Jan/Feb 2022 RMM

Moving Forward Customer Trust and Satisfaction Are Foundations to Our Future Challenges Create Opportunities to Keep Evolving By Steve Irwin, President, NRMLA “We don’t think ourselves into a new way of acting. We act ourselves into a new way of thinking.” —Larry Bossidy, Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done GIVEN THE CURRENT demographic realities, it is becoming increasingly evident that older homeowners will need to have financing solutions that not only meet their current needs, but that they also have safe and reliable options as their needs evolve over time. Yes, our reverse mortgage market is continually innovating, but we must ensure that we support borrowers, and their trusted advisers, so that their best interests are being served over time. We must work toward creating a tremendously positive experience throughout the entire lifecycle of the product. We must look to new and exciting products that move beyond the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) and levels of service delivery that go well beyond customer expectations. When considering our market, I often recollect a lecture I attended by the late Oren Harrari. He warned of the dangers of finding too much comfort in the status quo. This comfort “causes managers to tenaciously cling to the geese that laid yesterday’s golden eggs, even as the geese are reaching the end of their life cycle.” Our industry’s evolution, and ultimate success, must be built on establishing customer trust and satisfaction as those very customers’ needs and wants continually change. New products and new product enhancements must always be front of mind. The opportunities for growth are before us all, but it will take constant reinvention to find services and products that truly add the necessary value for the customers of the future. These are the lessons that continue to be obvious during the pandemic, and they will still be obvious as we face tomorrow’s challenges. It’s time to think beyond the HECM and beyond the customer of today. Just as importantly, we also need to carefully consider how today’s customers may have changing needs. How prepared are we to continually add value to the current customer base? These are daunting challenges, but our members and our leadership have faced tremendous challenges before. I suggest we all are up to these new challenges. We are well able to anticipate, create, evolve and execute. We can get this done. Steve Irwin 4 REVERSE MORTGAGE / JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2022