Thursday, March 15, 2012

Because Grandma won't gut her equity without a good heart-yanking sales pitch

I just love these delicious bursts of frankness that appear from time to time in communications of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders' Association (NRMLA). This arrived today in an emailed promotion for the upcoming Eastern Regional Conference and Reverse Mortgage Securitization Forum:
"Jim Gilmartin of Coming of Age Inc., Chicago, IL, an agency that specializes in marketing to Boomers and seniors, will be the featured speaker on a panel entitled, The Ingredients of Branding Your Company, at NRMLA's Eastern Regional Conference & Securitization Forum.

Gilmartin will present evidence of his theory that the current older generation’s decision-making is more emotion-driven than fact-driven and how you can utilize that to separate your company from the pack...."
The bare unvarnished cynical contempt here is refreshing to find in our lushly upholstered age of corporate spin control. (Spin control including this publicly posted NRMLA "Pledge to Borrowers".) Sign up for the "Branding" panel, and it at least sounds like the guy will straight-up explain how to go beyond logic and yank around aging Americans' most vulnerable emotions to talk them into debt.

I guess if you sell reverse mortgages you'll need his help. Because if you base your patter on logic and full disclosure alone, you'll have trouble persuading a mentally competent person to fritter away the equity of a wholly owned home -- possibly an entire extended family's nest egg -- on a reverse mortgage, incidentally messing up the homeowner's Medicaid eligibility (a home is often an exempt asset but a reverse mortgage company's payments to a borrower are likely to count as income).

So: tired of trying to sell overpriced cars or clothes to young people who have no money to spend? Try selling reverse mortgages to their grandparents instead. It's just as satisfyingly evil and there's a whole aging generation available to milk:

"So what can I do to lock you in this reverse mortgage today?"

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