The Uphill Battle for Market Acceptance
Like the mythical phoenix, the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage industry rose from the ashes of the housing crash and economic crisis of 2008, followed by several reincarnations as the reverse mortgage program was tweaked, pruned, and curbed the pool of eligible borrowers. Yet, despite the undeniable lack of retirement preparedness among retiring homeowners, reverse mortgage acceptance and market volumes remain relatively stagnant. Notwithstanding these hurdles, several industry participants and financial pundits believe the HECM is poised for growth.
Much like Sisyphus who eternally pushes a rock up a hill- only to have it continually come back down, our industry pushed forward past the housing crash as home values rebounded, only to be pushed back by a never-ending onslaught of new rules and product restrictions. Do we resign ourselves to unexceptional growth in the coming years, or explore more useful ways to capture the imagination and hearts of older homeowners?
Our industry has been steadily and quietly rebuilding as lenders have not only adapted to the new landscape of HECM lending and regulations, but also their marketing approach. As we stand midway between the past economic crash and future opportunity we should invest our time wisely to prepare. Chief among those preparations is how we approach eligible homeowners. As counterintuitive as the reverse mortgage is, we must avoid using mortgage terminology that is not analogous to traditional mortgages such as…