To help our members get to know one another, Weekly Report will publish periodic Member Spotlights that feature professionals from across the reverse mortgage ecosystem. In this issue, we interview David Darling, CRMP, a reverse mortgage loan officer since 2006 who recently joined Cherry Creek Mortgage.
Fun fact: He still has the car he used in high school – a 1955 Triumph, which he and his son converted to electric in 2013.
- How did you get into the reverse mortgage world? A friend in the neighborhood was hosting BBQ in his backyard. I met a RM broker at the event and learned about the product over ribs and red cabbage salad.
- What current topics in the reverse mortgage world are you most focused on now? I enjoy reading the works of Wade Pfau, Jamie Hopkins and others. They elevate the product and offer insights from a planner’s perspective. I also like reading Stephanie Moulton and others who parse through mountains of data to provide us with impactful analysis.
- What has been your biggest professional challenge/obstacle thus far? How did you overcome/handle it? I am currently engaged in my biggest challenge – a reverse mortgage software application. My mother earned her master’s degree in tax law at age 62, so I figure I can launch a reverse mortgage application at age 64.
- What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment in your career to date? In the early 1990s I was engaged by a large U.S. manufacturer of consumer goods that wanted to expand into Eastern Europe promptly after the Iron Curtain came down. I identified an East German manufacturer as a partner. The East Germans feared the Americans would shutter the plant and they would all be out of work. I was able to structure the deal so they would have job security for five years, subject to normal and reasonable termination protocols.
- If you could offer one piece of advice to someone who wants to get into the reverse mortgage world, what would it be and why? Nurture great listening skills, and find the right P Balance – patience versus persistence.
- Who has been a mentor to you in your career? How has their work impacted yours? I learned important life skills from a basketball coach, business acumen from a professor and professional mentorship from a former boss, who challenged me with positions and tasks before I was ready to handle them. He had the “sink or swim” mentality, in which case the impact is immediate and incontrovertible.
- Why did you become a NRMLA member? To learn more about the product and industry.
- What has been your favorite NRMLA event and why? The last national conference in Nashville…. great food & great music, resulting in an overall positive vibe for the conference.
- What do you like to do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies or pursuits? I enjoy the outdoors. Hiking is one of my favorite activities. I am also an amateur genealogist. The first Darling (in America) in my lineage was a Scot on the losing side of the Battle of Dunbar in 1650. The Scottish prisoners were forced to march over 100 miles to Durham, England under harsh conditions. Historians have compared it to the WWII Bataan Death March. Interesting that my ancestor Eon Darling survived the Dunbar march and my great Uncle George Darling survived the 65 mile Bataan death march.
- If you could trade places with anyone for a day, who would it be and why? A fellow New Mexican, astronaut Harrison Schmitt, December 12th 1972 – who wouldn’t want to walk on the moon?
- What do you love most about working in the reverse mortgage industry? Hearing the life stories of my clients. Nurses, teachers, soldiers, engineers, hippies, musicians – they’ve all got memories and experiences to share.
- Who inspires you? Kateryna Ilnytska, a 25-year-old Ukrainian woman living in a small town in Ukraine near the Hungarian border, who is volunteering to help refugees from Kiev and other cities, while working full time as an IT professional and caring for her grandparents.
- What is your favorite food city? Favorite meal in said city? Vienna Austria, Goulash, cucumber salad, dark beer and Mohr Im Hemd (chocolate hazelnut pudding).
- What’s one item you can’t live without? Smart Phone, regrettably