Reverse mortgage professionals report more engagement after national conference

Industry professionals reacted well to the content and networking opportunities at the NRMLA Annual Meeting and Expo in Nashville

As the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA) Annual Meeting and Expo in Nashville event wound down on the third and final day, RMD solicited input from a cross-section of the attendees to gauge their response to the programming as well as the networking opportunities.

‘It’s not just us’

Glen Smart, divisional VP of reverse mortgage lending at Bay Equity Home Loans.
Glen Smart

Glen Smart and Robin Loomis are a husband-wife duo of reverse mortgage professionals previously profiled on RMD, and they attended the Nashville event expressing a lot of excitement about the content and networking opportunities.

“We’ve been to many conferences over seven or eight years now and this, by far, is the best we’ve attended,” Smart said. “We’ve really enjoyed the sessions and how informative they are, and they’ve been the right pace of not too simple, but not too intricate. It’s been a very good mix, [and has had] very positive energy.”

Both Smart and Loomis commended the programming, particularly the loan originator roundtable session that highlighted the importance of keeping communication lines with borrowers open in a variety of formats.

“I’m recommitting myself to making sure I get all my videos done,” Loomis said. “So it just brings you back [to the things] you need to do and get you in a good state.”

Robin Loomis, reverse mortgage specialist at Bay Equity Home Loans.
Robin Loomis

Wendy Oshiro and Paige Su, a mother-daughter duo of reverse mortgage professionals, made the journey to Nashville from Honolulu and relished being among their peers.

“Well, we’re always excited to come to NRMLA. Because we are from Hawaii, we don’t get to see people very often, and for us community is very important even within our industry,” Oshiro said. “Through the people that we know like our partners and our colleagues, we’ve learned so much. We’re also inspired and encouraged by the people that we meet. So being in the same space and being able to see each other face-to-face is super important to us as professionals, and we’re glad we came because we are very much inspired.”

For Su, who at 24 is a very young reverse mortgage professional, being among industry peers is an important reminder of the community aspect of the industry.

“I think it makes you feel the community aspect, and then it makes you feel like you’re part of something bigger,” she said. “Because mostly I just see [my direct colleagues], but to see hundreds of people who are all working to help seniors in their retirement [serves as a reminder that] it’s not just us. These are other people doing this, too.”

Reverse mortgage engagement, market challenges

Other attendees lauded the presence of government housing leaders from agencies like the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Ginnie Mae as a sign of support for what those front-line originators are doing daily to keep business moving forward.

Reverse mortgage specialist Laurie MacNaughton of Atlantic Coast Mortgage.
Laurie MacNaughton

“The conversation I was encouraged to hear was how difficult retirement is for retirees as a result of market conditions,” said Laurie MacNaughton, an originator with Atlantic Coast Mortgage outside of Washington, D.C.

The awareness that leaders in the government have for the reverse mortgage product’s ability to assist seniors is encouraging, MacNaughton said.

“When some of the headwinds the industry has been facing are being addressed at the topmost levels, like Fannie Mae, Ginnie Mae, [the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)], the investors, [it shows they] are looking at what’s causing a lot of friction in the system and are really working to create just a smoother process for originators, but more importantly for our homeowners.”

Recently re-elected NRMLA Co-chair Scott Norman also lauded the presence of government leaders at the event, noting the detail they each went into related to their own various responsibilities in the reverse mortgage ecosystem.

“I had extremely high expectations for the conference and the conference exceeded them,” Norman said. “I thought President McCargo’s and Commissioner Gordon’s presentations were outstanding, and I thought they gave a pretty significant flavor to [the things] they’re working on, and the significant amount of detail they had was outstanding.”

More on-site perspectives about the event will be featured in the fiftieth episode of The RMD Podcast this week.

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