Networking with non-industry professionals is vital to the success of any business. In the reverse mortgage industry it doesn’t matter if someone is an originator or a CEO, there are always new strategies that can help improve business and get the word out to other industries about how reverse mortgages can help their clients.
For reverse mortgage professionals networking to get the word out about the HECM product, the main idea to recognize is that there are many professions involved in reverse mortgages, aside from those who are originating them, explains Monte Howard, CRMP and director of the reverse mortgage division at C2 Financial Corporation based in San Diego.
“There’s a lot of effort that goes into each relationship with professionals connected to the industry,” says Howard. “There are at least 25 professions that are directly related to aging in place and reverse mortgages. All the way from in-home care providers to downsizing and relocation professionals.”
Apart from loan officers who are directly involved in the origination of reverse mortgages, there are those who are in the industry, but are more big picture, like CEOs and presidents of specific companies. Networking with professionals outside of the industry is just as important for them as it is for reverse mortgage professionals.
Even as a neutral party company like ReverseVision, who isn’t directly originating the reverse mortgage product, a company needs to be fully engaged and committed to networking with professionals outside of the industry, explains John Button, president and CEO of ReverseVision.
“We are engaged with a considerable range of networking, from events in the banking industry, events in mortgage lending that aren’t reverse specific, events with investors and even with professionals who are in the early phases of tech companies,” Button says.
To build these relationships though, there must be a foundation of trust, Howard explains. “First make a list of everyone you know of in possible networking professions,” he says. “Then start having coffee with them and ask how they serve their clients — really get to know them.”
Another huge help when networking with those outside of the reverse mortgage industry is to join as many groups in your community as you can and actually show up to their meetings and events, Button and Howard suggest.
“For all professionals working in the reverse mortgage industry, The National Aging In Place Council is very important,” says Howard. “It’s a wonderful place to meet and educate so many people who are committed to the aging in place solution.”
Joining the local real estate board and attending their caravans is also a great way to make contacts with realtors, who could potentially become a partner in the future, explains Howard.
“There are also other organizations in each region to join to get to know financial planners, tax advisors and CPAs,” Button says.
It comes down to having the knowledge about the industry to educate those who aren’t familiar with the reverse mortgage product to change their perception on what a reverse mortgage really is and how it may drastically help their clients.
“The uses of a reverse mortgage are becoming more sophisticated than in the past,” says Button. “I have a variety of high net worth people that I’ve chatted with about more complicated uses of a reverse mortgage.”
All in all, it’s about meeting and building a relationship with as many people as possible, because if a professional can make even one good contact, it can grow from there and help a business succeed tremendously.
“It’s all about affinity marketing – marketing between careers that are synergetic,” says Howard.
Written by Alana Stramowski