One top-10 reverse mortgage lender recently launched a new brand in efforts to tailor its lending platform specifically for older borrowers.
AmericanSenior.com is now the consumer direct reverse mortgage division of Irvine, Calif.-based HighTechLending. The company, which established this platform about a year ago, has only recently started to brand itself under the new moniker.
The need to launch a separate brand stems from an opportunity to sharpen the HighTechLending’s focus on the nation’s growing aging population, many of whom are increasingly using the internet to influence their mortgage-buying decisions.
In 2014, the number of people age 65 and older in the U.S. totaled 46.2 million, accounting for approximately 14.5% of the population, according to the Census Bureau. Within this demographic, 57% reported actively using the internet and email, as evidenced by survey data from the Pew Research Center last summer.
The share of tech-savvy older Americans regularly using the internet has risen since 2008—at that time just 38% of the 65-plus population was online—when HighTechLending first began offering reverse mortgages. This increasing tech adoption influenced the company’s decision to launch a new mortgage brand aimed at serving Baby Boomers and seniors.
“If we want to stay ahead of the curve, catering to the senior demographic online is where reverse mortgages are going,” HighTechLending President Don Currie told RMD.
AmericanSenior.com specifically caters to people age 62 and older who are not only interested in reverse mortgages, but also other mortgage products. Prospective customers could be seniors who need a 100% VA refinance, low down payment FHA loan, Currie said, or seniors who want to utilize a reverse mortgage to eliminate their monthly payment and increase their cash flow during retirement.
“We’re not strictly a forward [mortgage] company or a reverse mortgage company—we’re a company catering to the senior,” Currie said. “We want to find what is right for our senior customers and provide them with that product.”
This mentality in putting seniors first lays at the crux of the name AmericanSenior.com, especially when it comes to relaying the message that this new brand is distinctly focused on the particular needs of this demographic.
“AmericanSenior.com speaks for itself in that if you’re a senior, you know this company is going ot be focused on your well-being, you’re specific demographic,” Currie said. “We wanted to be more specific to let seniors know that this is a company built for them, as opposed to the general lending population.”
Apart from AmericanSenior.com, HighTechLending will continue to provide mortgage financing, though predominantly for customers younger than age 62. Both divisions are licensed in 15 states.
Upon the launch of AmericanSenior.com, HighTechLending gave all of its branches the opportunity to move to the new reverse mortgage platform. Unanimously, all of its reverse mortgage branches transferred over to the AmericanSenior.com division, Currie said, which currently employs 150 staff members.
The company has 16 branches under the AmericanSenior.com platform, and is in the process of launching this division as a branch opportunity for mortgage brokers.
By volume, HighTechLending currently ranks tenth overall among reverse mortgage industry lenders with 211 HECM endorsements through March 2016, reflecting a 55.1% growth year-to-date, according to recent industry data.
Written by Jason Oliva