Greg Gianoplus, CRMP, entered the mortgage industry in 1995 and has been originating reverse mortgages since 2007. In 2016, he transitioned his sales team to a regional purchase money lender, Alpha Mortgage, based in Wilmington, NC where today, he leads a reverse division comprised of nine professionals focused on building a long-term sustainable business with an emphasis on HECM for Purchase.
Weekly Report sat down with Gianoplus to get his perspectives on the current marketplace.
Weekly Report: How has the conversation with reverse mortgage borrowers changed from a year or two ago?
Greg Gianoplus: Three ways. The cost of the program has come down due to lower IMIP and ongoing MIP premiums. Letting people know about H4P even if they are researching or applying for a traditional HECM. In our group, we focus exclusively on reverse lending, so we are less likely to “go to school” on a client compared to other lenders where mortgage loan officers originate mostly forward loans and reverses from time to time. If a traditional loan is the better fit for a client, we refer the client to a forward MLO in our organization.
WR: Do you have any wording or phrases that you use on a regular basis while talking with customers to either explain the program or help convince them to use you?
GG: We think more than ever our business has become a face-to-face, knee-to-knee, knuckle-to knuckle-business, so we stress that we are local and recommend getting together in person.
WR: What has been your most effective way to generate reverse mortgage leads? Social media? What else?
GG: Costly advertising through a combination of digital, print and television. We work hard with financial planners, builders and realtors to develop referral partners, but it’s painstakingly slow to develop. It requires patience and a long-term commitment. It’s not for the faint of heart. ROI is a long run vision.
WR: How are you approaching proprietary reverse mortgages?
GG: Our lending footprint is mostly NC, and investors are slow to offer proprietary reverse mortgages here due to state regulations with respect to the brokering of reverses. We would be interested in proprietary if it was available. For now, we are still grinding away with HECM.
WR: What is one (positive) take away for the coming year?
GG: Interest in H4P from referral partners is elevated compared to last year, but it still has a long way to go. I think the headwinds of negativity are less compared to years gone by, but we are still light years away from tailwinds.