Urgency is prohibited but the need is there

Urgency vs. Need

Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared in March 2020

To employ a sense of urgency that homeowners may miss out if they don’t act now is a violation of our industry’s ethical guidelines as enumerated by the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association. In its 2010 ethics advisory, NRMLA writes, “FTC staff has also indicated that it disfavors and views with higher scrutiny ads that attempt to create a “sense of urgency” or an immediate call to action.

While employing a sense of urgency is prohibited, many homeowners are feeling the urgent need to find new sources of cash flow or where they can get their hands on funds should they need them. Not surprising since inflation turned out not to be transitory nor moderate. Many of those who had little or no interest in a reverse mortgage three years or even three months ago could be highly motivated to learn if the loan is a suitable solution- whether they have a significant retirement portfolio or not. Others see that real estate is one asset class whose prices are unsustainable and want cash in now rather than later.

‘Checking in’

Most likely you and your potential reverse mortgage borrower parted on good terms which means there’s no reason not to reach out. Before you pick up your phone first consider your approach. Your goal isn’t to ‘make a sale’ but merely to check in and see how they are doing. After you’ve introduced yourself from your earlier meeting ask if they are safe. Is everyone healthy?

Let them talk. Ask if they have any concerns about their future cash flow. If you took good notes during your earlier meetings you should know if they are invested in the stock market or other investments. Perhaps converting a portion of their home’s value into cash flow with a reverse mortgage could help assuage their worries. However, if you don’t reach out you’ll never know.

A Window of Opportunity

While there is much uncertainty in our world, one thing is undeniable: more older homeowners and retirees are more concerned about their financial security today than they were six months ago. Reaching out to these individuals may provide a much-needed lifeline. 

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