Mortgage professionals new to the industry are exploring the ins and outs of reverse mortgages, as shown through the attendance at a growing industry event held in San Diego last week.
A year following its inaugural UserCon in January 2016, reverse mortgage industry software provider ReverseVision held its second annual conference last week, drawing a larger attendance than its first and many new players in to the industry.
“Our goal was to up the game,” says Wendy Peel, vice president of sales and marketing for ReverseVision. “Let’s bring in the new blood and treat this product the way it deserves to be treated—as a smart wealth management and retirement planning tool.”
The event, which took place in San Diego for the second year, was capped at 200 registrants and sold out its full capacity. But a key distinction, ReverseVision leadership realized, was the number of new participants who are beginning to explore bringing reverse mortgage offerings to their existing business versus existing ReverseVision users.
A kickoff “HECM facts track” session open only to new originators and lenders drew 93 attendees—far exceeding expectations. Among the new participants, ReverseVision found roughy half are looking at the reverse mortgage from the corporate level, and the other half are currently originating forward mortgages and have done a small handful of reverse mortgage loans in the past.
“A small percentage were people who might have done a few reverse mortgages in the past and are now needing a refresher because they want to ramp up again,” says Kelly Kelleher, ReverseVision director of corporate marketing and events.
The the event is among several other company initiatives to bring new entrants to the reverse mortgage space and help educate new and existing originators and lenders. In recent years, ReverseVision has rolled out RV University as a training ground comprising online courses on topics from reverse mortgage basics to learning the ins and outs of new non-borrowing spouse rules. The company is also launching a monthly live training course next month; has participated in “forward” mortgage events such as as the American Bankers Association annual conference, and the Mortgage Bankers Association’s annual conference; and last year launched a reverse mortgage sales tool, RV Sales Accelerator (RVSA), that combines three areas: contact management, advanced calculators to demonstrate scenarios for financial selling and sales knowledge.
The goal is to inform new participants and to gain their investment in the HECM product to help them grow their business, Peel says.
“When you invest a little time and money into something, you see the opportunities you hadn’t seen before,” she says of new industry participants. “We should see an increase in industry loan volume specifically from the people at our conference.”
The positive reception among industry players new and old for the last two years has prompted ReverseVision to start the planning stages for its 2018 UserCon, again in February in San Diego. While the details have yet to be released, one theme on the agenda will be the HECM for Purchase (H4P). There is some anticipated expansion in terms of attendance, but the conference again will be capped in terms of number of attendees.
“Register early,” Peel says.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker