An old adage goes: ‘inspiration comes in many forms’. For Adam Price, the arrival of his first born child catalysed his decision to leave his nine to five banking role to create VouchedFor.
“I know it sounds a bit mushy but it did motivate me and made me think ‘what will I want to be able to tell my son about what do when he is older?’” he said
Heralded as the TripAdvisor for financial and legal professionals, the business uses a database of more than 35,000 vetted client reviews to match consumers with the ideal financial or legal professional.
Mr Price said that the company implements a rigorous framework to weed out inauthentic reviews and spam.
He said: “For every single review, we make the adviser attest to the fact that it is a genuine client. They can’t read the review at that time but they can see the email address. If we spot anything suspicious, we would do a manual investigation which involves calling up the adviser and client.”
Last summer, the company caused furore among a number of disgruntled advisers by upping the cost of validated leads from £25 to £39, £55 to £69, £75 to £109 and £99 to £129 for advisers with a minimum criteria of ‘any level of wealth’: £50,000, £100,000 and £250,000 upward respectively.
Mr Price said: “We know that advisers want as many quality leads as possible so we looked to introduce questions and filters for consumers as they go through the process of contacting an adviser.
“What we have done with the price increases is introduce more questions for the clients to answer. They can opt against answering those additional questions clients can choose to answer or not.”
Every validated lead provides advisers with the telephone number of the customer - which has been checked and verified. VouchedFor refunds advisers who are unable to contact the lead after three attempts.
Advisers are charged extra for a qualified lead – defined as those in which the consumer has answered all of the optional questions.
“Not only would the adviser be able to contact the person but that person will met their wealth level and will require the services that they offer,” Mr Price said.
The company offers three membership packages to adviser. The first is a stripped back service which comes at no cost to the adviser. It allows advisers to have a profile devoid of their contact details on the website.
The second, labelled the lite plan comes with a fixed fee of £45 per month, plus VAT. The price includes client reviews, a VouchedFor badge for advisers to promote on their website and the opportunity to qualify to appear on newspaper listings.
Thirdly, the pro plan includes the features of both plans but also provides advisers with the additional functionality of being able to purchase leads.
A great number of industry experts predicted that there would be a proliferation in the number of advisers operating on the restricted model following the heightened regulatory burden introduced in the RDR.