Reverse Mortgage Networking

Be An All-Star Reverse Mortgage Originator Doing Something Simple and Cheap – Networking

This month I am on track to close 8 reverse mortgage loans. That is pretty darn fantastic when you realize the average LO originates 1.25 reverse mortgage loans every three months. If that continues, based on my current pipeline it will, I will be in the top 1% of RM producers in the nation. And I got there doing two main things, specializing in just reverse mortgages and networking my butt off.

I am going to leave the specialization aspect of success for another blog post because it deserves its own post. In this post I just want to focus on networking because it is critical to how I got where I am today.

I remember the day my manager was recruiting me to get back into the mortgage business to focus just on reverse loans. I was hesitant to say the least. I got burned badly in the down turn, totally my own fault, and was not sure I wanted to still be involved in the industry, even though I loved it. I knew my manager was a numbers junkie so I asked him how many reverse mortgage loans were originated the prior year. The answer made me even more fearful, it was a whopping 40 loans in the entire county. Ughh!

Long story short, he sold me on getting back into the business. The first month or so I didn’t focus to much on originating. I really just focused on educating myself about the product. Webinars,HUD, guidelines, learning Reverse Vision etc. was pretty much all I did.

After I felt confident enough to talk about the product I started calling people I knew and scheduling meetings to not only catch up with them personally but also to let them know what I was doing and all about reverse mortgages. Less than one week after my first meeting I got a referral from an agent I knew. That first loan was painful, but we got it closed.

From there I just started cold calling realtors, financial planners, insurance agents, in home care providers, CPA’s and any one else I could think might be a good referral partner. This was turning out to be a pretty good idea. The more people I met with, the more referrals I got. Go figure.

I also started hitting up all of the local banks and credit unions. With the exception of 2 banks, none of them did reverse mortgages. But what makes banks so nice, is that they are so customer service focused. On top of that, I doubt they have people coming in all day long trying to sell shit to them. It was easy to meet the bank manager, the personal bankers, loan officers and more. Lo and behold I started getting referrals from all of the banks in my area too.

You may find this one hard to believe, but I also started calling up other local mortgage companies. Some of them already did reverse mortgages, others had a specialist, usually an in house person at their corporate offices. But some of them didn’t have any of those things. Guess what, I started getting referrals from those loan officers. Most of those referrals are coming from some of the top forward producers in my area.

I am also a member of BNI. If you are not part of a professional networking group I would highly recommend it. The way I like to use this group is for introductions to other potential referral partners. This can save you many hours trying to get in touch with people. I have been able to get in front of bank presidents with ease because of BNI. I have also been introduced to other loan officers, bankers, financial planners and have even gotten in to speak at various organizations. If you live in a city of any size, 30,000 people or more, there is more than likely a group you can join. Even if there is already a mortgage person in the group, you could join as the reverse mortgage person.

My company was already a member of the local Chamber of Commerce. Our chamber has excellent leadership and provides a ton of networking opportunities and events. These include a weekly networking event, forums, lunch networking (connect for lunch), small business fairs and more. I try and partake in as many of these as I can. I am always quite amazed at the amount of people I meet and the number of people I get introduced to at these events. If you are not part of your local Chamber, I would highly suggest joining and taking advantage of the various opportunities they offer.

Specialty networking opportunities are out there as well. These could include Home Builders Association, BAR Association, Financial Planner Association events. Often times you can attend some of their events even if you are not a member. One of the groups I joined is a local elder care group. This is comprised of all kinds of organizations and people including in home care, nursing homes, case managers, hospitals, realtors and more. Once again, just showing up to these events has proven very fruitful. To find these types of groups in your area, just do some online research and I am sure you will find plenty of opportunities.

Without doing all of those things above I would not be anywhere near the production level I am at today. Now, don’t get me wrong, networking is not all I do. I do a lot of other things as well. But, by far, the number one thing I do that pays the most dividends is networking and meeting potential referral partners. This really should be your number one focus if you want to succeed in the reverse mortgage world. Quit chasing short cuts and “easy” ways to get business online and start networking today.

