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October 3, 2023

The Blending of Forward and Reverse Mortgage Sales Teams

The blending of forward and reverse sales teams brings both new opportunities and some understandable resistance.

The mortgage industry is seeing an interesting shift as forward and reverse mortgage lenders blend their sales teams in response to current market conditions.

Given the intense competition in the market today, dialing in an effective sales team is one of the most important things leadership can do right now.

For many loan officers who have specialized in just one lending product, this blending brings both new opportunities and some understandable resistance. But most of that resistance is coming from the same set of loan officers and it may not be what you expect.

On a recent client call, we discussed this trend and the implications for loan officers.

More likely to go to reverse than forward

As our reverse subject matter expert explained, most reverse mortgage loan officers have pioneered this specialized product and feel passionate about the life-changing impact it can have for senior borrowers.

After focusing primarily on reverse mortgages alone, some hesitate to take on forward mortgages as well.

Specialized reverse lending LOs resist branching out due to a handful of key reasons:

First, they have developed real expertise in reverse mortgages and have less confidence with forward mortgages. Learning a new loan origination system is typically a big obstacle, especially since most LOS’s don’t support the origination of both reverse and forward mortgages, unlike MCP.

The second reason is that many reverse mortgage loan officers enjoy the relationship-based, life planning conversations they can have around reverse mortgages versus the more transactional nature of forward mortgages. These conversations are much different and more focused, in general on adding value, both to the reverse borrower and their families.

Finally, with lower mortgage volumes industry-wide, reverse lending LOs want to focus where they can best serve borrowers and win business. For many reasons we’ve discussed in other posts on this blog, the reverse mortgage business is trending upward and will likely continue to do so as Americans continue to age in place.

The need to empower every loan officer

At the same time, shrinking volumes are driving the need for more product diversification. Forward lending LOs see the benefits of expanding into reverse mortgages to access an entirely new client demographic - older homeowners and their families.

Leading lenders will work with traditionally reverse LOs to get them to see the same opportunity on the forward side. This is especially true because referral business opportunities are significant for the adult children of reverse borrowers.

As we discussed, this blending of forward and reverse sales teams is ultimately good for consumers. LOs with expertise across product types can have more holistic conversations and serve a wider range of borrowing needs. But for more specialized LOs, the mental shift required is significant. With the best platform that can handle both forward and reverse mortgages, Mortgage Cadence make it seamless for lenders to expand their product mix. And we’re here to help with change management so LOs can adapt and succeed.

By George Morales, Reverse Mortgage Product Manager at Mortgage Cadence 

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Media Contacts

Mortgage Cadence: 
Alison Flaig 
VP, Marketing 
(919) 906-9738