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Think Different! The Next Generation of Business Success



It’s no secret that we’re sailing (and selling) in uncharted waters these days. The best approach to building a successful business as a reverse mortgage specialist? Take a tip from the Apple slogan, and “think different” about everything you do.

Here are nine smart strategies to prepare for a healthy 2013:

#1 If you build it… Just as Oprah Winfrey encouraged her audiences to live their best life, it’s incumbent upon you to design the future you most want to animate, and bring this message to your speaking engagements, one-to-one counseling sessions, and marketing materials.

#2 Reach for the 5th “right answer”. A corollary to the above is the old chestnut: if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. It’s time to step onto the road not taken, and have the crucial conversations that will define you as a 21st century reverse mortgage professional. Experiment. Reach out. This is how you build trust with seniors — and how magic happens in your business.

#3 Be real. There’s a wonderful children’s story that’s been a perennial favorite for over a century: The Velveteen Rabbit. In the book, a wise old nursery horse explains to a stuffed bunny how you “become real” when a child loves you. The same is true across the life spectrum. Seniors, especially, need to feel cared about and cared for. Become a beacon, going beyond the call.

#4 Ask for input. It’s a simple concept, though not all loan officers implement it: ask your customers what hurts, and then customize your solutions to meet these specific needs.

#5 Know your market. Baby Boomers behave very differently from the Greatest Generation. Gen Xers, while still years from retirement, are sure to act quite distinctly from Boomers. Adjust your strategy to your target market by age group and you’ll win their confidence.

#6 Shape up! Is your office a welcoming place to receive prospects? Are the chairs or couches comfortable, is the lighting adjustable, are clean restrooms nearby, are water and coffee/tea available? While you may do most of your counseling by phone or at your clients’ homes, it pays to maintain an inviting workspace.

#7 Be tech savvy. Even if your clients are technophobes, in the third millennium every business owner needs a dual presence: virtual and physical. Integrate your marketing strategies so that traditional media, new media and social media are all congruent with your marketing collateral. Google yourself periodically to assess how you show up online, and tweak your strategy when necessary.

#8 Get your green on. Every business owner ought to be a good steward of the environment. Reduce, reuse, recycle, repurpose. In your talks and marketing materials, let clients and prospects know how your eco efforts serve the community. Becoming green also sends a subtle message that you’re economically prudent in terms of helping seniors make financial decisions.

#9 Buddy up. Seek out and nurture strategic alliances to help create win-win business scenarios. Financial planners, tax advisors and elder advocates can all be excellent resources with whom to share leads and ideas.


Editor in Chief:
As a prominent commentator and Editor in Chief at, Shannon Hicks has played a pivotal role in reshaping the conversation around reverse mortgages. His unique perspectives and deep understanding of the industry have not only educated countless readers but has also contributed to introducing practical strategies utilizing housing wealth with a reverse mortgage.
Shannon’s journey into the world of reverse mortgages began in 2002 as an originator and his prior work in the financial services industry. Shannon has been covering reverse mortgage news stories since 2008 when he launched the podcast HECMWorld Weekly. Later, in 2010 he began producing the weekly video series The Industry Leader Update and Friday’s Food for Thought.
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