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Becoming a Strategic Thinker


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Five Keys to Strategic Thinking for the Reverse Mortgage Professional

Reverse Mortgage Professional Business Strategy
Business strategy coach and author Michael Porter said “The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do”. Common wisdom has taught us that if we just work harder we will succeed. But will we? In today’s increasingly complex business environment reverse mortgage professionals may want to consider the greater value of becoming a strategic thinker. In larger organizations the path of least resistance may be to never question anything, however such an approach can actually diminish your value to both your company and others.

In what ways can each of us become a strategic thinker? Here are just a few ideas to get us started.

First, be willing to ask annoying questions….

Download the video transcript for this episode here.

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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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  1. My desk top keeps saying I am not equipped to receive the video of Shannon. what do I need ? I have always been able to get the program in the past. thank you John brenzel

    • John,

      We utilize Vimeo for embedded videos which should work on all browsers. That said there may be browser issues. Would you try another internet browser and see if that works. Thank you for the heads up.

  2. Shannon,

    Realistically, less than 5% of the industry any longer critically looks at the industry. If one dare question accepted norms, the industry asks others to attack those who would question the strategy being employed.

    I will never forget a consultant responding to why he knowingly gave an incorrect answer to a question he was asked by saying that if he had been foolish enough to give the right answer, industry participants would choke his email and fax machines with protests. He had a business and did not need to harm his customer base with providing right but industry wide unacceptable answers. If that is what vendors think about our ability to take empirical evidence and apply it to our little industry strategically, imagine what opponents must think of us.

    Then a few months back I had the nerve to ask why the current HECM is supposedly new. The alleged evidence being requested to prove it was new was evidence Golden Gateway Financial presented over five years ago with actual testimonials from those who got a HECM to protect their portfolios and buy a new home so as to protect their cash reserves. Questioning how evidence which was over five years old proved that the current HECM was new got an immediate attack with an open request from the person attacking to have others pile on. The point is be prepared when questioning an industry position and providing the solution (the current HECM is not new) to take a massive backlash with no substance but lots of anger and no tolerance for a different view.

    While the industry is irrationally focused on trying to match prior endorsements, such weak goals based on the current product will do little to recover lost revenues from HUD changes. Unless endorsements are at least 77,000 this fiscal year, there is no way that lost revenues will be recovered. We will be fortunate to hit 52,000 endorsements for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2014.

    Some talk and talk about the so called hiccup that is those applications which were delayed until after August 3, 2014 in order to take advantage of the higher Principal Limit Factors (PLFs). Yet the PLF changes were not presented to the industry until Mortgagee Letter 2014-12 posted June 27, 2014. Thus the longest the delay could have been is 39 days. Yes, that might have created a small log jam but our volumes have been so low that the log jam should have been over at least one week ago.

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