Sue Pomfret has spent over 30 years in the mortgage business and was one of the first people in Rhode Island to originate a HECM in 1989 during the pilot program.
Sue served on the Board of Directors for the Senior Agenda Coalition, the RI chapters of the Alzheimer’s Association and Meals on Wheels, and she co-founded the RI chapter of the National Aging in Place Council. She has been active in NRMLA for many years and helped develop the first version of the Certified Reverse Mortgage Professional (CRMP) examination. Sue recently received a Certificate in Gerontology from Roger Williams University. Weekly Report interviewed Sue to get her perspectives on the current marketplace.
Weekly Report: How are you adapting to today’s reverse mortgage market?
Sue Pomfret: As with any product change happens but it does not necessarily mean it’s a bad thing. HECMs/reverse mortgages have been suitable to many consumers since HUD’s Pilot Program back in the late 80’s. I think the bigger issue and problem is the misconceptions we as an industry continue to have to combat the past 30 years. We need to change this.
WR: Has the conversation changed at all between you and your clients in terms of helping sell the product?
SP: We don’t sell the product, we educate! The product has many benefits and that is what we discuss and focus on with our clients and their advisors.
WR: What is your favorite reverse mortgage story?
SP: To be honest all are my favorite. In every single loan we close there has been a true benefit to our client’s situation. Whether it’s to help them afford property charges or make home improvements/modifications, to deferring Social Security or moving closer to their kids and grandchildren. This is the only job I can say that I have a constant smile. I am fortunate to have so many “adopted parents/grandparents.” The most rewarding job ever!
WR: How do you all reach consumers today? Social media?
SP: We do use social media because our clientele is on Facebook along with their adult children. We also hit the streets in our education efforts.
WR: What is one (positive) take away for the coming year?
SP: There are so many. We all know that 10,000 people turn 62 everyday, seniors now have over $7 trillion in home equity and that will continue to grow. Not to mention a HECM/reverse rortgage has and will continue to help so many. How can that not be positive?