The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a number of shifts within the mortgage industry. For the reverse sector, it turned what used to be kitchen table conversations with clients, to over-the-phone or video calls. A report from Reverse Mortgage Daily
revealed how client and referral partner relations have changed as the industry dealt with the pandemic.
"We’re all going to get used to social distancing for quite some time," said Steven Sless, reverse mortgage division manager with Primary Residential Mortgage Inc. (PRMI)
, according to the report. "In how we meet with clients and since we have an exclusive senior demographic, we need to make sure that our clients are protected, and we need to be protected as well. But us being around our clients could be dangerous, not just right now but in the months to come. Adapting to virtual meetings, docu-signs and digital applications ... those things are going to be important. I don’t think those are short-term, I think those are going to be with us for quite some time."
Despite having to adapt to new methods of communication, Sless said that many of his company's clients have been resilient and flexible during this time. They have also been very receptive to DocuSign and other electronic filing tech solutions. As for referrals, Sless said he has certainly seen an increase in referrals.
"I mentioned before having to cut out a lot of our advertising, but we didn’t lose volume because we’re getting a lot more referrals now," said Sless. "I think, as an industry, we’ve been beating the drum for a decade-plus concerning the use of a reverse mortgage not as a loan of last resort, but as a planning vehicle. In a lot of ways, that message didn’t really take, but it’s never been what it is right now. We’re getting referrals left and right from our financial planning partners, and a lot of higher net worth clients, and a lot of jumbo reverse mortgage clients."
While it's not always easy to find positive moments in times like these, the reverse industry and their clients have managed to adapt quite well.