It took me 11 years of originating reverse mortgages to finally figure one thing out. When I did, my business grew by over 100% in less than one year and continued to grow yearly.

I discovered a radically better way to present the reverse to borrower prospects and referral partners, and that's when my business exploded.

Today, I will share how I went from closing a loan here and there per month to over 10+ loans monthly in less than one year.

First, here's a quick backstory behind why I had such an aggressive improvement:

I have always been a visual learner. Most people are visual learners, 65% according to a quick Google search. When explaining a reverse mortgage, I found this especially true with borrower prospects and referral partners. The presentation I was using was the standard industry comparison and amortization tables. (NOT VISUAL), but it's all I knew, and it was failing to do the job.

That's when I started showing them pictures that told the story of how the reverse mortgage worked. It was a central pivotal point, and my business doubled in one year and continued.

Here are the five lessons I learned (and steps you can follow) to take your reverse mortgage originations to the next level if you are an individual loan officer or a leader responsible for your company's reverse mortgage sales volume:

  1. We need to take the complex and make it simple
  2. The presentation has everything to do with gaining referrals and converting leads.
  3. Use familiar language prospects understand.
  4. Ask open and closed-end questions that get to the heart.
  5. Present the solutions and tell the story using pictures. 

1. We need to take the complex and make it simple

When I first started originating reverse mortgages in 2003, I would present what the loan origination software provided. I would show this to both referral partners and clients. It was complex and confusing.

The amortization and comparison were confusing to borrower prospects and referral partners alike. The illustrations used language they didn't understand.

It was impacting the amount of leads I generated as well. I needed a clearer presentation to share numbers and facts with Financial advisors, real estate agents, builders, and credit unions was a problem. 

Having been a traditional "forward" mortgage originator before dabbling in reverse, I used tools with colorful graphs and an easy-to-understand presentation. I knew there had to be a better way to share the reverse, but a solution didn't exist.

I was at a managers retreat in 2013 and was talking with one of the top forward originators. He shared with me how he created a presentation from a software tool that made a significant impression on his clients. He mentioned his high conversion rates and how every client received an illustration and personalized video recap of their conversation.

That's when I had my AHA moment!

I realized I needed to create something. There was no tool for reverse; nothing existed in the reverse mortgage space.

I realized I needed to take the complex world of reverse mortgages and make it simple for my borrower prospects to understand.

I realized that people are visual learners, and pictures aid the story.

So, I created simple pie charts and bar graphs to simplify the complex and have pictures aid the story.
All it took was some simple ingenuity with PowerPoint charts and Excel. I would copy the numbers from the loan origination system, and voila, I had just made the complex simple.

When I presented the reverse using the simple pictures, it was like someone had flipped the light switch on. There was no more confusion. The complex was now simple.

I coined the illustration the "No Payment Home Loan Report."

Unfortunately, each report took me about 30 minutes to complete. Doing four to six appointments per day became overwhelming fast.

Click on the button below to lean how I create reports in 3 seconds versus 30-minutes

The Takeaway: Have a presentation with pictures to help tell the story. Present it to every referral partner and borrower prospect, making the complex reverse mortgage simple to understand.

2. The presentation has everything to do with gaining referrals and converting leads.

Once I created the presentation, more referrals started rolling in, and borrower prospects were converting rapidly to applications.

My presentation to financial advisors focused on clients over 62 and making a mortgage payment. In the No Payment Home Loan Report, I also illustrate how the line of credit is used as a source of tax-free cash.
I used the purchase No Payment Home Loan Report to show advisors how their clients could purchase a home using a reverse mortgage. The visual presentation brought clarity and focus so the advisor could confidently refer their clients.

I did the same thing with real estate agents. Showing them how to make a market targeting people 62 and over who have been in their homes for 25-plus years and have equity.

Agents were confident about how the reverse mortgage would work to help potential home sellers become home buyers with no mortgage payment and without paying all cash.

The No Payment Home Loan Report gave them the clarity and confidence to help them get more listings, sell more homes, and be a market maker with little to no competition.

I presented to builders, banks, and credit unions, all with similar success. The No Payment Home Loan Report illustration worked with every referral partner category.

Borrower prospects quickly understood how the reverse mortgage could work for them. The pictures told the story.

I would ask the question during and after the presentation, "Does that make sense?" I would always get a resounding "YES"!

Then, I would frequently hear the question, "Why isn't everyone doing this?" Finally, my favorite question would be, "What do we do next?" My answer is, "We start the application and counseling."

The Takeaway: Use the visual presentation to develop and generate referrals from virtually every referral partner category. Aim to have your borrower prospects say the key phrases and, ultimately ask, "What do we do next?"

