for you and for them even like you say people that are qualified in an equity release but do it as an add on?
Stuart: Yeah, absolutely.
Alex: Getting with the right people and yeah, and the thing coming like bringing it back to the video that is building rapport but it’s meeting people in person builds rapport more than ever. Giving them free Jin builds a lot more report is all about for me like relationships are like having a good life. I just think I like doing business with people that I like.
Alex: So and then doing like videos is getting to know them a little bit first, but then that’s why we do our events in peace where I can meet a lot of people that listen to the podcast and things like that, and then that builds our relationship. Even more. And that’s just the same across any business especially I think if you’re giving financial advice.
Stuart: It is a nail on the head, I think. Yeah, the videos when we started them in June and then through July and August, we released one a week of a series of educational ones and the ones we just started releasing all the why, as a sister, accountant, mortgage broker, etc. Should you work with us? So yeah, the second one will come out this week, and then we’re doing them weekly. But the last set of videos, actually, yeah, you’ve just made me think of a guy contacted me on LinkedIn and said, I want to collaborate with you. You know, you could really do a lot of equity release. You see a lot of clients. I haven’t got the confidence to do it at the moment. So yeah, can you see my client will like I’m sending them completed on Monday, the client completed on Monday and I’m sending him a check for just over 6,000 pounds this week, but actually check is so 1980s However I send him the funds as soon as I received them. So yeah, that the collaboration thing can be lucrative and he hasn’t done any of the work or taken any of the risks on that, other than he has a good relationship with the client who now has helped her three daughters out one was struggling with our business one was struggling to pay a mortgage. And the third one was just delighted that her two sisters were struggling. Now she wasn’t obvious but the other way we’ll be fair to divide the money equally three ways. So the third child got the same as the two others who really needed it. So yeah, it’s a good story about how videos can lead to increased collaboration and how that can help a business because how does that guy who sent the client to me know how does his client feel about him now that we’ve helped her solve a problem. Exactly.
Stuart: Exactly. Thank you so much for introducing me to Stuart. Exactly. It’s brilliant. It is like it is a win-win. And so yeah, no, I think we spend a lot of time naturally in our businesses thinking I want to find new business myself, and when I’m on a market myself, just to get new business, but actually marketing to get collaborators and partnerships as well is, you know, coming massively.
Stuart: Yeah, yeah. And it’s something that I cottoned on to later on last year because any marketing you do for clients is actually hard work. And it needs to be very consistent. You need to do a lot of it. And finding the right niche is really tricky. Whether that is you know, because obviously, my niche is, well, probably age 65 to 75 owns my own property. But has a need for a lump sum or income, whether that be to improve their lives, whether it be to invite them, improve their family’s lives, whether that be to reduce their inheritance tax liability, and they’re perhaps not easy niches to find in a marketing campaign. But when you’re collaborating with people who, you know will write as, as an example, whether they’re a solicitor or just a will writer firm, one of the questions they ask someone when they’re writing Well, do you own your own property? Oh, yes. And we’re writers that say to me that the phrase we hear most is where asset rich but cash poor. And, you know, I know someone who may be able to help you with that. Let me introduce you to Stuart. And he can talk to you about being asset rich and a little bit less cash poor. So yeah, it’s those collaborations and when someone finds a client for you, the relationship is virtually almost there.
Alex: Yeah, exactly.
Stuart: Whereas when you find the client, you have to build the relationship. So yeah, the collaboration pieces are where the future is Alex? It really is. That’s a huge part of our business for 2020. And I would suggest for people out there, it should be part of this.
Alex: You’ve been dropping value bombs all the way through this Stuart. Exactly. We’ve needed for 40 minutes. I can’t believe it.
Alex: This is what I love. So the podcast, but amazing is nearly when it will be a year old by the time we published this.
Alex: We would have only had this conversation if I had started it. And what I love about talking to advisors is that I learn more from your perspective as well. But yes, you know, we only generally only do the marketing stuff we don’t deal with the end consumer. So for me, I get loads of different ideas from, from having people like yourself on. So I’ve really enjoyed chatting with you. I love your enthusiasm for everything. It’s really refreshing. Is there anything we haven’t talked about? That could help anyone listening? Do you think?
