Although I have been in Banking and Mortgages for well over a decade now, I have really gotten to know the reverse mortgage industry in and out. The main reason for this is that I soak up as much information as I possibly can. I love learning, giving and sharing knowledge. As many of you know or will learn about me, I am all about teaching as well. I go to every seminar I can and sit in on every webinar or class that I can find. I have spoken with many in the industry, both co-workers and from other companies and I have come to notice certain qualities that every great reverse mortgage specialist has. And although many of these qualities are applicable to customer service and sales positions from many different industries, I am focusing only on reverse mortgages. It’s important to work with a reputable company. Make sure that the lender or bank is a member of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA). Members of NRMLA must adhere to a strict code of ethics and responsibility. See the code here.
The fact is that reverse mortgages aren’t for everybody. Yes, it does fit the needs of a great many of those in the market, but for some people it may not be a great fit. This is why I sometimes tell a senior homeowner or financial advisor, quite bluntly, that it might not be the right product for them or for their client. And do you know what? I’m OK with that, because it’s the truth.
You also need to find a person that is willing to Fix Mistakes: Ahhhh, the tough one. Maybe the hardest thing to do in any business is to fix mistakes. Reverse mortgages are no different. We all make mistakes. In fact, I tell every customer that I by no means can guarantee their process will go perfect, but I can guarantee they’ll recommend us to their friends when it’s all said and done. Such is the true mark of a great company. Are they willing to fix mistakes when it was their fault or do they just tell the homeowner to deal with it?
A Focus on Education: As previously mentioned, I love teaching. That’s why we provide as much information to you as possible. Our goal here is to empower HECM reverse mortgage shoppers, their family members and financial advisors through great education. We’ve seen other companies around the country begin to jump on this education wagon, which, to say it in the very least, thrills us. So as you go about looking for your reverse mortgage lender, ask yourself how much time they’ve invested in your education. Are they thought leaders or focused solely on making more sales? The difference between the two can be quite profound.
Lastly, one of the most important qualities when looking for a reverse mortgage lender is finding a person that you like. That may sound really simple but let me say it again. You must find a person that you like. You see, it typically doesn’t matter the size of the company or how much or little marketing they do. We have all had a terrible customer service experiences at one point or another when dealing with some of the largest companies in the world or been shocked to get world class customer service from these same companies. Sometimes great companies make a bad hiring choice and sometimes bad companies make a great hiring choice. When you find that one person that you know is looking out for your best interest and not that of the lender or themselves then you have someone you can work with and that will work for you!
Although I’m sure there are other mentionable qualities with merit, I hope these at least help some of you out there that are in the process of researching reverse mortgages to make the best decision for you and your family.
Thank you as always.
Dallas Riddick – Reverse Mortgage Banker
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Reverse Mortgage 101: Seven Core Questions for Reverse Mortgage Shoppers
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