Written by Sue Haviland & Brian Sacks, as originally published in The Reverse Review.

This past month, The Reverse Review received a particularly interesting question and we chose it to be the topic of this month’s article.

Q: Are there any reputable lead sources that members use?

A: I do want to thank the person who submitted that question because it sparked some spirited debate in our offices at Reverse Mortgage Success. What follows is our response:

There are some good as well as bad lead companies, but unfortunately we don’t have one in particular we can recommend to you. WHY? In our experience, what may be a good lead source today may turn out to be a horrible one tomorrow.  But the answer is actually much deeper than that. Here is a point you always need to remember when it comes to lead generation: It’s all about who is chasing whom. To be more direct, it’s all about getting clients to chase you!!!

There are several issues to consider when you purchase leads. Keep this list handy if you are buying leads as any part of your business. 1. How many others has that lead been sold to?

2. How was that lead obtained? What I mean by that question is, How did that person identify themselves as being in need of your services? With the senior population there is often a very long wait between the time someone inquires to learn about the program and the time they actually consider a loan application.

3. What has this person been told or promised by the lead company?

4. What information has the lead provider obtained and how? Did they get an approximate property value? The borrower’s age? What is their motivation for obtaining a reverse mortgage? Or are they just shopping and you are the next call on their list?

Many who buy leads are often disappointed, mainly because they are looking for a deal “right now” and many of these leads will take time to develop. Unlike those who are looking for a forward mortgage, many seniors feel they need to investigate and have some time to make a decision.

So what can you do instead of or in addition to buying leads? Since this is all about how to generate new business, let's explore some ways of getting prospects to chase you!

1. Start networking with other professionals who could recommend your services. Really get to know their business and how you can help each other. Sue did a video interview with one of her financial planning partners and he put it on his website and promoted it via a call with his clients. This cost her nothing but her time and positions her as the reverse mortgage expert in her local market.

2. Begin a direct mail campaign aimed at your target audience. Be consistent.

3. Create a website that offers information and a special report, which is the sales message you would be using when they call, offered as a special report. (We love this strategy and it works.) Use your site as a mechanism to communicate with your prospects and promote your other activities (see # 4 and #5).

4. Use some free PR techniques and contact your local newspapers, radio and TV stations (Brian was recently interviewed on Maryland Public Television) to give them an update on the HECM program and the new Saver option, as well as some pros and cons. Or offer them a few myths and facts about the program. Every day there are news stories about how boomers and seniors are experiencing challenges and haven't saved enough for retirement. Use that hook to contact the media and let them know that a reverse mortgage could be a solution.

5. Speak to professional groups like attorneys, accountants, and even church or other religious leaders. (This is another strategy we love and have even developed an entire campaign to support.)

We recommend that you pick no more than three activities to implement and monitor the success of each before moving on to another. We could go on and on here but the point is that you need to start thinking and implementing ways to get prospects chasing you. Once you do, you may never choose to purchase leads again.