In light of various program changes that have befallen the reverse mortgage program within the last year—and still to come with the advent of the Financial Assessment in just a few weeks—one forward lender sees considerable opportunity in dedicating resources to reverse.
Last month, Bayshore Mortgage Funding announced the launch of its new reverse mortgage division. Concurrently, the Towson, Maryland-based lender named three hires to run the division, bringing with them more than 30 years of combined experience in the reverse mortgage industry.
“We have always wanted to have a reverse division, but because of the specific type of clientele and the type of services you have to provide to clients, we did not want to start with just anybody,” Brandon Hazel, Bayshore’s director of recruiting and branch development, told RMD.
Previously employed by Maverick Funding, DBA Reverse Mortgage Network and Great Oak Lending Partners, Andrew S. Parker, Steven J. Sless and Ian B. Sandler have partnered with Bayshore to launch the new reverse division.
Through their own limited liability company, SS&P Reverse Mortgage Partners, the team will retain ownership of its branch while originating reverse loans for Bayshore. In exchange, Bayshore will provided financial backing, while also assisting in targeted marketing campaigns focused on prospective reverse mortgage borrowers, Hazel said.
“We don’t just want to go after the low hanging fruit,” Hazel said. “We want to be able to reach out to all people age 62 and older, not just those who are in desperate financial need because the new program changes aren’t going to allow for that.”
That is where the necessity of targeted marketing comes into play—an approach that is directed toward financially savvy prospective borrowers. Primarily, this will include TV marketing, direct mail marketing to certain qualified potential clients, as well Internet-based leads, according to Hazel.
Outreach plans for the new division will also rely on live seminars led to educate prospective borrowers on the benefits of reverse mortgages and how the loans can be incorporated into retirement planning to help achieve peace of mind, said Steve Sless, managing partner of the Reverse Mortgage Division.
“The live seminars have been a very successful platform for us,” Sless told RMD. “We’re going to continue to do that as we venture more into reverse mortgages, and come spring we plan to double our efforts.”
The purpose of the seminars is not only to educate potential borrowers on what reverse mortgages can do for one’s finances, but to step away from less personal marketing approaches like telemarketing calls and TV infomercials, said Sless, who claims the seminars produce anywhere between a 5-10% conversion rate.
“We had 109 people attend our last seminar,” he said. “Normally, you get 2-3 homeowners who are on the edge of getting a reverse mortgage and just need that reassurance. Next month another 2-3 might follow up.”
Initially focused on reaching prospective borrowers in the Mid-Atlantic region, Bayshore has plans to expand reverse offerings to states like Texas and California, among others, as the new division gets off the ground.
“Due to the nature of the product and the need to deliver exceptional service to our clients, it was important to have the right leadership in place,” said Bayshore President Paul Jednorski. “We are confident that we have found the best possible group to lead and grow this division providing our clients with the service and education that the reverse mortgage requires.”
Written by Jason Oliva