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HW+ Member Spotlight: Tom O’Donoghue

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This week’s HW+ member spotlight features Tom O’Donoghue, owner at Reverse Loans Now. O’Donoghue has been in mortgage banking for more than 30 years and has been helping and committed to working with Senior Citizens for the last seven years.

HW Media: What is your current favorite HW+ article and why?

Tom O’Donoghue: How inflation could be a net benefit for reverse mortgages by Chris Clow. This story just reiterated my thoughts on how our industry can help change lives in difficult economic conditions.

HW Media: If you had picked a different career path, what would it had been?

Tom O’Donoghue: I would have loved to play defensive end for the Los Angeles Rams back in the 1970s.

HW Media: When do you feel like a success in your job?

Tom O’Donoghue:  I know when I have success when my clients have tears of joy at the closing and refer their friends to me.

HW Media: What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Tom O’Donoghue: The best piece of advice I have received was to “chase after relationships not money.”

HW Media: What are 2-3 trends that you’re closely following? 

Tom O’Donoghue: One of the trends I’ve seen lately, sadly, is that many reverse reps are just “checking out” and waiting for the real estate market to come back or for principal limits to increase.  Instead of adjusting production goals or simply increasing efforts, they sit back and wonder why their production is off.

Another trend I am witnessing is that there are reverse reps that seem to have forgotten how to create a first-time reverse borrower, and now that H2H has dried up, they are out of business.

Lastly, the trend that is frustrating me is that when I do an unsolicited H2H for one of my current borrowers, and I run their credit report, they get a call from their current loan servicer to try and keep them as customers and not to work with me.

HW Media: What do you think will be the big themes for the housing market in 2022?

Tom O’Donoghue: In regard to the housing market for 2022, the big theme is how much of an adjustment will the market correct itself?  In the Great Recession, the housing crash was based on non-fundamental loan programs and simple greed.  Since the Great Recession, lending practices returned to acceptable guidelines and with unemployment at a historical low point, prices aren’t crashing 30-40% as before. I would expect about 10-15% depreciation.  As they say, ask five economists what will happen, and you’ll get six different answers.

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