More Realtor Education Needed to Increase HECM For Purchase Volume

With the Federal Housing Administration predicting a surge in HECM for Purchases next year to 3,420, up from 423 in FY 2009, it seems a little surprising that the industry is not more optimistic about the program.

“Everyone in the industry was really excited about it when we realized we were going to get the HECM for Purchase product,” said Monte Howard, Affinity Relationship Director at Generation Mortgage.  But this excitement has proven to be short-lived as the dramatic burst in business has yet to be realized.

After several conversations with professionals in all parts of the reverse mortgage industry, it is clear the problem with the unique reverse mortgage for purchase program is education.  This education needs to take place on several levels, but the first is educating realtors.

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Derry Hampton, a reverse mortgage professional at Security 1 Lending and a licensed realtor for nearly 25 years, pointed out just how little realtors know about the product and how much they are being neglected as an ally by many in the reverse mortgage industry.

“No one’s talking to the realtor about how this can fit into their business,” said Hampton, “I think really it’s up to the reverse mortgage industry to learn how to work with the real estate industry.”

Hampton, a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and the California Association of Realtors said, “In California alone, [there are] 170,000 members of California Association of Realtors—that’s the new market for the reverse mortgage industry…. What we need to do is teach about this product.”

Write to Reva Minkoff

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  • Good evening,rnrnI feel we as an industry has let an opportunity like the purchase program slip from our hands. We feel the realtor has no interest in something like our program.rnrnThe problem is we are not marketing it properly. Send out a letter to the broker announcing a new federal program that will enhance his or her business and that of his or her associates. Follow it up with a phone call to the broker. Sell the appointment only.rnrnOnce you meet with the broker it is now up to you to convince the broker the program you have will open up new doors for sales and you will teach them how.rnrnSet up a seminar for all the associates. Come equipped with brochures and a power point for your presentation. Most realtors have projectors and screens you can do a professional presentation with.rnrnThe purchase program is a new product you can do a lot of good with. You can show a realtor how they can advertise properties for sale with this program, “NO PAYMENTS”. Look at the opportunities that you could have with the program. Realtors may be a tough sale but you have something new for them, a way for them to make sales. They are not setting the world on fire right now, give them the tool to do that with.rnrnJohn A. Smaldone

  • Hmm, I have had the exact opposite response than Ed. Every realtor that I have spoken with is thrilled with the product! They love that in an age of credit crunches, this is a stated kind of loan lol! After educating realtors, I have talking to them about how to market this product!

  • I was willing to do a free seminar at the local board of Realtors office. They refused saying that after polling their members there was zero interest and nobody would show up. rnI believe the comment that they are focused on survival is right on. The only thing they want to learn about is foreclosure and short selling.

  • Agreed Critic. The senior market is continuing to sit on their hands. In addition to purchase, the HECM refi is often put off or ignored as seniors psyches have all been affected by the housing debacle. rnrn “I cannot get hurt if I do nothing right now” is a powerful thought that many seniors have adopted in early 2010, as they were told that this would be over by now. rnrnIt’s not even close, and any “on the fence” seniors will need to be in serious NEED to do ANYTHING right now, including moving!rnrnFor a moment, I want to talk about realtors – just like financial advisors and other referral partners, a great deal goes into cultivating and maintaining a trusted relationship. How many realtors are doing well these days? They are concentrating on business that they are familiar with so that they can feed their families. rnrnIt will be tough to 1) find good realtors that are interested in learning in this environment when they are doing what they can to survive and 2) find seniors who want to move and use this product as the vehicle.rnrn”Expecting a harvest overnight is not only counterproductive but it will also lead to disillusion and frustration.” – DEAD ON CORRECT!!!!rnrnI’ll predict that if 1,000 total HECM purchases are done in 2010, it will be a miracle. The prediction that we will have a 5-6 fold increase is ridiculous!

  • The purpose of this comment is not to discourage educating realtors but rather to put the situation into perspective. Building strong relationships with realtors, especially those serving seniors and senior communities, will be a useful activity.rnrnOlder people as a rule are less likely to purchase another home than younger adults. A few years ago, a small number of very productive originators at Wells Fargo tried to determine the number of seniors who move in a year in California and a few nearby states. It was shocking to hear how low that number actually was. Of course the method was less than scientific but reasonably thorough.rnrnRealtors like reverse mortgage originators are hungry for opportunities. Many of us have met with realtors. In the past there was little likelihood that they would refer us any customers. The HECM for purchase program has changed that outlook; however, realtors usually turn to us and say there is little activity related to senior purchases but they will be on the look out for such opportunities.rnrnWhile home sales have been improving, many people, particularly seniors, are afraid of the home market. This is not a great time to be measuring market response. There are what are poetically described as u201cfeast and famineu201d careers. One of them is residential home sales. Not only are home sales seasonal, they are cyclic. We are experiencing an unprecedented post World War II downturn.rnrnRight now seems to be the time for sowing seeds. Building bonds with productive salespeople in senior communities should be an investment that will pay with time. Expecting a harvest overnight is not only counterproductive but it will also lead to disillusion and frustration.rnrnrnrnrnrnrnrnrn

  • The purpose of this comment is not to discourage educating realtors but rather to put the situation into perspective. Building strong relationships with realtors, especially those serving seniors and senior communities, will be a useful activity.

