The industry’s second-largest lender, One Reverse Mortgage, recently unveiled its newest television commercial. And no, it doesn’t include The Fonz.
In what appears to be a broader industrywide focus to tout the financial planning benefits of reverse mortgages, One Reverse is making an effort to educate consumers, as well as financial planners, about one of the most commonly misunderstood features of the reverse mortgage product: the line of credit.
“One of the best kept secrets to help you plan for your retirement is the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage line of credit,” explains Pamela Yellen, financial planner and author of The New York Times best-seller, Bank on Yourself (2010, Vanguard Press), in the latest TV commercial from One Reverse.
Several attributes about Yellen made her a good fit to appear in the TV spot, according to One Reverse Mortgage CEO Richard Mandell.
“Pamela has a very long history of studying financial products and understanding which ones are safest for people to use,” Mandell told RMD. “She is a great partner and someone we are proud to have working with us.”
Yellen, who has been working with financial advisors since 1990, already hosts seminars for financial advisers and consumers on how the reverse mortgage product works.
The need to highlight the line of credit in particular is due to a lack of understanding among the general public not only about how this product feature works, but how it can help seniors plan strategically for retirement.
“There are a lot more people out there who could benefit from getting a reverse mortgage than are actually utilizing the program,” Mandell said. “Our goal is to give people a better understanding of how the line of credit works. The components of this part of the program matches up better with strategic financial planning than the way reverse mortgages were used in the past.”
Although the commercial doesn’t features Henry Winkler (known affectionately as The Fonz of Happy Days acclaim), he still remains a big piece of One Reverse’s marketing, Mandell said.
“The work we’re doing with Pamela Yellen gives a different type of information than we are having Henry share with people, but we will continue to work with both of them,” he said.
One Reverse is the most recent reverse mortgage lender to unveil a new TV spot with a different spin on marketing the HECM product. In early February, American Advisors Group aired a new commercial featuring several academics espousing the use of reverse mortgages, and last week, Finance of America Reverse (formerly Urban Financial of America) launched a new marketing campaign that featured the company’s updated branding and messaging.
As part of this new marketing push, One Reverse also plans to explore new ways to “get the word out” about reverse mortgages within the context of financial planning.
“It’s important that we, as an industry, get the word out to the public as to what a great tool a reverse mortgage can be for people, and how they can use it to help them in retirement, whether that means using a reverse mortgage to extend the life of their savings, provide a safety net for them or provide protection against a loss of income,” Mandell said. “There needs to be a greater understanding that a reverse mortgage, though it’s not for everybody, is a great tool for people who are utilizing it today.”
The new commercial is currently airing across various national TV networks.
Written by Jason Oliva