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Are You in a Rut?


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7 Keys to escape a rut

The nature of life is repetition, patterns and routine; all which can easily lead us to personal or professional ruts. What are the symptoms? Feeling stuck, helpless and constantly frustrated. The question is how do we get out?

Here are a few ways to escape your own personal rut:

1. Accept the reality. Embrace the fact that you are in fact stuck. Helplessness leads us to often say “what might have done?” Rather than fixating on regret we can ask a more important question, “when x happens again I will do Y”. This leads us to acceptance of what has happened and resolve to act differently in the future.

2. Look for negative comfort zones. It may sound strange but for some the ‘norm‘ is unhealthy…

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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. Is this an individual issue or could it even apply to an industry?

    In winter 2004, I began looking into the HECM industry. There was general optimism since endorsements had gone up nearly 40% in fiscal 2003. In fiscal 2004, endorsement levels were double what they were for fiscal 2003, making mid fiscal 2005 a great time to join the industry. Optimism was everywhere you looked. While fiscal 2005 endorsements were only 14% better than fiscal 2004, endorsements in fiscal 2006 were 77% higher than fiscal 2005. Endorsements for fiscal 2007 were 40% better than fiscal 2006.

    Optimism reigned supreme in the early days of my time in the industry. Then came two years of marginal growth. Then the fiscal year 2010 tumble through fiscal 2012. Since then total fiscal year endorsements have bounced between 51,000 and 60,000.

    For the last six fiscal years we have either been in decline or stuck in a rut. At no other time in our history has endorsement volume been cut in half to then end up in a rut.

    “The thrill is gone….” A famous line from a song by B.B. King where the guitar all but tells the story. As endorsements have been driven down so has the ease of getting needs based seniors a HECM which created so much “thrill” of a different kind for most originators in our industry. So now we all sit here in this rut not being able to steer where we want.

    So what are we seeing today? A reemphasis on things that did not work in the past. There is a new emphasis on financial advisers and Realtors as referral sources. There is definitely growth potential there but as one originator advised, if we are dependent upon financial advisers to return to our glory days, we are barking up the wrong tree. Have H4Ps down well? They are still a very low volume of our market despite so much marketing efforts.

    While we are once again seeing shrinking endorsements, things are not bad as they could be or at least that is what we are told. With that kind of attitude, we had better be prepared to be in the rut for at least a few years more.

  2. The best way to get out of the rut is listen to Shannon Hicks advise and put it to use.

    • Thank you Cliff. I am preaching to myself as well. I fight ruts on a regular basis my friend. All the best!

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