PRMI Launches Reverse Mortgage-Exclusive Retail Branch, Eyes National Expansion

With an eye toward national expansion, Salt Lake City, Utah-based Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc. (PRMI) has opened its first consumer-direct retail branch focused solely on reverse mortgages. The branch, based in Owings Mills, Md., and led by PRMI’s Reverse Mortgage Division Manager Steven Sless, is the first for the company that will deal exclusively with reverse mortgages. 

The branch’s establishment is the first step in a national rollout of the Steven J. Sless Group for Primary Residential Mortgage, Sless tells RMD.

While PRMI, which operates through 280 branches in 49 states, has been actively originating reverse mortgages, Sless has identified an opportunity for reverse-exclusive loan officers to thrive as the industry shifts toward educating forward LOs to conduct reverse business, he tells RMD.

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Why the timing is right

Steven Sless of Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc.
Steven Sless of Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc.

“The partnership with PRMI and their commitment to growing a national reverse brand makes this the right time to launch this branch,” Sless told RMD in an email. “In recent years, there has been a strategic shift to educating ‘forward’ LOs to become reverse mortgage specialists. At PRMI, we are lucky to have George Morales taking the lead on educating and empowering our forward LOs allowing me to shift my focus to growing our Reverse Exclusive Branch model.”

With many loan officers working to become proficient in both forward and reverse mortgage origination, Sless sees an opportunity to enhance the position of reverse specialists, he says.

“I believe that with so many LOs now trying to originate both forward and reverse, there is a great opportunity for the exclusive reverse LO to provide a better experience to the borrower.”

Sless and Andrew Parker, the division’s operations manager, are currently in the midst of hiring additional personnel to further bolster the ability for the branch to conduct business.

Personal branding to launch a national operation

Sless is a noted advocate of the potential effectiveness of utilizing personal branding in the reverse mortgage business. The current scope of the new operation is limited to 12 states, but it’s that personal branding that will help to drive PRMI’s expansion efforts to create a more robust national reverse mortgage operation, Sless said.

“We plan to leverage my personal branding nationally through our existing media relationships, marketing campaigns and learning workshops,” Sless told RMD. “I consider PRMI to be mortgage Disneyland. All of the tools, resources, training and technology is available at the fingertips of our team members and referral partners alike.”

Leveraging what Sless has already built will be essential to the expansion nationwide, Sless describes.

“The long term plan is to build a network of reverse exclusive, consumer-direct branches under the Steven J. Sless Group umbrella while simultaneously continuing the ongoing efforts of encouraging our forward originators to educate their referral partners on the merits of the reverse product.”

“Our commitment to helping customers utilize the benefits of reverse mortgages is only augmented by the addition of Steve and his team,” said Chris Jones, president of retail at PRMI in a press release announcing the branch’s launch. “Steve’s experience is invaluable, and we can’t wait to see where this partnership takes us.”

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  • Great move by Steven Sless of PRMI! Starting up what I call an educational division for forward LO’s to phase into the reverse mortgage space is excellent.

    Finally someone is facing reality and realizing not only is there an opportunity with certain forward LO’s to enter our space, but to fully educate them is the key! George Morales is the right person and a great way to kick off the program.

    Our industry (Reverse mortgages) has not waken up to the fact that our originators, especially those in the industry for a short time are not being trained at all like they need and should be! Even worse yet, the forward LO’s we have been trying to integrate into our world has received no education at all, about our product, up until now!

    Good move PRMI’s Steven Sless!

    John A. Smaldone
    [email protected]

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