    Older people as a rule are less likely to purchase another home than younger adults. A few years ago, a small number of very productive originators at Wells Fargo tried to determine the number of seniors who move in a year in California and a few nearby states. It was shocking to hear how low that number actually was. Of course the method was less than scientific but reasonably thorough.

    Realtors like reverse mortgage originators are hungry for opportunities. Many of us have met with realtors. In the past there was little likelihood that they would refer us any customers. The HECM for purchase program has changed that outlook; however, realtors usually turn to us and say there is little activity related to senior purchases but they will be on the look out for such opportunities.

    While home sales have been improving, many people, particularly seniors, are afraid of the home market. This is not a great time to be measuring market response. There are what are poetically described as “feast and famine” careers. One of them is residential home sales. Not only are home sales seasonal, they are cyclic. We are experiencing an unprecedented post World War II downturn.

    Right now seems to be the time for sowing seeds. Building bonds with productive salespeople in senior communities should be an investment that will pay with time. Expecting a harvest overnight is not only counterproductive but it will also lead to disillusion and frustration.

  • Agreed Critic. The senior market is continuing to sit on their hands. In addition to purchase, the HECM refi is often put off or ignored as seniors psyches have all been affected by the housing debacle.

    “I cannot get hurt if I do nothing right now” is a powerful thought that many seniors have adopted in early 2010, as they were told that this would be over by now.

    It's not even close, and any “on the fence” seniors will need to be in serious NEED to do ANYTHING right now, including moving!

    For a moment, I want to talk about realtors – just like financial advisors and other referral partners, a great deal goes into cultivating and maintaining a trusted relationship. How many realtors are doing well these days? They are concentrating on business that they are familiar with so that they can feed their families.

    It will be tough to 1) find good realtors that are interested in learning in this environment when they are doing what they can to survive and 2) find seniors who want to move and use this product as the vehicle.

    “Expecting a harvest overnight is not only counterproductive but it will also lead to disillusion and frustration.” – DEAD ON CORRECT!!!!

    I'll predict that if 1,000 total HECM purchases are done in 2010, it will be a miracle. The prediction that we will have a 5-6 fold increase is ridiculous!

  • I was willing to do a free seminar at the local board of Realtors office. They refused saying that after polling their members there was zero interest and nobody would show up.
    I believe the comment that they are focused on survival is right on. The only thing they want to learn about is foreclosure and short selling.

  • Hmm, I have had the exact opposite response than Ed. Every realtor that I have spoken with is thrilled with the product! They love that in an age of credit crunches, this is a stated kind of loan lol! After educating realtors, I have talking to them about how to market this product!

  • Hmm, I have had the exact opposite response than Ed. Every realtor that I have spoken with is thrilled with the product! They love that in an age of credit crunches, this is a stated kind of loan lol! After educating realtors, I have talking to them about how to market this product!

  • Good evening,

    I feel we as an industry has let an opportunity like the purchase program slip from our hands. We feel the realtor has no interest in something like our program.

    The problem is we are not marketing it properly. Send out a letter to the broker announcing a new federal program that will enhance his or her business and that of his or her associates. Follow it up with a phone call to the broker. Sell the appointment only.

    Once you meet with the broker it is now up to you to convince the broker the program you have will open up new doors for sales and you will teach them how.

    Set up a seminar for all the associates. Come equipped with brochures and a power point for your presentation. Most realtors have projectors and screens you can do a professional presentation with.

    The purchase program is a new product you can do a lot of good with. You can show a realtor how they can advertise properties for sale with this program, “NO PAYMENTS”. Look at the opportunities that you could have with the program. Realtors may be a tough sale but you have something new for them, a way for them to make sales. They are not setting the world on fire right now, give them the tool to do that with.

    John A. Smaldone

  • Good evening,rnrnI feel we as an industry has let an opportunity like the purchase program slip from our hands. We feel the realtor has no interest in something like our program.rnrnThe problem is we are not marketing it properly. Send out a letter to the broker announcing a new federal program that will enhance his or her business and that of his or her associates. Follow it up with a phone call to the broker. Sell the appointment only.rnrnOnce you meet with the broker it is now up to you to convince the broker the program you have will open up new doors for sales and you will teach them how.rnrnSet up a seminar for all the associates. Come equipped with brochures and a power point for your presentation. Most realtors have projectors and screens you can do a professional presentation with.rnrnThe purchase program is a new product you can do a lot of good with. You can show a realtor how they can advertise properties for sale with this program, “NO PAYMENTS”. Look at the opportunities that you could have with the program. Realtors may be a tough sale but you have something new for them, a way for them to make sales. They are not setting the world on fire right now, give them the tool to do that with.rnrnJohn A. Smaldone

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