Having worked in the equity release sector for more than 20 years, Derek Wren knows a thing or two about ensuring a comfortable retirement.
His current role, as an Independent Equity Release Adviser for Equity Release Supermarket, sees him helping over-55s across the country achieve their retirement dreams.
From his Surrey base, Derek has a flexible work schedule (something which bodes well, given the current coronavirus outbreak) and is continuing to fulfil his client appointments – albeit with a few precautions in place.
Continue reading, below, to find out how a typical day in the life of an equity release adviser has been affected, in Derek’s own words.
Morning: Getting ready for the day
Despite the disruption caused by coronavirus, I still think it is important to implement a routine. For me, that means setting my alarm for 6:30am and taking my dogs for a (usually) wet walk around Reigate.
Once the dogs are settled and I’ve changed into my work clothes, I’m at my desk for about 7:30am, ready to sort out the all-important admin for the day. This involves catching up on emails, following up on new client leads and preparing paperwork for client appointments.
Before I know it, it’s time for the newly amended version of the school run; getting my son and daughter ready for a day of home schooling which is shared between myself and my wife, who as a key worker still has to go out to work several days a week. Juggling this with our work can prove a tricky task but most days I aim to have the children started on their school work so that I’m back at my desk for about 9am. They know that either myself or my wife will be regularly checking in with them across the day to keep them motivated – and ensure there is no skiving! - as we all adjust to this period of change.
I fill the rest of my morning with writing up reports, calls to prospective clients and any admin I missed earlier. At the very least, I ensure that I’ve contacted any new client enquiries in my inbox as a priority.
This helps to free up valuable time and get me ready for any afternoon appointments by phone.
Afternoon: On the phone
With ‘social-distancing’ restrictions in place, I now chat to potential equity release customers over the phone about their financial situation – and this means I get to save time commuting. However, one aspect of my work life has stayed the same; I still rarely have time for a relaxing lunch break!
Thankfully, a (not so) healthy helping of bourbon biscuits keep me going in between client calls, filling the time I would have usually spent driving. Otherwise, it’s business as usual and I treat these phone calls as I would a face-to-face meeting.
When I do get on the phone to a client, our conversation starts with the reasons why they are interested in releasing equity. This varies from person to person, with some eyeing up holidays and home improvements, while others just want a more comfortable retirement. I’m also there to answer any financial queries, like repayment terms and mortgage loan lengths.
Regardless of the outcome of our discussions, I want to leave the client informed, comfortable and ready for the next stage of their lives.
Evening: The final stretch
Even when I’ve crossed off all the phone appointments in my diary, there remains the task of going over any missed emails, writing up reports on the day’s conversations and arranging appointments for the following day. Typically, I’m still working in my home office until at least 6pm or 7pm.
The rest of the evening is mine to spend as I please. This means a quick walk around the garden with the dogs, followed by a nice family dinner. To finally wind down, I like to read bedtime stories to my children before sitting down to watch TV with my wife– which usually lasts about 15 minutes before we are both sound asleep!
It’s a rewarding job and, even in light of the recent coronavirus pandemic, my schedule is still jam-packed. Whether I’m on the phone these days or when I was on the road before the current restrictions, I always enjoy getting up in the morning to do my best work for our equity release customers.
To find out how releasing equity can bolster your retirement funds, contact the Equity Release Supermarket team on 0800 802 1051 or email [email protected], for a free consultation.