Reverse Mortgage Internet Marketing

Easy and Cheap Internet Marketing Tactic For Reverse Mortgages

There is no doubt that competition online for reverse mortgages is pretty darn fierce. Pay per click advertising is not for the faint of heart. With clicks at $20 or more, it is not a world where the uneducated want to play. It can get very expensive.

So, what are you as a loan officer to do? How do you get in front of people looking for a reverse mortgage in your city or state online for a reasonable cost?


What is a parasite?

It is basically any authoritative website that you can get a page or profile on. This could be anything from,, Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, Squidoo, Hubpages, Tumblr, Weebly, WordPress and many more.

The beauty of these sites being authoritative is that they can take quite a bit of abuse. What do I mean by abuse? I am talking about spam. You can spam the crap out of them and they react well to this treatment and rank better in the search engines for terms you want to target.  And I have to tell you, spam is a lot easier than trying to build “natural” links to your profiles. It is way cheaper too.

Now, you would never spam your main site. But it is okay with these types of sites. Here is the way I look at it. These profile pages don’t rank well and never will unless you build a ton of links to them. So, if you spam them and they get removed from Google’s index, who cares. Nobody saw them in the search results anyway.

Why would you want to do this?

There actually quite a few reasons to do this.

First, as you know, getting found on the internet when someone is searching for you is half the battle. The great thing about using these parasites is that you can get found in more ways. But you have to do a little more than signing up and adding information. More on this in a little bit.

The second reason is that you can own multiple spots on page one of the search engines when someone is looking for a reverse mortgage in your state or city. Having multiple spots increases the chances of getting clicked on and getting that phone call. You do want more leads and calls don’t you?

Third, you are getting citations, which the search engines love. Creating these parasites and claiming directory listings is showing that you, your business and company are legit.

Fourth, you are creating back links to your website, blog, and other social media which helps all your other web properties rank better.

And finally, it creates legitimacy to your potential borrowers. If you don’t think your potential clients are checking up on you online, you are greatly mistaken. When a client types in your name, what are they going to find? For me, they find a good solid two pages of results. Which includes social profiles, directory listings, reviews, blog posts, videos, seminar listings, press releases, articles I have been mentioned in and more.

To prove to you that this works I ran a test and did screen capture of my rankings for my Zillow profile.

Here is my Zillow profile in 2/21/2016. As you can see, I only had one ranking in Yahoo. Not very exciting right? The crazy thing is that this profile had been up for almost a year before I took this screenshot.

reverse mortgage marketing on zillow

I decided to run a little test to see what would happen if I spammed my profile. I have been waiting patiently to see what the results would be if I did something like this so I could share it with you.

As you can see below, a whole lot changed after I did this. This is my rankings as of 3/25/215.

reverse mortgage advertising zillow, reverse mortgage internet marketing

Pretty impressive if I do say so myself.

I spent a whopping $15 on this test. The links were all built from a private blog network service that I found and was highly recommended on a blackhat marketing forum. For $15, the service provider scrapes and spins an article about your topic, in this case reverse mortgages. He then creates blog posts on 150 blogs that he owns with backlinks to your site. You could accomplish the same thing with Fiverr. Just go to Fiverr and type in PBN and you will find plenty of services where you can get 50 to 100 or more blog posts for just $5.

Most of these providers will allow you to submit multiple URL’s and anchor text in spin format. In the case study above, I only used the one URL to my Zillow profile. But I did provide varied anchor text in spin format.

For example:

{reverse mortgages|reverse mortgages state|reverse mortgages stateshort city}

Having the varied anchor text is important for two reasons. First you want to diversify your anchor text ratios. In other words you don’t want all of your anchor text to be the same thing. Secondly, by diversifying the anchor text, it will help you rank for more search terms.

If you are going to use this method here are the things you need to do to make it successful.

