Since the reverse mortgage product is primarily aimed at seniors that are at least at the age of 62, reverse mortgage originators that serve as a primary point of contact to guide their clients through the loan process often understand that their jobs come with special senior-specific sensitivities that often need to be catered to.
While the holiday season is traditionally a time for people to reconnect with friends and family, some firms also use the season to express positive sentiment toward their clients in an effort to further build goodwill among them. Reverse mortgage originators, though, appear mixed on whether or not to conduct specific client outreach during the holidays, unsure whether or not it impacts their relationships with clients.
Rich Pinnell, a Certified Reverse Mortgage Professional with Vitek Mortgage Group based in Redding, Calif., said that he does not conduct special holiday outreach for a couple of specific reasons.
“Most of my clients understand we have a business relationship, and they know that if they ever have a question, they can call me,” he said.
In establishing the relationship he has with his clients, Pinnell does everything he can to make sure they know that he will be an advocate for them as they enter a world that is certainly complicated for those who may be uninitiated in financial matters, he says.
“When I talk to clients, I’m an agency of the bureaucracy. When I talk to the bureaucracy, I’m an agent for my clients,” he explained.
He also says a reason for his lack of specific holiday outreach may stem from a childhood memory concerning his father’s business.
“My dad was in the insurance business, so me and my sister had to address hundreds of envelopes when I was a kid.” The envelopes, he said, contained greeting cards for his father’s insurance clients.
One originator who said that he does perform seasonal outreach is Scott Harmes of C2 Reverse Mortgage in San Diego, Calif.
“We use a CRM. I’ve been marketing reverse mortgages for 10 years, and it’s a long sales cycle. It’s typically the last major transaction a senior has on their home,” he says.
Harmes says that while C2 sends out personal birthday and holiday greetings to clients through use of a CRM service, his firm’s touch is generally light, owing to C2’s large virtual presence. Still, many of C2’s originators develop their lists of clients based on their own social sphere of influence, which makes client interactions naturally start off on a more personal level.
“In our CRM, our hundreds of contacts came one at a time through personal referrals. So, the response is good because they feel like they know us,” he said.
Written by Chris Clow