The Barbed Wire in our Mind

It may seem that applicants have to chew through barbed wire to get a reverse mortgage. But is that truly the case or the mindset we pass on to potential borrowers? Perhaps the biggest hurdle is the barbed wire we’ve erected in our own mind.

The truth is that our habitual language and attitude will eventually find its way into our communication with older homeowners. Language that erects barriers, instills fear, or increase anxiety is not only counterproductive, but it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Perhaps you’ve avoided this trap, but being mindful of our attitude’s influence in our sales is worthy of our attention.

Here are some points to ponder:

  • Make peace with the fact that the HECM is more difficult today for older homeowners to qualify for, however…
  • Over 10,000 people turn 65 each day
  • Interest rates remain relatively low
  • Home values have rebounded and remain relatively stable
  • Many still need retirement income solutions in their non-working years

Acceptance is the first step. Until we make peace with today’s lending environment our mental energy will be sapped hindering our sales effectiveness. So you’ve made peace with our present reality. What can be done to help increase the number of loans you close each month? Here are some ideas.

  • Relook your marketing approach. If it’s the same message as everyone else, good luck. You’re just another color in the rainbow. Seek ways to be unique while being compliant with your lender.
  • Turn hurdles such as the financial assessment and 2nd appraisal into part of the reverse mortgage process. Even better, as protection against defaulting on the loan or preserving equity.
  • Become ‘the’ authority on all things reverse mortgage by speaking on local radio shows, your city’s affiliate TV station or contributing columns or quote in your regional newspaper. In a field of competitors, homeowners tend to gravitate toward the local authority.
  • Go back to your old leads in your CRM or database. If you don’t use a CRM, get one (such as Sales Engine) and input your old leads. Even today loan officers are closing 1-2 loans each month from aged leads. Why? Because everyone’s situation changes. The bigger your database, the more loans you can potentially close.
  • Consider offering local seminars at a low cost. Find creative ways to advertise to local senior homeowners. One title that worked well for me was ‘The Truth About Reverse Mortgages’. Partner with a trusted financial advisor or attorney to add even more credibility.

The constraints of our market provide an opportunity for innovation. Try some of these ideas in your daily business activities and most importantly, accept what you cannot control, and focus on what you do influence; your activities.


Owen Coyle January 29, 2019 at 5:32 am

Hi Shannon, this is one of the best articles you have ever written. This is excellent information. I will keep this in my “Good Articles File”.

Carl Self January 29, 2019 at 7:17 am

Shannon, I love to do seminars and teach. The question is how do I reach out to and get these classes filled? that is the toughest part. Any help or ideas would be great.


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