3. Use familiar language prospects understand

One major challenge in selling reverse is the language we use. We expect our borrower prospects and referral partners to understand this.  

I soon learned to change the language to fit my prospect's understanding. 

  • MCA is now "Home Value" (purchase price or appraised value)
  • UPB is now the "Initial loan amount." 
  • Principal Limit is now the "Total Loan Amount."
  • Amortization is now "Equity Position Over Time."
  • Tenure is now "Monthly Payment Received."

Refer back to the pictures of the pie charts and bar graphs above. Notice the words? They have been changed to aid in the understanding and presentation.

Can you see how this makes more sense to the prospect? We are speaking a language they are more familiar with and understand.  

Pictures coupled with language our prospect understands is a recipe for consistent success. 

Side note:  I don't like the words "Reverse Mortgage," and most others don't as well. There is a checkered past with the words when combined, and I use "HECM" and" Home Equity Conversion Mortgage," and my favorite is "Retirement Mortgage."

The Takeaway: Words matter, and how we use them for our prospects to understand matters. Change what you say so you speak the same language as your prospect.

4. Ask open and closed-end questions that get to the core.

Another AHA moment for me was not selling a product (reverse mortgage) but rather a solution. The industry focused on selling reverse mortgages rather than on the more critical solutions it provides. 

The way we get to solutions is through solutions-based selling. 


I would have pocket questions I would ask the borrower prospect or potential referral partner. Each set of questions was slightly different depending on the prospect type.  

Financial advisors' questions would be different than real estate agents' questions. Bank branch manager questions would be different than builder questions. Borrower prospect questions would vary depending on whether they bought a home or stayed put. 

The goal of the questions is to lead the conversation to identify solutions. One of the primary solutions is the reverse mortgage. 

Sample questions to borrower prospects wanting to pay off a mortgage include:

  1. What's important to you about not having a mortgage?
  2. What would you do if you didn't have a mortgage payment?
  3. What would you do if you eliminated the mortgage payment and had some extra cash you could use to do other things? What would you do?

When I asked these questions, I would get answers like,  "Not having a mortgage patent would allow my husband not to work in the grocery store produce department daily, lifting boxes and making his back hurt more. We need the money to pay the mortgage payment. Not having a payment would allow him not to work and give us extra time to travel."

The natural solution would be to use a reverse to eliminate the payment and have some extra cash. 

He was presenting the solutions using pictures to tell the story of how a reverse mortgage can be the solution to allow her husband to quit his job and have more time to enjoy life together. 

The Takeaway: Develop a set of pocket questions you have ready to ask prospects to lead you to the solution. Develop different pocket questions depending on the prospect type and category.

5. Present the solutions and tell the story using pictures

Once the questions are answered, you can move to the solutions using the visual presentation to tell the story.
Simple pie charts and bar graphs show precisely how the solution works and the benefit the prospect will realize.

I would show a side-by-side comparison of two reverse options: one is a fixed option, and the other is a variable. This allowed me to compare and contrast the two main options, making the choice easy for the prospect.


I used different language while pointing out the details of the reverse and the solution it provided.

The Takeaway: Present your solutions using pictures telling the story using terms they understand.

Your Turn: First, create your "No Payment Home Loan Report" visual presentation using PowerPoint graphs.

To increase your reverse mortgage originations, focus on the presentation and stop showing comparisons and amortizations in the initial conversations. You will eventually share these, but start with pictures to aid the story.  

  1. Create a presentation in a PowerPoint.
  2. The first page should show the overview of the loans.
  3. The second page should show the details, including MIP, loan amount, closing costs, line of credit or cash at closing. 
  4. The third page should include a bar graph to show the equity position over time. 
  5. You will get all the numbers from the comparison pages and amortization from your LOS tool like Quantum Reverse. Copy them to the spreadsheet embedded in the graphs, and your presentation is done. 

Present the report to all your borrower prospects and referral partners, and your business will grow exponentially. 

Having been so committed to the presentation, I decided to create a software tool that does it for me. The HECM Tool allows me to compare an HECM to an HECM, conventional loans, and all cash. It tells the story with pictures and uses language my borrower prospects and referral partners understand. If you would like to learn more, click on the button below.

TL;DR I grew my business from 43 loans per year to over 100 reverse in under 12 months by changing how I presented the reverse mortgage using pictures rather than complex comparisons and amortization tables.  

I now help reverse mortgage companies, reverse loan officers, banks, and credit unions increase volume by dramatically improving their conversions using the HECM Tool software.

About the Author Tane Cabe

Author of Double Your Retirement Dollars, creator of HECM Tool sales conversion application, nationally ranked HECM loan originator, top HECM for purchase originator, mortgage executive, coach.

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