We are witnessing a shift, with technology connecting the forward and reverse mortgage industry and professional loan officers.
It can be said that in the past, forward and reverse-focused mortgage lending loan officers were on two different teams. Today, we are witnessing a shift, with technology connecting the forward and reverse mortgage industry and professional loan officers, and they may be the first beneficiaries we are seeing this impact currently.
After more than a decade of refi-heavy mortgage lending, no one should blame professional loan officers for thinking about the next transaction. When you are selling by the transaction, you tend to focus on the product, streamlining your sales pitch and delivery process.
The same can be said for reverse mortgage loan officers who, for years, have had only that one product, in its different flavors, to offer a very specific segment of American homeowners.
So, it makes sense that LOs working in these two different businesses would naturally think of themselves as competitors, given there was no sense of team loyalty.
But that’s been changing, and we saw this change starting to take place last fall at the National Reverse Mortgage Conference. We met with a number of lenders at that October show, many of whom were forward mortgage lenders who were there to kick the tires on this reverse business and see what might be in it for them, their LOs, and borrowers.
Since then, we’ve had several prominent forward mortgage lenders enter the reverse space, including Churchill Mortgage and Guild Mortgage. Then, just a few weeks ago, Cardinal Finance entered the space.
These companies are entering the space for different drivers, including the trillions in equity homeowners over 62 and a half have amassed, the increasing need for mortgage volume from any source, and new technologies like MCP that make it possible to originate both forward and reverse loans on the same technology platform.
As they enter, they are bringing their forward loan officers into the reverse mortgage world.
Giving the lender’s best LOs the opportunity to sell more products is a great opportunity for both lenders and professional salespeople.
Top lenders know that while the technology makes loan origination easy, there is still a lot of education that should go into preparing your LOs to sell a new product. For most forward mortgage LOs, this will be a new market segment, one with a different mindset. They need more handholding than even first-time home buyers.
But, it’s really no different than the transition professional LOs made from the refinance business to the purchase money mortgage business. You’re still helping homeowners with the financing of their most valuable asset and reaping a good reward for doing so.
George Morales, Reverse Mortgage Product Manager at Mortgage Cadence
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