PRMI’s Sless Group Adds New LO Assistant as First Remote Hire

Primary Residential Mortgage (PRMI)’s Steven J. Sless Group, the lender’s consumer-direct retail branch focused solely on reverse mortgages in Owings Mills, Md., has hired Justin Zornman as a loan officer assistant. This marks the first remote hire made by the organization, as the nature of work continues to change for many companies due to the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

While normally averse to the idea of hiring remote workers in the past, the creation of new virtual experiences specifically designed to emulate in-person operations in light of the pandemic have led the organization to rethink the way it approaches its work. This is according to Steven Sless, reverse mortgage division manager with PRMI and branch manager with the Steven J. Sless Group.

Justin Zornman

“[Transitioning to more digital work] may be different than what we have been accustomed to, but you either adapt or die,” Sless tells RMD. “Justin is a unique talent that months ago we may have missed out on, but as times evolve, so too has my thinking on how we scale our business.”


Local talent is still preferred, Sless says, especially considering it’s far easier to train a new hire on-site as opposed to relying on video calling and email to bring them up to speed with how the business works. Still, expanding the company’s hiring scope to encompass remote workers opens up the possibilities in finding qualified applicants for the right job that may be located somewhere else.

“Justin’s hire is the perfect example of just that,” Sless says. “His extensive experience in hotel and hospitality management was not conducive to the current job climate. He’s a top level sales talent looking for an industry change in large part due to the global pandemic.”

Sless’ organization is also looking to expand further with between 5-7 more employees, a process made easier by removing geography as a potential barrier for finding the right person for each new position. Zornman will primarily be based out of Kalamazoo, Mich., over 600 miles from the division’s primary office in Owings Mills, Md.

“I am honored to join PRMI and The Steven J. Sless Group to assist homeowners, who are 62 or older, convert part of their home equity into cash income with no monthly mortgage payment,” Zornman said in a press release announcing his hiring. “My goal is to be a valuable asset to our team and the clients we serve with the reverse mortgage process, and ultimately establish the Steven J. Sless Group of PRMI as the market leader in Michigan.”

PRMI opened the Steven J. Sless Group in the summer of 2019 as the first branch for the company that deals exclusively with reverse mortgages.

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  • I do agree with Steven Sless, digital or virtual origination’s are becoming more of an emphasized issue through out out our industry.

    However, I don’t share the same opinion as Steven does as far as;

    “Transitioning to more digital work may be different than what we have been accustomed to, but you either adapt or die”!

    Maybe some day in the future, but that day has not come yet. We must still remember, our client base is made up of seniors, 62 years of age and older!

    Even though many seniors are becoming more computer savvy, the older they are, the more likely they are not up to speed.

    Our industry is complex and many times confusing to our clients. Hand holding, patients, understanding and direct counseling is still so important in what we do for our seniors. Virtual origination would scare the Pants out of many seniors and mainly, many of them would not know how to use the system!

    Don’t take me wrong, I realize what Steven Sless is saying to a degree, we have to work into it patiently and realize it will take time. However, adapt or die, no way, not as long as this age of seniors are still alive and I am counting on that to be for some time now!!

    John A. Smaldone

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