  1. Make sure your profile is completely filled out.
  2. Add as much text to the profile as possible. In other words, don’t do what most people do which is about a paragraph of text telling people how awesome they are. Write about the benefits of reverse mortgages. Make sure to include your state in the text multiple times. I also include at the end a list of the major cities in my state that I work in.
  3. Add links to your sites home page and inner pages where it makes sense. I have four different links in my profile description to various pages of my main website. I want to drive any traffic from my Zillow page to my home page as soon as possible.

Here are some other real estate related parasites you may want to sign up for and use.





Reverse Mortgage Marketing – Newspaper Column

One of the key parts to marketing is using the right media. While many people and businesses are getting out of using print media such as newspapers. The reality is that for loan officers that specialize in reverse mortgages, newspapers are an excellent media for us to utilize.

Take a look at the chart below created by Alan D Mutter

reverse mortgage marketing and advertising in newspapers, using newspapers to advertise reverse mortgages

I am guessing here, but I am probably right, that over 50% of readers of newspapers are 62 or older. That means at least 1 of every reader could potentially get a reverse mortgage. As a marketer, you have to love those kinds of numbers.

But these numbers get even more exciting when you take a look at the home-ownership rates based on age.

I found this chart from an article on Forbes. This is a combination of data from the census bureau and data collected by RealtyTrac.

marketing to senior homeowners, ownership rates of seniors

Is that amazing or what? Almost 80% of seniors own a home. You have a media that you can use, where over 50% of the users of that media, are your targeted age and 80% of those targeted readers own a home. This is highly targeted advertising opportunity for your reverse mortgage business.

There are multiple ways that you can use newspapers to advertise for reverse mortgages.

  1. Display Ads – Personally I am not a fan of display advertising. However, your newspaper sales rep will try and sell you on the power of “branding”. And how people might not call today, but when they need a reverse, they will remember your ads and call you. NOT! Display ads are expensive, hard to track and more often than not, you end up wasting money and make the conclusion that newspaper advertising does not work. Which you are right in this case.
  2. Advertorials – I love advertorials. An advertorial looks like an article but it is truly an advertisement. The thing you have to remember is that people do not buy newspapers to read advertisements, they buy them for the articles. If you write an article, it will get read.Now, the proper way to use an advertorial is to offer some sort of free information to generate a lead. AAG is by far one of the best companies at doing this. They offer free DVD’s and other information in order to generate leads. I would highly recommend using a call tracking service like CallFire that you can use to drive your leads to. I would also recommend setting up a squeeze page on your site or a separate website to drive leads to in order for them to fill out their information in order to get the free DVD, report, book, booklet etc. that you are offering.
  3. Write A Column – I just started doing this. Last month was my first article. However, there was a bit of a problem which I will talk about in a second.The paper is a monthly and covers the southwest part of the state where I live and am licensed. There is a distribution of about 30,000 papers. It is a freebie paper that gets distributed at restaurants, bingo halls, hospitals and grocery store stands,  etc. And it is targeted at seniors.I am getting a half page “article” for $300 a month. My column in the paper looks just like every other column in the paper. There is no “advertising” vibe about it.

    I am usually able to get about 500 to 550 words in my article. In the beginning is my name, picture, name of my column and title for the article. At the end is my company contact information, logo, MLO, NMLS and other compliance information.

February was my first month being in the paper. I got exactly 0 calls. However, there is a reason for this. The editor sent me an email at 9:40PM the night before with a proof and a message stating they were going to press the next morning.

I freaked out when I saw it. It was totally non-compliant. I told both the sales person and the editor that I had to have my compliance department review the ad, article, what ever you want to call it,  before they could run it.  Anyway, I sent him all the stuff needed to make it compliant, he made the changes and then I had the secretary at my corporate office running around trying to find someone from compliance. They approved it. Phew!

The paper gets printed. They drop some off at my office. And that is when I realize they put in the wrong number. I was so focused on making sure it was compliant that I did not even look at the number and check that it was right.

They did the right thing and did not charge me for that month.

