Written by John Smaldone, as originally published in The Reverse Review.

Those of us in the reverse mortgage industry face major challenges. What does the future hold? How should we originate loans? Why should a senior want to do business with us?

Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Financial Freedom are all gone and not competitive factors. This now becomes a major plus for those of us left, right?

The question is, how do we reach out and attract seniors to do business with us? Buying leads utilizing Internet marketing programs and call centers are tools being used by many companies to attract business. But what about the traditional methods with some new twists that can not only get you immediate business but future business as well?

Let’s examine a few ways you can differentiate yourself from the originators that are procuring business using the traditional method of networking.

1. Seek out senior citizen recreational centers (private and county-sponsored) and set up educational workshops with them. If you approach it right, the center will advertise the workshop for you by putting it in their newsletter. Increase attendance by asking an elder law attorney to speak as a special guest.

Make it appear that the recreational center is the one putting on the workshop and ask them to deliver a press release regarding the event. This gives the educational workshop a completely different image than just some sales presentation. Then, place an ad in the paper with the same theme as the press release, remembering to mention your special guest speaker.

2. Work referrals: If you do right by your senior, they will help you; all you have to do is ask! Ask them if you can hold a neighborhood workshop in their home. With the help of your referral source, try to get six to nine people to attend the workshop. Eventually you will have pockets of referral sources. Treat your referral source to a dinner every time they give you a referral that turns into a closed loan. They will love you for it!

3. Call on small community banks. They are looking for ways to increase their customer base and reverse mortgages are a way to do this. Talk to a decision maker who is in charge of lending. Don’t just ask them for referrals, tell them what you can do to increase their customer base. Have your plan displayed in a presentation format. Be sure to include:

A. Your plan to conduct educational workshops in their branches on their behalf. Explain to them how they should advertise it (as a community educational program for seniors).

B. A tri-fold brochure without your company name on it (this way the bank can stamp the name of their institution on the brochure). The branches can then place your brochures in clear plastic racks on the teller counters as well as any other table in the waiting room.

C. A simple information worksheet that seniors can fill out. Leave them at the teller counter with your brochures so the branch personnel can contact you with the prospective borrower.

These suggestions will set you apart from your competitors. Remember to focus on the platform you choose and become proficient in the ones you take on. We have many opportunities in the years ahead and if you use some of these techniques, you will be successful in the reverse mortgage industry.

Good luck, prospect wisely and remember, we are in the business to help our seniors. Do all you can for them and you will not only be successful but words will not describe the gratification you will feel from the help you have provided them.