Homeequity bank’s reverse mortgage product has seen rapid growth in Canada in recent years. As awareness around the flexibility of reverse mortgages has grown, so has adoption.
For years, reverse mortgages have been inaccurately viewed by some as a loan of last resort. However, in reality, a reverse mortgage is not just a tool for paying down debt – many clients use the equity a reverse mortgage releases to invest in a second property, complete major renovations or to remain in their home without having to downsize.
Here are five ways HomeEquity Bank is helping brokers up their game.
In 2017, HomeEquity Bank launched a reward and loyalty program designed specifically with mortgage brokers in mind. The loyalty program, called Peak Rewards, is open to all entities operating in the industry, from the head office to the franchise or broker owner, all the way down to the agent. As brokers close more deals, they can achieve different levels of status, including compensation, spending accounts and recognition. Under Peak Rewards, brokers receive bonus basis points that can be used toward promotional products, marketing materials, paying for clients’ appraisals or their own education.
“Brokers achieve a different rewards status depending on how much business they do with HomeEquity Bank – standard, bronze, silver or gold,” says Andrea Twizell, national partnership director for mortgage brokers at HomeEquity Bank. “Our gold partners get the biggest rewards in the form of additional basis points. They are the top performers when it comes to providing reverse mortgages. They understand it and know how to identify clients.”
The Referred Channel
Through the Referred Channel, brokers can refer complex deals to HomeEquity Bank’s internal sales team, who will handle the transaction from start to finish and then pay the broker. Upon client approval, the broker submits the name and contact details of a client who wants a CHIP Reverse Mortgage, and HomeEquity Bank does the rest.
Twizell believes the benefits of the Referred Channel are currently underutilized by the broker community. “There is added flexibility for brokers who prefer to pass their leads into the hands of the HomeEquity Bank experts and know that all referred leads will get the best care with the most knowledgeable sales and underwriting team,” she says. “The broker is not penalized, even though HomeEquity Bank’s team has done all of the heavy lifting; we do the deal but keep the broker updated throughout the process while still providing compensation.”
Mortgage Broker Direct
Tied into the Peak Rewards program, Mortgage Broker Direct enables brokers to submit deals directly to HomeEquity Bank via the broker’s existing technology platform. Unlike in the Referred Channel, the broker must be a Certified Reverse Mortgage Specialist and is responsible for handling all aspects of the deal, as they are the only point of contact for their clients.’
As a certified member, brokers get many additional benefits, including access to marketing and promotional materials, email updates on program features and exclusive incentives, sales tools, and a certification logo.
“Being part of a nationwide network means brokers can take their clients through the whole process from beginning to end without the need to refer their clients,” Twizell says. “Certified Reverse Mortgage Specialists put clients’ minds at ease because they are equipped to answer all their questions and complete the deal. Brokers also get paid more basis points if they handle deal themselves through the Mortgage Broker Direct program.”
Providing brokers with ongoing education is at the core of HomeEquity Bank’s philosophy. The bank has launched a Mortgage Professionals Canada approved reverse mortgage certification, which provides brokers with credits for attending a two-and-a-half hour course. The course educates brokers on everything related to reverse mortgages, from how to identify potential clients to important industry facts and statistics and how the program can benefit Canadians aged 55 and over.
“The demographics are changing in Canada, and our aim is to educate brokers on how that impacts the marketplace,” Twizell says. “Generally, from the age of 70 onwards, people do not want to move from their house. And with recent research showing that Canadians have a 50% chance of living to 92, the need for the reverse mortgage product is becoming part of retirement planning.”
HomeEquity Bank teaches brokers to take a consultative approach, to ask the right questions of potential clients to find out if a reverse mortgage is really the most suitable option for their specific situation. Brokers are taught to examine exactly why the client is considering a reverse mortgage: Is there a cash-flow problem, medical issues, or are they looking to help their own children buy a house? Or do they just want to improve their lifestyle? Brokers also learn the intricacies of the two types of reverse mortgages: a lump-sum advance via HomeEquity Bank’s core product, the CHIP Reverse Mortgage, or ongoing advances with Income Advantage.
“It’s all about teaching the brokers how to determine which client would benefit most from each product,” Twizell says. “After the course, brokers can advertise that they are certified, which improves perception and shows that they are knowledgeable and have credibility.”
HomeEquity Bank’s Launchpad program also plays a pivotal role in enabling brokers to offer the CHIP Reverse Mortgage in the most effective way. It creates marketing emails and helps brokers boost their social media presence by providing them with tools like social media advertising and articles to post.
Launchpad also assists brokers in developing the most effective content for their own websites. It supplies brokers with the tools to help them promote themselves online and with physical materials, such as custom brochures. This vast collection of professionalgrade marketing gives brokers who work with HomeEquity Bank a key advantage.
“It provides information on the areas brokers need to focus on – tips and best practices on how to build a business using the reverse mortgage,” Twizell says. “It’s a continuing education tool with added marketing functions. It also allows brokers to calculate an estimated value of what their clients can qualify for.”