Friend of mine, friend of ours

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Who you know matters…

Do you ever feel like you’re on an episode of Lost, marooned on an island? Perhaps you find yourself alone most workdays in your office wondering how to attract more potential borrowers while lamenting the fact that fewer applicants may qualify. If so, you’re not alone and most importantly don’t beat yourself up. Instead get out and get connected. I recall one of my favorite scenes from the film Donnie Brasco where Al Pacino introduces Johnny Depp as ‘a friend of mine‘ versus ‘a friend of ours’. What’s the difference? A friend of ours is a made guy…part of the club, a trusted member of the group. A friend of mine has not been vouched for and is not privy to the real goings on of the group.

I was reminded of the power of networking after recently joining a…
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John A. Smaldone March 30, 2018 at 12:18 pm


You are absolutely right! Network, meet new people, take part in community functions.

Another good suggestion is see if your county has a department on aging, see if they would be interested in doing a joint educational work shop on reverse mortgages in the community. They work, not only that have an “Elder Law attorney” present as a guest speaker to answer questions!

We have many opportunities out there, we need to get beyond October 2nd and FA!

We have more equity in the hands of senior homeowners than ever before and we have a record number of senior homeowners period in the market place!

Go out there and get them, we can make 2018 a terrific year!

John A. Smaldone

The Positive Realist March 30, 2018 at 11:10 pm


Right now demand is in the air, not in the fields waiting to be plucked. So with limited demand for a high cost Saver (or at least that is what it feels like), encouraging our originating friends that “the fields are white ready for harvest” can lead to a lot of poor decisions including incurring marketing costs when that same expense might be more productively incurred at some future date when demand will make that spending not just a hope for a return of the monies spent but real profit.

So while I appreciate hope, wasting it on a year when the promise of endorsement increase is so low, putting those same marketing dollars to work near the end of this year or in the first part of next year seems far more appropriate.

This is the year to gain influence as a HECM authority, reach out to more referral sources, and
make strong marketing plans when demand once again begins to surge at least stronger than it is right now.

Demand through January 2018 is the worst that it has been since 2004. HUD should be releasing endorsement totals for March 2018 before this reply is posted. Within two weeks HUD should post case number assignment totals for February 2018. Both of those numbers we help form a better picture of how the remainder of 2018 will be through the start of July 2018.

Now is not the time to act but delay until a better picture is formed of the short-term future.

The Positive Realist March 30, 2018 at 11:50 pm

I am far less enthusiastic about networking groups than Shannon. That is in part because I live in the high cost area of Southern California. It is also an area of the country where networking groups are not just mature but many have become very stringent on new member qualifications. Some even charge outlandish monthly and annual fees. Many of the networking groups in this area are very successful BUT they are also almost franchises for their founders with the founders making comfortable livings by running monthly meetings for a couple of dozen of the monthly meetings of the groups they found.

One member of a well established and highly prized networking group invited my wife to join the group and even though our branch had an A plus rating from the BBB and she had a strong college record, she had to 1) complete an extensive application process, 2) go through careful vetting that included interviews with the members of the membership committee, 3) agree to pay what seemed like exorbitant monthly fees only to be turned down because they already had a forward mortgage originator who also served on the membership committee and fought to keep out competitors including every other reverse mortgage originator who had ever applied.

Yet there are other groups to join. A large percentage permit outside speakers to educate their members. Normally the time permitted in this regard is short. I knew a marketing individual for an imaging company on wheels that had learned to educate and use surveys to get leads. For three months his employer allowed me to travel with my friend and I saw him modify his presentation to the time he was permitted. His was a great speaker and the imaging company increased their revenues by over 50% due to his efforts. Previously the company owner had made these speeches but with much less success.


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