Adviser matching service Unbiased is looking to help advisers promote remote advice, grow their businesses and boost their online presence through its updated subscription range.
The body unveiled the overhaul today (July 13), offering advisers four subscription options — simple, essential, growth and enterprise — which would be suitable for firms at different stages of their development.
‘Simple’, at £29 per month, is a “low cost plan” which allows advisers to use the Unbiased site and manage their enquiries while the £49 per month ‘essential’ option lets firms receive client enquiries customised to their preferences and business goals.
The options mirror what used to be Unbiased’s ‘plus’ and ‘lite’ options and come after Unbiased wrote to advisers last week to inform them it was to shake up its subscription options to offer them “greater choice and flexibility”.
Under the new arrangement advice firms can also pay £69 for an enhanced ‘growth’ package, which offers unlimited customised enquiries and marketing across multiple locations to support “rapid growth”.
A bespoke plan, the price of which is decided on application, is also available through Unbiased’s ‘enterprise’ option and is suitable for larger firms building a nationwide presence.
Enquiries across all plans still cost £45 and advisers can move between the four levels when suitable for their business.
The changes come as Unbiased found some 86 per cent of advisers would continue to make remote advice available for clients who wanted it while nearly a third (31 per cent) believed remote advice had actively improved their service.
Unbiased stated: “A key benefit of all the plans is a range of features designed to facilitate online promotion and remote advice, which has become paramount following the Covid-19 lockdown.
“Firms with proactive growth strategies have a choice of plans with additional powerful marketing tools.”
Advisers currently using the Unbiased service have the option to switch to the new suite or stay on their existing plan, while new or returning sign-ups will only be offered the new range.
Karen Barrett, chief executive, said: “Over the years we’ve seen huge changes in how people find the advice they need...but no-one imagined that things would change as dramatically as they have this year.
“Advisers who only ever worked face-to-face, or found clients offline, have had to rethink their whole approach. But although we couldn’t predict the present crisis, our work up to this point has prepared our advisers better than we could have hoped.”
This is the second subscription shake up over the last year. In 2019 Unbiased increased the price paid by advisers for enquiries through its online directory, warning it could no longer absorb the "steadily increasing" cost of delivering the service itself.
At the same time it halved the time advisers could use their enquiry credits on its online directory to an expiration date of six months.
But the changes were not well received by some advisers who felt Unbiased's matching service favoured those who were quickest to respond to enquiries, rather than those best suited to the client's needs.