So, March will be the first month it is running with a “working” phone number. I will update this blog post at the end of March and let you know how it is working.

Now, some things for you to know. First, most of the daily “City” newspapers are going to be very expensive to run advertising in on a daily basis. If you want to try this method, I would pick one day of the week and give it a go. Also, more than likely, they will require you to put “Advertising” at the top of your article.

I much prefer the smaller and privately owned papers. They are much more flexible and are willing to work with you and your needs.

Don’t forget to negotiate. The newspaper business is on a serious decline and they are desperate for advertisers. Just because their rate card says they charge X for Y space does not mean that is what you need to pay. I was able to knock 25% off my advertising. My article / column / ad or what ever you want to call it should have been $400 a month. It is only costing me $300. I could have probably got it for even less if I tried.

I honestly think there is going to be a massive ROI on my newspaper advertising. I won’t be surprised if I am getting at least 2 to 3 deals per month from it.


17% Response Rate On Reverse Mortgage Refinance Letter

I love direct mail when it is done right. There can be a massive response to direct mail when it is done right. There can be a massive amount of money made when it is done right.

So what does it take to do it right?

It takes having the right message to the right market.

About a year ago, I sent out a direct mail piece to people that already had a reverse mortgage. I sent it to people that got a reverse mortgage prior to the FHA claim limits being increased.

The response rate I got was absolutely amazing. I received over a 17% response rate. That response rate is INSANE! Most direct mail campaigns are lucky if they get a .5% response rate. A good response rate to a good cold list with the right message is 1%. Yet I was able to get a 17% response rate.

Believe it or not, I am still getting calls off that letter over a year later.

I am a firm believer in ugly marketing. The sales letter was 2 pages and black and white. The envelope had peel and stick address labels of the recipients and a hand stamped return address. I also used a live stamp. It kind of looked like junk mail, but not quite either. In other words, people opened it up because they had to make sure it was not junk mail. And getting your mail piece opened up is one of the biggest battles you face.

It was a small list that I got from the title company. There were only 378 people on that list. Yet I got over 60 phone calls from it.

But you know what, I would never send it again.

I know that sounds insane. With over 60 calls from people wanting to refinance their reverse mortgage I should have been closing a ton of loans right?


I could not help a singe one of those people that called. Not one.

As one of my favorite mentors is fond of saying, you can’t deposit response rate.

The people that called fit into 1 of 2 scenarios. Either there was not enough equity for them to be able to do the loan. Or there was a ton of equity but their home value was way over the FHA claim amount and the amount owed was to close to the claim limits for me to do anything.

In other words, I spent a ton of time talking to people and running proposals on people with reverse mortgages that would never qualify. It was frustrating on my part and frustrating on their part too.



Reverse Mortgage Marketing Blog

I have been wanting to start this blog for quite some time. I actually bought this domain name back in July of 2015. And here it is, the middle of February 2016 and I am finally writing my first post. Oh well, at least I am getting this party started.

There are several purposes for this blog.

  1. I have a lot of different things that I want to be doing to market myself and my services. I figured what better way to hold myself accountable then to blog about what I want to do and the results I am getting.
  2. For the life of me I could not find anyone else talking or blogging about reverse mortgage marketing and advertising. Sure, I found the usual suspects – people selling leads, cookie cutter website sellers and mail houses. But nobody that was currently out there selling, marketing, advertising and networking to close these types of loans and sharing what they learned.
  3. I like marketing. Actually I love it. So what better way to share my passion then to write about what I am doing and share my successes and failures.

Quite frankly I wish I would have started this blog back when I bought the domain name. I have had some successes and some failures since that time that I think you would have found interesting.

I have quite a bit of experience with direct mail, SEO, video marketing, direct response advertising and copy writing. Quite frankly, the company I work for struggles with the stuff I am doing and am wanting to do because it is so far outside the typical “branding” type of advertising and marketing that most loan officers do.

In my next blog post I am going to be talking about how I now have “column” in a senior newspaper. I think you will be surprised how easy it is to get a column.