MortgageReverse

NRMLA takes a new approach to in-person events in 2023

Steve Irwin discusses this year's NRMLA’s Western Regional Meeting in Irvine

Reverse mortgage industry conferences provide an opportunity to gather and discuss the realities of a unique business. This year, the events hosted by the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA) are taking a different approach compared to the past.

To learn more about the new approach, RMD spoke with NRMLA President Steve Irwin about the programming and what’s in store for the remainder of this year’s in-person gatherings.

Revising the format

“Traditionally, we’ve developed an agenda that moves across a couple of days, which oftentimes necessitated for our attendees to get a room at the venue where we’re hosting the event,” Irwin said. “It just added to our attendees’ expense, and given the marketplace environment, we felt it best to do everything we can to still get quality programming to our attendees, but still keep the cost to them as low as possible.”

That led to the association’s use of data analytics to identify regions where there are large concentrations of members and non-member reverse mortgage producers.

Steve Irwin, president of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA)
Steve Irwin

“So, we’re hosting one-day events in those regions,” he said. “The first being in Irvine, California on June 6. We do have a lot of reverse mortgage activity out of the Orange County area and its surrounding environs, and it’s the same with Austin, Texas, where we’re hosting our second regional on July 13. It was an effort to get the best and most valuable content out to attendees in a way that is cost-effective for them.”

While there is a bit of crossover between the Irvine and Austin events, the content will not be duplicative, Irwin said.

“There is always, from my point of view, a necessity to focus on some of the external factors that really have a significant impact on our attendees’ businesses,” he said. “[These include] social, technological, economic and political impacts. Developing and providing deeper understanding in some of these areas is critically important as our attendees and members develop their strategies to effectively execute business plans.”

Industry feedback

The association has heard that sales content is an important part of why members and participants attend NRMLA events, and the association has tailored the programming accordingly.

“We always hear from the membership how important it is to have sales strategies, techniques discussion and open forum, and we will be providing those discussions and presentations as well,” Irwin said. “So topics will be similar [between the regional events], but content will not be exactly the same.”

There are other topics that the industry wants more information on as well, especially related to reverse mortgage servicing and regulatory compliance.

“Our attendees consistently ask for more information, insights and education around servicing, and we will be doing servicing-related content at both regionals,” he said. “Our members also consistently ask for regulatory updates and how to operate in the most compliant way.”

Getting together again

NRMLA events bring together a tight-knit group of industry professionals, and the Irvine event will mark only the fourth time since November 2019 that there has been an in-person event hosted by the association.

“I’m looking forward to seeing colleagues, members, friends and family,” Irwin said. “We’ve got some 190 registered [attendees] so far from 83 different companies for [the Irvine] event. 70% of those registrants are from California, which means 30% are [from outside the state].”

Reverse mortgage experts from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will also be on hand to discuss current issues impacting the space, including post-endorsement reviews and the transition away from the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) index.

An economist will also offer an economic outlook presentation for California, which remains the largest-volume state for reverse mortgages.

The value proposition for these conferences is not restricted to NRMLA members, Irwin said, and the association will return to Nashville for its Annual Meeting and Expo from October 23-25.

“These regional meetings are a tremendous opportunity for non-members to see what it is the association is working at, and also provide an opportunity for those who are exploring the possibilities of venturing into the reverse mortgage space,” he said. “We are also looking forward to seeing people at our national event in Nashville.”

RMD will be in attendance at the NRMLA Western Regional Meeting in Irvine. If you see us, come say hi!

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