Meet the broker… Release Freedom

Meet Simon Bridgland of Release Freedom

Tell us about your business?

Having been working as an advisor for over 20 years in a typically generalist role, with the odd specialism thrown in for good measure.

I became disenchanted with what was expected of me from the institutions I worked for, so I decided to set up on my own and Release Freedom was born a little over two years ago to specialise in mortgages and equity release.

I wanted to work remotely without the physical boundaries usually imposed by car or patch. Working with my network as an AR means I can do this with the valuable support they give with matters such as compliance.

Where are you based and where do you operate geographically?

I had been working from an office in a warehouse which I also ran a couple of other businesses from, however with Covid happening I had to dramatically change my businesses structure and now work closer to home.

The benefit of technology means that like most advisers I can work anywhere. Of course, I still conduct face-to-face meetings in the traditional sense, but many meetings are also via Teams and the like.

What are the main issues impacting your local market?

Nothing too dissimilar to other advisers; lack of housing stock, rapidly changing interest rates, the odd thuggish estate agent. In Kent, however, there has been a sizable lump of the DFL client (down from London). Fab new! Large pockets, large deposits. However, it does mean that locally we now have hotspots where existing residents are finding it very difficult to compete when making purchases, especially for those on the lower rungs of the ladder.

What challenges are you facing as a broker?

For me it’s self-promotion. Release Freedom is a fairly new company and so didn’t have a client bank to work from, Sure old clients track me down, but I need to grow. It’s a given that online tools such as Linkedin and Facebook are there and I have been using them with a little success, but I’ve been looking at other methods of promoting the business and have found consumer websites such as VouchedFor to be really beneficial.

What are the main opportunities for brokers in your area and nationally?

Raising their standards. Myself and an ex-colleague whose career has taken a similar trajectory as mine and who works in the same geographical area have both found we gain a considerable amount of business from advisers who are providing poor levels of service.

Fairly often, I hear potential clients saying how dissatisfied they have been with advisers they have used for years before and how advisers are seemingly cherry-picking clients.

So I think if advisers were to simply deal with the case in front of them with the same care and attention as one of their preferred type of cases then reputationally and financially they would benefit. Not to mention the benefits to the clients. 

What could lenders do to help further your business?

Promotion, which creates a better understanding in the client’s mind. One of my main points of focus has been to grow the equity release side of the business, however many people in the UK still regard equity release as something to avoid, mainly due to a lack of understanding of the products or fear from stories from the past. Create promotions that help the public engage with it, not fear it.

What sets you apart from the competition?

I make no false promises, speak the truth, good or bad. Clients also tell me they like the fact they can call me anytime, including out of office hours.

How should potential borrowers contact you?

Call me, use the contact us pages on the website or message me through Facebook or LinkedIn

01227 730800


[email protected]