Habits, brand, and relationships
If there’s one-word many mortgage professionals use to describe today’s market it’s ‘brutal’. Not surprising considering that the Federal Reserve set the mortgage and housing markets on its heels with a series of interest rate hikes- the most rapid rate hikes in the central bank’s history.
We’ve seen the attrition and you’ve felt the impact firsthand. Fewer qualified borrowers thanks to lower PLFs due to higher rates, and softening home values. And while the promise of the reverse mortgage in the long term remains, the nagging question is what can reverse mortgage professionals do today to survive these lean times?
The Stratmor Group cited three ways an originator may bolster their business during an adverse market. We dive in a bit deeper with the specifics of focusing on good habits, relationship building, and developing a personal brand.
Just as a good diet and exercise help are essential for good health, good origination habits are crucial. Here are just a few.
- Mine your database…every day. Look for potential borrowers from your previous contacts. Many or even most may not qualify or have interest in a reverse mortgage but a few may.
- Schedule regular phone calls to update applicants on the status of their loan. Let them know which days you will be calling. Emails are great but may be overlooked or deleted. Make the personal touch and you increase the likelihood of future referrals.
- Get on the phone. Don’t think a mere email will bring you the results a phone call would. Set a goal for how many outgoing sales calls to make daily.
- Use Loom screen casting to explain the HECM proposal packet you send. Please don’t leave them to sift through a mountain of confusing numbers. Make it a no-assembly-required communication.
- Utilize Zoom instead of a phone call whenever possible. Seeing each other helps make a better personal connection than a phone call.
Homeowners are buying you more than they are a reverse mortgage. Your long-term success depends on your personal brand. Here are a few ways to brand yourself as the ‘go-to’ reverse mortgage pro in your market.
- Offer free online webinars for both originators and professionals as Loren Riddick recommended in his recent HECMWorld interview. Let your knowledge shine and build credibility. Seeing and hearing you will help cement that you’re the reverse mortgage person they should seek out.
- Keep your promises. Return phone calls when promised and stay in touch. Your word is your bond and impacts your brand and reputation.
- Invite your clients to give you a Google review. Visitors who see your 5-star ratings will see your brand as the reverse mortgage originator who gets loans done right.
There’s simply no substitute for meeting people and making friends. After all, people do business with those they like and trust. This can be accomplished in a number of ways.
- Review your referral partners and area professionals in your database. When was the last time you emailed them or made a connection?
- Schedule a time to meet for a cup of coffee or lunch.
- Find how you can participate and bring value to their clientele. Is it education via webinars? Providing educational materials?
- Call at least one or more area professionals each weekday.
- Send thank you cards after your first in-person meeting. That first impression goes a long way.
- Join a local group such as NAIFA, the FPA, the Chamber of Commerce, or anywhere your ideal referral partners congregate. Be part of the group, make connections, and most importantly, contribute!
There’s no silver bullet for making it in a tough mortgage market but there are a number of proven strategies that will help you attract more qualified homeowners and build long-lasting relationships with area professionals that will serve you both now and for years to come.