According to Age UK’s 2018 fact find, there were 11.8 million people aged 65 or over in the UK and 1.6 million people aged 85 or over. Over half a million people were aged 90 and over (70% of whom were women) and there were 14,570 centenarians, a 65% increase over the last decade.
As life expectancy increases, later life lending becomes a growing market. There is a large part of the population in their seventies or eighties who want to know how they can borrow money or access money from their house. Lenders are reacting to this increased demand by placing a greater number of later life products on the market.
But what is the best way to market this type of lending?
Clearly outline what it is
It’s important to make it clear to the customer exactly what later life lending is. Show the sort of opportunities it can create for older people who want to release equity in their homes or take out a new mortgage. It’s your role to demonstrate the possibilities, whether that’s:
Securing a mortgage to fund improvements on their current home, so they can stay in their own home for longer
Purchasing a new property in which to spend their retirement, in the UK or abroad
Supporting younger family members, by helping them get onto the housing ladder or with university fees etc.
Freeing up some cash in order to enjoy their retirement or to pay for a special holiday with all their family
Arranging a remortgage if they have a maturing interest-only mortgage
Funding care home costs, paying medical bills, or legal fees
Explain how it is more than just equity release or a lifetime mortgage. Given that, in the past, equity release has suffered from a less than positive image, it may be worth addressing any misconceptions or showing how the later life lending market has changed.
Highlight, however, that later life lending is not right for everyone and that you will assess each situation carefully, on a case by case basis. Emphasise your specialist expertise and mention how your relationship with niche providers enables you to offer bespoke solutions for that age range.
Think about case studies you can include where later life lending has helped individuals and instances where you've not recommended it as an option. This will help your audience identify what is right for them.
Who are you talking to?
Think carefully about who your audience is and make sure you are targeting your marketing material accordingly. You could be speaking to the older generation themselves or it could be their grown-up children who are looking into it as an option for their parents if they are not in a position to do the research themselves.
A specific website page
Think about having a dedicated page on your website for later life lending. This will position you as an expert and highlight your authority in a complex field. It also gives you a useful place to host any guides, videos and case studies as an ongoing reference point.
The buyer’s journey
It’s also worth considering what stage of the decision making process your prospective customer is at. This is known as ‘the buyer’s journey’ and will influence what material the person will be most receptive to.
At the awareness stage, they will be at the early stage of the process so will be gathering information. At this point, videos, blog posts, social media posts, infographics and quizzes all work well. You could run a mini Q and A session:
can I borrow at the age of 70?
how do I get money out of my house to pay for my care costs?
You’re positioning yourself as an expert without overtly selling.
Next comes the consideration stage. Your prospect is beginning to actively consider what options are available. Newsletters, events, whitepapers or webinars can all play a useful role here. You could have an informative guide, available as a download from a landing page. By asking prospects to give their contact details to obtain the guide, you will get a ready source of contacts for the future.
Finally, your prospect will come to the decision stage. This is where you need to get them to choose you as their provider of choice. Case studies, testimonials, information about pricing and free consultations will all help convert them.