Nov/Dec 2023 RMM

From the Top RM: On its website, APM proudly promotes community involvement for its employees, health and wellness, diversity, etc. What can you tell me about these initiatives? DL: It comes from the top, the ownership and executives saying, “We care about the communities that we’re succeeding in. We care about the people we hire. What can we do to support them?” We have a charitable arm called APMCares. Loan officers can make contributions on a per-closed-loan basis to the fund, and their branch and APM corporate will make matching contributions. You might have a food bank in your neighborhood that you want to support. You can put in a request to APMCares, along with a dollar amount for the donation. Sometimes, they’ll provide the amount requested, while other times they might contribute more. At times, financial assistance is provided to an employee of the company who’s experiencing a tough time, maybe the loss of a spouse or family member or a medical issue. The whole concept is that we’re not just doing loans. Yes, we’re helping people solve financial problems, but we care about our communities. We care about the people we work with, and I give the company a ton of credit. We recently had a golf tournament that raised $25,000 for the APMCares Fund. RM: Are there particular approaches to marketing and lead generation that you try to instill in your salesforce? DL: We don’t do TV ads. We don’t buy leads. As a rule, that’s not how we’re structured as a company. We look at it and say, “Here are our loan officers. What have they been doing to be successful in the past?” Well, in the past, they’ve been successful with realtor referrals. They have relationships out there. They go to meetings and do those kinds of activities. What do we do to support that? We’ll do a reverse-for-purchase presentation geared toward realtors. The loan officer fills the seats, and we provide the content. It gives them the opportunity to not only provide information for their current realtor network, but it starts a conversation with prospective realtor partners. The idea is to support what our loan officers have done in the past to succeed. Let’s figure out ways that we can provide support that will help them build their business, forward and reverse, and in the process we all win. If I help you win, I’m going to win because there’s going to be a reverse mortgage done. When you’re meeting with realtors, financial planners and CPAs and showing them how a reverse mortgage can benefit their clients, there’s somebody sitting there thinking, “I want one of these myself. I personally need the benefit of this.” Just putting on the presentation a lot of times yields loans because somebody needs it for themselves. We aim to help our branches do a great job at what they’ve already been doing to succeed. That’s really our game plan. RM: What are your professional goals for 2024? DL: No. 1 is navigating this market. We’re going to add more reverse mortgage loan officers to our team. We’re going to train more forward loan officers. When I attended NRMLA’s Western Regional Meeting in June, I took my own mini-survey and asked our investors, “Where’s the gold?” And they kept saying a forward mortgage loan officer’s past client database. I agree. We’re a large company with a large database of closed loans with people turning 62 or 55 every day. The opportunity is there. It’s in our database. You don’t have to go out and broadcast and try to find these people. They already know, love and trust the loan officer who helped them buy a home. This is a huge opportunity. We’ve begun working on that and finding out that there are things you need to figure out to get the forward loan officer connected to their past clients about reverse mortgages. If you think about what that could do for our industry, it’s huge. The conversation for forward loan officers and their past clients, and also the realtors, is something like, “Darryl, you have a very low interest rate, 3.0 percent, fixed rate. Correct? Yes. Do you want to give that up? No. What’s the benefit of having that low rate? It’s a low payment. What if I could show you no payment? Would you be interested in looking at that?” That’s the conversation: getting people to get away from having a target fixation on that low rate and to focus on the opportunity that might be provided by looking at a different strategy with a reverse mortgage. In 2024, there will be a lot of effort to get that message across to our forward loan officers so that they can do some business and help more people. That’s the goal. From the Top continued from page 11 12 REVERSE MORTGAGE / NOVEMBER–DECEMBER 2023