Stuart: Yeah, the only thing that I think that I was thinking about? Obviously you, you invited me to this last week and I’m thinking about well if I was listening to a podcast, what would I want to hear that we focused a lot on video and I think the video is, is kind of the symbol of what we as advisors need to do. And what I mean by that is, the video was try something outside of your box, or something out of your comfort zone. Well, in the last six months, I’ve been trying things out of my comfort zone, and things like contacting that journalist in the Daily Mail, who’s done an article about your industry and saying really interested in your article? A couple of things that disagree with that data? How about you ask me for a comment next time. I’m going to the local press and saying, Okay, what do your readers know about equity release? What do they know about investments? Whatever your niche is, what do they know? They will try to get you to do an advertorial and pay for it. But yeah, maybe that’s the right thing for you to do. That morial is how I’ve grown my business in Plymouth. I think my advertorial now a lot of the local newspapers are online as well. And one of the 2400 videos that I referenced earlier on that got over 6000 hits from people online. So yeah, it’s trying things that are a little bit different, be open to ideas. The last one I’ll say is next Saturday, I think it’s the 25th we’ve got an advertorial appearing in The National paper in the times and national paper, and I would never have considered going national, even a year ago. But the company phoned me up. And obviously, it’s a selling space advertising marketing company to say, you know, we’ve got a quarter-page advertorial. It’s 8000 pounds. Okay, can I have two? No, no, no way. As you know, I’m a small business. There’s no way we can afford anything like that. But I’m interested in the concept, talk to me about it. And he sent me the article. I hadn’t looked at it. And then I said, 8000 ridiculous. And you had three and a half thousand. I said, Wow, there’s a discount for you. And I said I’m really interested, when’s the deadline? And he told me when the deadline was and I said, Well, I need to have a think about it. I need to have a chat with the directors on their new director. I need to have a think about it. And he came back to me: The date for deadlines ledger What are your thoughts? I said I want to do that. But what’s your very best price? 1500 pounds we’re going to 1.2 million homes I’m really scared now Alex. NET today because we were just trying things a little bit out of the box. We’re prepared to negotiate, we want to build relationships. He wants us to advertise in the future. And I think Yeah, what’s a 8,000, 1500 pound discount that’s a pretty good discount so if you’re out there and dealing with agencies and papers, kids sticking to your guns negotiate to be a bit cheeky and wow, you can find yourself in positions you possibly think it would be.
Alex: That’s fantastic, or you will have to let me know how that goes on LinkedIn because I will. I’ll add it to the outro of because it will be by the time we get this published so that all you’ll kind of know what’s happened with our
Stuart: Yes, yeah.
Alex: We’ll do it with a bit of time travelling. Stuart this has blown me away genuinely, the amount of value you’ve given. I’m really excited to get this live and share it with everyone. And it’s been great to hear what 2019 has been viewed and I’m really excited to like, I don’t want to wish my time away but I’m really excited to see where you are this time next year.
Alex: Yeah, no it’s gonna be exciting in May and yeah, I really appreciate you. You asked me to come on this because the value bombs thing I’ve never even heard of. But yeah, I like coming up with new ways of doing things. And I really enjoy sharing those ideas. Because, you know, we know active release advisors in this country is my enemy or my competition. The enemy in the competition is people who are saying that equity release isn’t right for people and by us why it’s right for people and as educated people, we will you know, what is that lovely phrase? A rising tide lifts all ships. And that is what we’re trying to do here.
Alex: Fantastic. Love it. Love it so much. So awesome way to end this, Stuart. I really appreciate your time. Let’s definitely do this again next year if not in kind of six months.
Alex: All right, Stuart. Thanks again.
Stuart: Yeah, all right. Thanks again, mate.
Alex: There we have it. That was my chat with Stuart, an absolutely great guy. He’s the first equity release advisor to be featured on my new podcast, the equity release podcast, which will be out now as well. It’s kind of out I’m recording this on the week of it launching. So by the time this is live, it will definitely be out. So check that out if you haven’t already. And I will see you next time. And in fact, I’m recording this a bit early. And I’m a little bit worried about the outbreak of the coronavirus kind of outbreak affecting a lot of events. So as I record this now, our event is going ahead. And this should be published on the 23rd a couple of days before our event. So hopefully fingers crossed touchwood I’ll see you in a couple of days if you come in. If, if it’s not happening, and I haven’t had the chance to re-edit this podcast episode, that’s a bit confusing but hopefully I will be seeing you in a couple of days. See you there.