Robin Loomis, CRMP, has originated reverse mortgages in the Tucson, Arizona market for 18 years with Bank of America, Nova Home Loans and currently with Bay Equity, LLC. Weekly Report sat down with Loomis to find out what makes her successful in today’s market.
Weekly Report: How have you been able to maintain or increase your reverse mortgage sales?
Robin Loomis: I think all of us in the industry have been affected by the LTV reductions. Besides the TV commercials, consistent marketing events like referral groups, speaking engagements and one-on-one’s with referral partners, I have needed to expand outward to my realtors and bank branches more than before. Thankfully, I have seen a nice increase in referrals from my agents and banking partners. This has helped to pick up some of the slack that had been seen. When working with seniors looking to buy a home it doesn’t surprise them quite as much with the funds needed to be brought into closing since most of them were going to bring in 100% before we started chatting. This is a true win for this group!
WR: How has the conversation with reverse mortgage borrowers changed from a year or two ago?
RL: It’s hard for sure as we sympathize with our seniors on not being able to get the same amount of equity out of their homes. So, we need to focus on what we can do for them focusing on the elimination of the monthly mortgage payments, home improvements they can accomplish, debts that can get paid off. These are all wonderful life changing benefits that need to be addressed. Is it perfect, no, I always respond that getting every penny of the value and not having to pay it back or leave would be perfect but it’s also not reasonable (they understand that very well), but wow what a game changer this loan can be for them!
WR: What has been your most effective way to generate reverse mortgage leads? Social media? What else?
RL: We, of course, use social media like Facebook and LinkedIn, but it can’t be all you do. Spread the love and the knowledge. Have ‘lunch and learns,’ go to networking events, get in front of as many people as you can and speak from the heart. Hold seminars, have one-on-one coffee dates, be out there. You can’t sit in your office and just hope the phone rings. Let everyone in your community know you are the local expert.
WR: How are you approaching proprietary reverse mortgages?
RL: The newer proprietary reverse mortgages are starting to fill a niche’ that wasn’t available until just recently. We are now open to more builders that had trouble with the ‘concession’ piece that HUD has restrictions on or seniors who aren’t quite seniors yet or higher end homes that HUD left too much of the equity on the table. There’s a great need for this product and brainstorming will help show our loan officers where to start looking or where to market.
WR: What is one positive take away for the coming year?
RL: After 18 years in the reverse mortgage space, I can say there is nothing consistent but change. Thus, embrace it, enjoy the challenge, show that you can set yourself apart and be the specialist in your area, believe in yourself, you got this!