Enthusiastic, friendly and brimming with customer care experience, Sue Eastham has a passion for helping people, in whatever way possible.
In just one short year as an independent Equity Release Supermarket adviser, she has established herself as a firm favourite amongst her clients - and a beloved member of our team.
To find out more about Sue’s journey to becoming an equity release adviser and her first year in the industry, continue reading, below.
My financial career started in the car and finance industry, working for prestige brands such as Land Rover and Audi. For many years, I worked with clients on a face-to-face basis, accruing knowledge and experience that still serves me to this day.
However, my career then took a somewhat unorthodox turn; I bought a beauty salon. For nine years, I successfully ran every aspect of the business – from bookkeeping to organising appointments – further honing my skillset. I just loved working in customer care.
Even after I relinquished ownership, I continued to work in the salon for four more years, happy to follow my passion for helping people.
At first glance, the jump from beauty salon to equity release seems like a drastic change. Yet, Mark Gregory, founder and CEO of Equity Release Supermarket, opened my eyes to their similarities.
I had already known Mark for several years beforehand, and his passion and commitment to changing the equity release market was renowned. It was his belief that clients should always be the number one priority, however, that really struck a chord with me.
All my years prior had been spent going that little extra mile for people, genuinely caring and listening to their needs. Mark showed me that I could continue this rewarding line of work with equity release, helping people to achieve their retirement dreams.
Once I had my heart set on a career in equity release, my next step was to complete the appropriate qualifications – which was easier said than done.
Yet, I persevered. My time at home was spent getting to grips with the finer details of equity release, including financial ethics, interest rates and repayment terms. Only after seemingly endless hours of revision was I able to pass each of my exams and emerge as a fully qualified equity release adviser.
But my learning didn’t stop there. The equity release industry moves at such a fast pace that it’s imperative to keep up to date with new policies, trends and news articles.
My day to day
Fully qualified and inspired to make a difference, I couldn’t wait to start my first year in equity release.
Quite quickly, I found that the majority of my clients were asset rich and cash poor. In other words, they had the wealth but didn’t know how to access it. As a result, they wanted to release funds for life’s essentials (that they otherwise couldn’t afford), including paying off interest-only mortgages, clearing debts and making home improvements.
For me, helping my clients achieve those goals was (and still is) an absolute pleasure. From the initial point of contact to completion, I was with them every step of the equity release application, guiding and advising them to the best of my expertise. In fact, by the end of the process, we had spent so much time together that saying goodbye was usually the hardest part!
One of the great things about working at ERS is that we have ongoing development as part of the in-house Training Academy and of course we also have the support of the wider Equity Release Supermarket team.
Everyone has been so welcoming, offering tips and advice on how I can help my clients further. It’s almost like one big family – full of real people, not ‘salespeople’ - and I’m so incredibly proud to be a part of it.
Even in just my first year, I have seen the equity release industry go from strength to strength. Equity Release Supermarket, in particular, have taken great strides with technology, changing the way the sector engages with customers to meet demand.
And, while these changes are exciting for us advisers, it is our clients who stand to benefit the most. The likes of low interest rates, more diverse equity release features and better press coverage will only make it easier to achieve their financial dreams in retirement.
Furthermore, while the industry may have a reputation for being very male-biased, more women, like myself, are becoming advisers. Equity Release Supermarket are certainly doing their part to help this cause, creating equal opportunities for all to succeed, regardless of gender.
Personally, I can’t wait to see what my second year in the industry holds – both for me and my clients.
To find out how equity release can help you in retirement, contact the Equity Release Supermarket team on 0800 802 1051 or email [email protected], for a free consultation.