As of 2019, annual reverse mortgage production is around 34,000 loans, which is a small fraction of the roughly 45 million seniors who currently reside in the country. These numbers are leading top-producer American Advisors Group (AAG) to look at expanding the market for reverse mortgages in some new and interesting ways.
“An emerging trend during this current market downturn is the popularity of the reverse mortgage line of credit option, which has fueled our need for growth,” says Melanie Parks, VP of National Field Sales for the West Coast at Irvine, Calif.-based AAG. “There’s a new wave of seniors that are proactively using their home equity in conjunction with their traditional retirement accounts to ease stress caused by market volatility.”
In order to optimize company resources, AAG is driving major growth across its National Field Sales (NFS) Team, says Parks, who has more than 17 years’ experience in the reverse mortgage industry.
Why AAG is hiring now
AAG is the number 1 reverse mortgage lender in the country, according to Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) endorsement data, and they’re showing no signs of slowing down.
“There is a constant need for talented loan officers and sales leaders who want to expand their business,” says Shannon Robinson, VP of Strategic Sales and Execution at AAG. “During times like these, when employment is scarce across the county, we are creating an environment for reverse mortgage professionals to thrive. We provide unmatched marketing resources, brand recognition, and a self-generation business development platform to go along with our strong entrepreneurial-based culture.”
The growth trajectory is already under way. In 2019, AAG increased field sales production by more than 50% while “more than doubling” the volume funded by AAG’s proprietary Advantage product, and the company expects to keep that upward trend moving into 2020, Parks says. One of the commitments the company has made in order to continue its momentum is to increase its NFS Team headcount by more than 30%.
One of the ways that AAG is looking ahead in 2020 is in the way it plans to leverage the current historic low-interest-rate climate. While AAG Advantage volume has increased, the current low rates are also driving an increase in HECM volume.
“Every time rates fall, as they have in this current market, it creates more opportunities for seniors to obtain a reverse mortgage for which may not have previously qualified because they didn’t have enough equity,” Parks says. “From a field sales standpoint, we need to have nimble sales teams on the ground across all the territories to ensure we’re able to handle the influx of borrowers.”
Increased projections for HECM volume, coupled with the trending popularity of the line of credit option, has driven AAG to look at alternative ways to educate the public about the benefits of using home equity, including by working directly with professionals in other industries. The company has assembled a team of business development partners who actively travel the country educating financial professionals on how home equity can improve their clients’ retirements.
An industry standout
AAG aims for its consumer-driven approach to help lead and shape the future of the reverse mortgage industry. Because of that, the NFS team has become a business cornerstone due to its ability to enhance the agility of the company in meeting customers wherever they prefer to be, including in their own homes. That personal outreach is facilitated by strategic local business partnerships that allow the NFS team to consolidate and optimize its sales leads.
“From a business standpoint, our brand, marketing, business development, and customer service resources are unmatched in the industry and allow us to communicate with a large number of seniors and business partners without losing the personal touch,” Robinson says. “Being able to help more seniors than anyone else in the nation is what has consistently kept AAG the number one reverse mortgage lender in the country.”
To learn more about AAG and the company’s job opportunities, click here.