6 Ways They’re Sizing You Up

Your potential borrowers are unwittingly using the same methods law enforcement has to determine if they should do business with you!


John A. Smaldone January 31, 2020 at 9:53 am


How very important everything you outlined today was! Every point was right on track. I say pretty much the same thing all the time, you may have seen some of my comments in the RMD, I say much of what you just outlined.

I hope many are viewing this broadcast, especially new people entering into our industry. It is our seniors that suffer the most Shannon, when originators don’t follow your 6 steps to success!

In today’s HECM world, getting the best and in depth training is so important. Companies must realize today that they have to have initial and on going training and educational programs for their originators, programs like you have at your own shop!

You hit on passion and being in this business for the right reason, this I think is paramount, if the originator does not have the passion for our seniors and looks at a transaction only through how much they can make off a deal, it becomes a dangerous and sad situation for our seniors who come in contact with those originators!

Thanks for your broadcast today Shannon, very well done,

John A. Smaldone

Shannon Hicks January 31, 2020 at 1:08 pm

Thank you John. How we are perceived sets the stage for everything that follows. As Yogi Berra said, “one can see a lot by watching”.

Mitch January 31, 2020 at 10:28 am

I think we as professionals have one major flaw in what we do and that is do we videotape our presentation? What I mean is do we practice our presentation with a colleague or with a friend? It is really an eye-opener to see the facial expressions, our posture and the tone of our voice when we are in front of a prospective borrower. Those 6 points you talked about from the book “Sizing People up” and practicing our presentation, will set us apart from the average product salesman loan officer. Thanks, Shannon.

Shannon Hicks January 31, 2020 at 1:07 pm

Thank you Mitch. You have an excellent point on watching ourselves present and finding where we can improve.

James E. Veale, CPA, MBT February 3, 2020 at 1:47 am

When I first tried to watch the video, the presentation lasted 1 minute and seven seconds before shutting down. The topic was so intriguing that I had started taking notes. So when it didn’t work I emailed Shannone. Waiting for the fix was worth it. Now let us look at Shannon’s presentation and our reactions to it.l

I am not so sure that looking at videos of our own presentations is all that helpful. I had a boss who always said that you did not need to tell HIM what was wrong with him, he knew far more what was wrong with him than we ever will.

Sometimes it is better to learn to listen to others about our presentations than to be so subjective and introspective about them. I am a numbers guy so when I started making HECM presentations I did it the same way I would present something to my tax staff at my CPA firm. The presentations were driven by getting at the numbers. When I looked at my presentations, I was disgusted with how long it took me to get to some calculations. Yet the better my presentations got about numbers, the less enthusiastic the audience was. Then some kind folks told me I was wasting everyone’s time by over emphasizing the numbers. After that I began asking for constructive criticism from others. Those discussions made me change my presentations from top to bottom but for the better.

Longevity is an important issue especially for those of us who are well over 39 years old (I mean way older). If I am trying to present information to a 62 year old, I need to reassure that person that if I am not around that a particular person is dedicated to the industry and will be. But isn’t that also the need of the 84 year old as well, especially when that comes to being assured that the heirs will be helped following their death? Longevity is an important issue not many of us look at seriously.

I am not sure that competence and reliability go hand in hand. They are very different topics. I know some very reliable people who are completely incompetent at their job. Recently I have working with an attorney who has made a career out of divorce. Yet that person wants trust cases as well. The problem is this person is reliable about what she does but her work product shows a total lack of competence in trust issues.

Competence seems to be more in line with language. Sharon, you are so right about the incompetence we see in people who are trying to become experienced in things beyond their skill set. It grates me to hear a person who claims 20 or more years in the mortgage industry and then in their slides present the concept of principal and interest but spell principal as “principle.” I have seen one presentation where principle appears six times but the presenter really meant principal. That leaves me very unsure about their competence in mortgage matters. For example, if they tell me that our amortization schedules misrepresent this or that, my first reaction is to doubt them. Or there is the case where someone is trying to explain how important patience is when selling HECMs but spells it over and over again as patients. To me their command of their subject matter is questionable.

Allyan Johnson February 3, 2020 at 6:27 pm

Why is it that U S News write such misleading negative reports on HECM’S Why do they have such disdain for a very safe financial product?

Melinda Hipp February 4, 2020 at 1:48 pm

Shannon, I loved this. Unfortunately, I feel that most of those who need to hear it are not listening! I see a lot of pros on these comments. Good job thought and something we should save and play for newer employees.

Also Allyan, just remember the mainstream media will always go for the big stories, PLUS the reporters now tend to be younger so they are trying to keep their jobs. There is a LOT less negative news than when I started originating HECM’s. It will never go away. Just be glad it’s an election year so the news will have a big focus on that!


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