Austin, Texas-based 360 Mortgage Group recently announced that it expanded its product offerings to include reverse mortgages. Company president Mark Greco spoke with us about the decision making behind this new product launch.
Q: Why has 360 Mortgage Group decided to enter the reverse mortgage market now?
Mark Greco: Over the past few years we began to see an exodus from the reverse mortgage segment by many industry participants. Part of 360 Mortgage Group’s strategy has been to take advantage of growth opportunities in an assertive manner, and it is common practice for us to enter a market when others are exiting. Management at 360 Mortgage Group understands that the reverse segment is an important solution, but an underserved part of the mortgage industry. We are confident that we can enter the marketplace with a level of service that would allow us to help consumers as well as have an immediate impact on our business and market share.
Q: Reverse mortgages never quite became the mainstream product that many of its advocates hoped for. In your view, what held this product back from achieving its fullest success?
Mark Greco: A lack of consumer understanding and education has been the primary factor. This is an ideal product for many consumers, but misunderstood. For example, many industry professionals are not aware that borrowers can actually obtain a purchase transaction with a reverse mortgage. This gives a borrower that is downsizing their home the option to place the down payment into the transaction and never have a mortgage payment. That is a significant advantage, and really makes economic sense for those who understand the opportunity.
Q: There is still a lot of confusion and suspicion surrounding how reverse mortgages work. How are you addressing this situation?
Mark Greco: 360 Mortgage Group recognizes the importance of addressing the misinformation surrounding a reverse mortgage. We have made a commitment to educating the borrower on every detail on how this product functions. From the beginning steps, though the property liquidation process, as well as all of the options that heirs have to be aware of to retain the property. There are some technical aspects that, if not explained properly, can be confusing to the consumer. However, if everyone involved with the transaction knows exactly what to expect at all key points of the process then the uncertainty associated with the product will diminish and it will be utilized for what it was originally intended to accomplish.
Q: What do you see as your near-term goals for this new product line?
Mark Greco: 360 Mortgage Group’s goal is to significantly gain market share and become a top five reverse mortgage lender within the next 24 months. We are off to a very fast start having named reverse mortgage industry executive Mike Suits as Division Manager of 360 Mortgage Reverse. Mr. Suits is responsible for the Division’s management and growth, developing new lending relationships nationally, hiring and mentoring experience professionals and building brand reputation. Already, a team of 16 experienced reverse mortgage professionals, many who have previously worked together with Mr. Suits, have joined our Reverse Division.
360 Mortgage Group is online at https://www.360mtg.com/
Phil Hall has been (among other things) a United Nations-based radio journalist, the president of a public relations and marketing agency, a financial magazine editor, the author of six books and a horror movie actor. Also, as you will discover, he is not shy about stating his views.