8 Sales Strategies for an Ugly Mortgage Market - HECMWorld.com Skip to content

8 Sales Strategies for an Ugly Mortgage Market


“Act is the blossom of thought, and joy and suffering are its fruits.”

As a Man Thinketh – James Allen


Today mortgage professionals find themselves pressed between rising interest rates and record home prices. To be honest, it’s not an ideal situation. The question is who will be able to persevere in today’s market? The answer is those who can align their aspirational thoughts with purpose and concrete action.

Here are eight strategies to help you more effectively attract new borrowers and close more loans.

1. Develop outstanding work habits
and make them part of your daily routine. Getting an earlier start, a recurring schedule of prospecting, or building more professional contacts are just a few ideas to get you started.


2. Cultivate a positive mental attitude and protect it at all costs. Naysayers are a dime a dozen and they’ll never be there to give you a helping hand or a word of encouragement. Surround yourself with those who have a ‘can-do’ attitude.


3. Remind yourself those who persevere win. Watch. Each housing and mortgage cycle brings an exodus reducing your local competition.


4. Seek to add value to your borrowers, their families, and referral partners. Doing so makes you an asset not just another salesperson.


5. Focus on your pipeline. Salespeople tend to only focus on what’s coming out of the pipeline, that is loans pending to close. But what happens after they close and fund? Those who fastidiously focus on keeping their pipeline full are those who can survive a recession, market downturn, or a tough lending market. Building a pipeline may be the most important part of your business.


6. Show Instead of Tell. Are you sending PDFs of reverse mortgage proposals and comparison sheets? If so, great but many may still be confused. Instead, consider using a screencasting tool like Loom where you can show and explain what each page means in a short personalized video.


7. Automate your tasks. Are you sending periodic emails to your business contacts, homeowners, or influencers in your community? What’s your process once a homeowner’s application is turned in? Automation frees you up to focus on the highest value activities that can only be accomplished with your unique talents and skills. Leave the rest to someone else, or like many of Reverse Focus’ clients, use Sales Engine’s Workflow automation tool to keep applicants informed and referral partners engaged.


8. Ditch the boring emails.
The better the subject line the more likely your email recipients will open the message. But what do they see next? Avoid long blocks of text few (if any) will read. 


Instead, try embedding a video GIF image that shows a few seconds of a video with you on screen. This appeals to the reader’s sense of curiosity and will increase your click-through rates. Direct the email call to action button and video GIF image to link to a landing page that auto-plays the video with a form for them to book a time to meet by phone or Zoom.


Begin by using two or three of these strategies and measure their effectiveness. Let us know which of these tips you’re already using in the comment section below.



Editor in Chief: HECMWorld.com
As a prominent commentator and Editor in Chief at HECMWorld.com, 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.
Readers wishing to submit stories or interview requests can reach our team at: info@hecmworld.com.

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1 Comment

  1. Survival is the name of the game for most of us right now. What Shannon has presented is helpful and useful at the originator level in this continuing downward turn in HECM endorsements since October 1, 2009.

    Last quarter we only had 6,111 HECM endorsements and it is very likely the total for this quarter (ending June 30, 2024) will be even lower and closer to 5,900, making the estimate for the nine months ending June 30, 2024 just 19,125 HECM endorsements. Until the case number assignment information for the 12 months through May 2024 is eventually released by HUD, we can speculate on how many HECMs will be endorsed in this fiscal year but making a fairly accurate estimate will be difficult until mid to late July 2024.

    Unfortunately, many in this industry believe that being positive is being overly optimistic. That can be easily illustrated. 1) Not long ago RMD (Reverse Mortgage Daily) surveyed some of the more experienced HECM originators about how business was as of the date of that survey. Without exception all spoke about how much better this year was than last. The numbers (whether HECM endorsements or HECM case number assignments) do not support those opinions unless one considers get questions the measure of success. 2) Even those who attended last year’s NRMLA National Convention were speaking about how “positive” it was; yet the evidence supporting such excessive optimism is nowhere to be seen. All of this optimism was expressed after receiving the news that the HECM endorsement total for last fiscal year was the second worst such total since October 1, 2003. So far the numbers for this fiscal year are even worse and the number of case numbers assigned in the three consecutive months ending May 31, 2024 have little chance of turning the situation around in this fiscal year. The vast majority of the HECMs receiving case numbers after May 31, 2024 which will be eventually closed and endorsed will do so in the months after this fiscal year ends.

    Like extreme optimism, pessimism is very harmful. What is difficult to remain is realistically positive. After the horrible estimate in late calendar year 2009 of potentially having 200,000 HECM endorsements during calendar 2010, few (more like none) of the overly optimistic have openly estimated HECM endorsements for any month, any quarter, or any year.

    So where is lender leadership? Perhaps they will provide a successful strategy for the industry at the next NRMLA National Convention later this year.

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