The stories of how many reverse mortgage professionals in the business have found their way there are almost as varied and individualized as the people themselves, but once someone really has is in the company, they can see up close what can and cannot work.
Different professionals can sometimes have very different ideas about what can or should constitute a business day, so RMD will occasionally highlight how a reverse mortgage professional conducts their day-to-day operations to give the industry a perspective on how their business is doing. peers address inbound challenges and opportunities. and tasks. Plotting a “regular” day in the reverse mortgage profession right now could be seen as difficult. As is the case with businesses as a whole, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted what were previously considered long-standing reverse mortgage standards, especially when it comes to meeting clients and other partners.
To better understand how some professionals have adapted to such changes while keeping a firm footing in what has worked for them, the first installment of RMD’s “A Day in the Life” series focuses on the veteran of the world. industry and Norcom Mortgage SVP of Reverse. Lending John Luddy, based at Avon Ct.
Set the pace
As RMD has detailed before, Luddy’s path in the reverse mortgage industry can probably be seen as atypical. Originally working as a second generation funeral director in his local community, Luddy was brought into the mortgage profession by local businessman Bill McCue about 37 years ago, beginning his journey in the reverse mortgage business around 20 years later.
Now Luddy is helping oversee the overall reverse mortgage operations at Norcom, helping to train an influx of term loan officers who have expressed interest in shifting to reverse lending. He enjoys the process of training new reverse mortgage agents and sales, creating his own loans while facing some of the challenges and opportunities that come with being in a managerial position.
He therefore finds it useful to start the day with a brisk walk to help set the tone for what lies ahead.
“The first thing I always do every morning, rain or shine, is walk my dog,” Luddy told RMD in an interview. “I’m going early before my day starts. Then I go in, I have my breakfast, and usually two or three things happen. I could spend some time on the phone with our landlord, but then I have loan officers who could call early in the morning [to help] review the scenarios they worked on.
At the start of a typical day, Luddy usually has a good time to help look at some of these scenarios, which may involve finalizing client proposals, pre-meeting discussions, or discussing certain nuances that a borrower potential might have. they want to seek advice from Luddy.
Although Luddy sources and makes his own loans, as Senior Vice President of Reverse Loans at Norcom, sales training is a big part of what he does, and he makes no effort to hide from the crowd. how much he likes to do it. This does not mean that it is without challenge – as Norcom’s footprint extends across 35 branches and over 150 loan officers – but to familiarize yourself with sales techniques and help originators with potential approaches or problem-solving exercises is definitely something he enjoys, he explains.
“I love to sell and I love sales training,” he says. “I like to teach them what to do and what to say [if a client’s] adult girl shows up and says, “These loans are a scam. And I always explain to them, “I’m not trying to turn you into me, I’m just telling you that’s what works for me.” It may not work for you. They will need to develop a method that works for them. [If a forward originator] hears the ins and outs of the other way around, so we can start some serious training if they decide this is a program they want to add to their repertoire.
A term agent showing this kind of interest in reverse mortgages could start a long cycle of sales training for Luddy, which he finds beneficial because of how potential new reverse mortgage originators find out about the products. and functions reversed.
“Most people who learn about the product learn it initially from their wholesale account representatives,” observes Luddy. “Most of these people have never sat at the kitchen table. If an adult girl feels these loans are a ‘scam’ sometimes these new people don’t know what to do, so they decide. [too quickly that] it’s too hard for them. So, I teach them not only the product, but how I sold it and I ask them to adopt their own way of selling it. [based on what they can learn from me]. “
Luddy is also inviting Norcom branches to participate when creating this type of online training programs, which increasingly use the popular online video calling software Zoom, which has gained significant notoriety during the pandemic.
The Work / Life Balance of Reverse Mortgages
This naturally raised another question in terms of where Luddy finds the time to find and make his own loans, in addition to taking on the responsibility of training many professionals within his organization on the specific intricacies of reverse mortgages. . These things take a long time, but when asked about the work / life balance he now maintains compared to what it looked like during his time in the World to Come, Luddy says he doesn’t There’s hardly any comparison to the amount of latitude it has upside down. doing things the way he wants is best.
“Some branch managers have told me that their goal for 2021 is to get out of term origination, let their employees do it and focus on building business volume in their region, as I said. did it to do reverse mortgages purely because of work / life balance, ”says Luddy. “You don’t have people yelling at you about having a name on a document or the need to shut down tomorrow. There is none of that. When I train I often use my example of firewood.
Luddy enjoys having a fire lit in his fireplace at night when he comes home, and soon after making the switch to reverse mortgages exclusively, he says he noticed he was consuming his supply of firewood. much faster than before when he was working with term mortgages.
“I would say to my wife, ‘I don’t know what happened, we have no more firewood! That does not make sense !’ Then she said to me, “John, you’re home every night now,” says Luddy. “Now I’m going through two cords of firewood. So it’s got a different lifestyle, because I’m home every night, and I was out every night doing term loans.
However, Luddy also acknowledges that there are key differences between the ways the advanced world now works compared to where he worked in it, and pointed out in the interview that he also benefits from having grown children. Still, the benefit of shifting into reverse was clear to him from a lifestyle perspective, he says.
Love what you do
Luddy had gotten used to working late in the world at term, but one of the advantages of the way reverse mortgages tend to work is that he can mostly fulfill his responsibilities within a day. normal work. In the middle of the day, he’ll likely have a quick lunch at his desk, but he’s usually finished at a reasonable time in the evening because that’s just when seniors prefer to do things, he says.
“In the reverse world, the work is done during the day,” he says. “For my clients, the best time to see me is between 10 am and 2 pm. They want to get up and have breakfast, take their insulin, and then get going. And then around 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., they start to run out of gasoline. So the visit with my clients is very often during the day, unless their adult children want to see me at night or on weekends.
That being said, he doesn’t hesitate to take those after-hours meetings for clients or their families if the situation calls for it, as he says he enjoys the job so much.
“I mean, I love it,” he says. “I just love what I’m doing. I don’t need to turn it off.