After its first foray into reverse mortgages earlier this year, 360 Mortgage Group is adding additional manpower to its origination channels, eyeing its goal of becoming a Top-3 lender in the space. The company announced this week the launch of a retail division to align with its nationwide growth strategy.
The timing is right for the launch of its retail branches, says Reverse Mortgage Division Manager Mike Suits, with the first branch to open in Dallas and seven additional pending across other states in the coming months.
“We have 11,000 new seniors every day,” Suits told RMD, citing U.S. census data. “360 has been looking at the reverse mortgage industry for a while. [The launch of a retail branch model] is a strategic move to step into the space.”
While the company is not disclosing its production volume since it launched the reverse division, nor how many loans it plans to originate with the addition of the new sales force, Suits said, “We anticipate a good percentage of increase to our overall reverse mortgage business from the branches.”
The new retail branch model is the mortgage banker’s third production channel for the reverse mortgage market, and will supplement its existing wholesale and inside-direct sales channels.
In the past, 360 Mortgage Group has noted the HECM for purchase as a targeted growth opportunity, but Suits said retail sales team members will not be focused on one particular type of reverse mortgage product over another.
The types of reverse mortgage products offered will “run the gamut” Suits said, so as to best meet the needs of the client.
“We’re going to do what we need to do to help as many seniors as we can,” he said. The new retail division will operate under a kitchen table method.
The benefit of the kitchen table method is two-fold, Suits said.
“First, the borrower gets to see in person who they are working with, [which is] very important for the senior,” he said. “Secondly, we as the originator have the opportunity to really see the borrower in their environment and put the best possible solution of a reverse mortgage together for them.
“We feel that the reverse mortgage product is better understood on a face-to-face process in regards to the branch model versus the big box, non-personal approach.”
Arizona, California and Florida are a few of the additional states where branches are slated to open in the coming months.
“We’re not just targeting one region over the other,” Suits said. “We’re looking to bring on relationships with qualified partners.”
360 Mortgage Group announced it would begin originating HECMs earlier this year. At the time of the announcement, Chief of Operations Andrew WeissMalik said the company is gearing up to be a Top-3 lender within two years’ time.
President of 360 Mortgage Group Mark Greco said the new retail division is a step in the right direction.
“We are making the needed investments – from production talent, operational support and geographic expansion – to have the right lending infrastructure in place to provide borrowers the best reverse mortgage solution,” Greco said in a news release about the retail division.
In conjunction with the launch of its new retail branch model, 360 has named reverse industry veteran Nancy Pedone as national reverse branch manager of its Reverse Division.
Pedone will focus on building out the reverse mortgage retail branch through hiring reverse mortgage area sales managers, branch managers and retail loan officers and operations professionals in her new role.
Suits has previously worked with Pedone – both at RMUSA and MetLife. Suits’ experience spans five years of reverse mortgage wholesale lending with First horizon and MetLife in addition to more recent work as a wholesale account executive for Urban Financial Group before joining 360 Mortgage Group. Most recently, Pedone served as national sales manager for Retail at American Advisors Group. Previously, Pedone was national sales manager at Network Funding. In addition, she was vice president, regional sales executive at Security One Lending.
“She is a gifted leader with a history of building strong teams to deliver results at some of the largest lenders,” Suits said.
In addition to being a direct Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac seller servicer, 360 Mortgage Group is a GNMA issuer of forward mortgages and anticipates receiving approval to issue HMBS loans through GNMA “very soon,” Suits said.
The company was founded in 2007.
Written by Cassandra Dowell