The Life Of A Reverse Mortgage Lead

Last week I received a call from a senior that had requested information about reverse mortgages over a year ago.  I haven’t been originating loans in order to focus on growing RMD, so when I received the phone call it caught me a bit off guard.

The gentleman had requested some basic information about reverse mortgages, so I mailed out some information and tried to follow up a few days later.  Unfortunately, I was never able to get in touch with him but I sent him one last package simply stating that if he ever had any questions about reverse mortgages I’m happy to help. 

Normally after several unsuccessful attempts at reaching a lead, you might file it away as a dead lead and move on.  Not in the reverse mortgage business. 

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After a year of considering a reverse mortgage the senior felt he was now ready to move forward.  When I asked what made him decide now was the right time?  He replied, “I’m just ready, I didn’t want to rush into anything.”

Stories like these are just one of the many reasons why the reverse mortgage business is nothing like the forward business. 

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  • We also had a call this week from someone 90 miles from our office who we went to see in 2007. She just decided she wants “that reverse mortgage.”

    I have calls from people who have read an article I wrote eight or nine months before. I have learned to ask when someone starts out by saying “I was just reading your article and I had a few questions” to say “I’m sorry which article was that?” It usually gets a laugh when they realize it is almost a year old.

  • Thanks, John. This was a lesson learned early in my reverse mortgage career and I have very few dead files where nothing is done by me as a follow up.

    Received a call asking about the reverse mortgage, recognized the name, pulled up RMA while talking to the gentlemen and said “I thought I recognized your name, we talked two and a half years ago but you were not ready at the time.” The senior responded “You’re right but I’m ready now and I want to close as soon as possible.” The very basic lesson? Continue to drip all leads as there is really no way to know their true motivation on what could become a need based prospect coverted to a closing.

    I suspect that running RMD is a 24/7 task so you might have your seniors give me a call. I’ll be glad to help. :o)

  • I love your daily RMD – I read it every day.
    Last week, I received TWO calls from prospects that I had met three years ago. They both told me the same thing – I kept your materials and decided, if I ever wanted to take a reverse mortgage, it would be with you!

    How flattering that was for me – however it took three years for both these prospects to finally make a decision about the reverse. So the sales cycle of a reverse mortgage is VERY long. Maybe we’ll see that change with this economy soon. Regards, Mary Jane

  • Having been an originator for over 6 years, it is not uncommon for me to do a loan for someone I first talked to 4-5-6 years ago. However, it is largely because I do keep in contact with them. I use ACT to remind me. After the first year or so it is only once a year. It may be a short call asking if they have any new questions or a mailing with new info. Most originators don’t do that so they remember you. They usually thank me for the contact and suggest I try again later. Most times they have all my letters (and anything they received from a competitor) in a file when we meet. I do the same thing with funded clients. I ‘touch’ them at least twice a year after the loan funds. I encourage questions, especially about all that mail they receive. As you can imagine, I am doing a lot of HECM to HECMs.
    I imagine it is discouraging for new reverse mortgage originators that come from the ‘forward’ world. Longevity and follow-up mean a lot.

  • Reading everyone else’s comments made me think I was reading about my own experiences. I’ve been doing reverse mortgages 8 years and it is a daily occurance to get a call from 2-6 years ago. When I try to explain this phenomenon to my “forward” counterparts I tell them that my customers have to “Think on it awhile”. Good follow up will keep them calling “you” back instead of your competition. The way I see it, I still need to be closing loans 5 years from now too. The seeds I plant today may take that long to harvest so I just keep watering them.

  • I just closed a loan last Friday that was just over 3 years since my first contact. The client elimated a huge mortgage and netted out $135K. One of the things I emphsize to new originators is patience. Seniors will move forward with a reverse mortgage when they are ready. Of course the real key is follow up. I developed a CRM content system that uses 24 follow up sequences to every lead. My system prompts our LO’s through the whole process. Bottom line, the word for our business is “patience”. Good things come to those who wait.

  • I’ve funded several Reverses that originated from my website whereas the homeowners told me “I received a Robert Wagner DVD about Reverse Mortgages a year or so ago and I have some questions for you”. When that happens I think to myself “bummer for the Originator that originally purchased the lead”.

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