To help our members get to know one another, NRMLA will publish periodic Member Spotlights that feature professionals from across the reverse mortgage ecosystem.
Meet Keith Morgan, CRMP, a loan officer at Mutual of Omaha Mortgage.
Keith shifted his career toward reverse mortgages just prior to the Great Recession via Atherton Mortgage of Orem, UT. When Atherton combined its resources with Citywide Home Loans in 2010, Keith moved with them and became Office Manager of the Orem Utah Branch, a position he held for the next ten years. In 2020, Keith moved his license to Mutual of Omaha Mortgage, where he now works as a reverse mortgage specialist with their Northwest Regional Team.
How did you get into the Reverse Mortgage world?
Previous to 2007, I had frequently contemplated shifting my vocation from Realtor to a residential mortgage specialist. But it was during that winter of discontent and a getaway to Hawaii that provided the epiphany and excitement which forever altered the trajectory of my career.
Upon my arrival in Honolulu, I was pleased to learn that the Hawaii Association of Mortgage Professionals (HAMB) was holding its annual Conference entitled 007 – License to Lend.
In addition, an introductory class about HECM loans was scheduled in the Clubhouse at Hawaii Kai Golf Course – just a few minutes’ drive up the beautiful Pali Highway. Of course, it didn’t hurt the ambiance to be inhaling the aroma of plumeria, gardenia, and Jasmine against the backdrop of swaying palms and the Pali Cliffs.
At the conclusion of that introduction to reverse mortgages, I felt as though I had met a new friend, and I wanted to get to know them better.
On my return flight to Utah from Oahu, I was relaxed, refreshed, and totally focused on a new career – assisting seniors with Home Equity Conversion Mortgages. Within the next few months, my Utah License was in hand and by December 2007 I’d originated my first reverse mortgage.
I’ve never looked back. It has been a wonderful and exhilarating ride during these past 16 years.
If you could offer advice to those who want to enter the reverse mortgage world what would it be?
The excitement that has kept me moving in the HECM world has mostly been threefold:
- 1st—Qualifying for, and subscribing to, NRMLA as part of my business strategy.
For several years, I belonged to local mortgage associations but was unable to join NRMLA, primarily because management at my forward mortgage shop didn’t understand the benefit of applying for membership in a national reverse mortgage association. That is until the owner called one day to refer a friend who needed reverse mortgage information regarding his multi-million-dollar residence. After I successfully closed that Jumbo Proprietary loan, I asked the owner if he’d help our company join NRMLA. He took out his American Express card and said, “sure, where’s the application?”
- 2nd—Strive to become Best in Class – achieve the CRMP designation.
I’ve never really been challenged by tests. Too many years at three universities have taught me well. In order to become one of the best in class, I desired to credential with the CRMP designation. So, I enrolled for the exam with the same attitude I had taking another college final. At the conclusion of the intense two-hour exam, I was informed that I had failed. Embarrassed and stunned, I hurried out of the exam center to sit in my car and regain my composure. It was a huge whack to my ego.
Suffice it to say, I scheduled another exam time and then devotedly studied at least two hours each day for the next three months. Passing the exam and securing the CRMP designation has been one of the most challenging but happiest moments of my career. I’m proud to belong to NRMLA and honored to wear the designation of a Certified Reverse Mortgage Professional (CRMP).
- 3rd—Solomon’s advice in Proverbs 4:7 to his staff and associates three thousand years ago can be a potent reminder to all reverse mortgage professionals today and, one that I keep in mind at all times.
With it, I realize that I’m daily working with those over the age of 62 along with their concerned families. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.