How this top originator is carving out a niche in a crowded housing market

From medic to mortgage expert, originator finds her calling in reverse mortgages

How this top originator is carving out a niche in a crowded housing market

Being unique in the mortgage space has become even more crucial for originators. Linda Weilert (pictured) has spent the past 15 years carving out a niche in this fiercely competitive industry.

Before jumping to mortgage, Weilert was an ambulance medic and 911 dispatcher. This transition, she said, is one of the events that helped shape her life and career.

“Seeing many life-threatening events and being exposed daily to convalescent living was heartbreaking, and I couldn’t believe when people were subjected to the end of life this way,” shared Weilert. “I feel like I needed an overall purpose for these precious seniors and went into a rapid response in helping give them control over their financial lives and providing peace of mind by helping them and their families achieve the funds they so desperately need for their individual care.”

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The reverse mortgage niche is close to Weilert’s heart. Her decision to specialize in this type of loan became apparent after seeing how it helped her financially burdened parents with paying off their mortgage by tapping into their home equity.

“Seventeen years ago, I received a call from my dad telling me he and my mom are going to get a reverse mortgage. I had no idea what that was,” Weilert said. “I ran up to their house and met with family members, and we decided to learn more about the reverse mortgage. After meeting with the representative of this product, we did more research and put out the options. We could either sell the home, relocate, and get hit with capital gains taxes or enter into this mortgage. My parents’ home was worth $785k at the time, and they owed $200k. That’s $585K in equity. The family decided that this was a wonderful option for them in keeping the home, giving them a line of credit that grows and ending mortgage payments, making their life less stressful. Seventeen years later, this product did exactly what it was designed to do.

Read more: Senior housing wealth: it just keeps growing

“Dad became ill with Alzheimer’s, and we, as POAs, needed this line of credit to help with his care. I’m not sure how we would have been able to fund this without going into our own pockets. Dad passed away in 2018, and then in 2020, mom had a bad stroke leaving her unable to walk or talk. The rest of the line of credit was for her care. Thank God we had these funds. We sold the home for $2.25 million and owed $800k. Why? Because there is interest on the loan and we used all the monies for our parents’ care. The loan grows over time, but we understood we could make payments but chose not to. My mom today is richer in equity than they were when they first took out the reverse mortgage,” said Weilert. “My family is a walking testimony on how this works.”

Knowing that she’s helping families with their financial struggles is the driving force behind her thriving mortgage career, according to Weilert. As a loan advisor and branch manager at Open Mortgage, Weilert works hard to educate and inform senior homeowners about FHA reverse mortgage and its benefits. She’s learned to push through the struggles with diligence – a trait she got from a person who greatly influenced her life.

“My father led by example, worked two jobs and every evening I would help him with his janitorial duties, cleaning office buildings Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sundays, from ages 11 to 40. My dad would sing and make working fun. I just wanted to be with him, and I also wanted to help him because he was working hard for our family,” she said. “He was my true hero.”

Looking forward, Weilert aims to accomplish more with her volume. But more than that, she’s striving to be an expert in reverse mortgage and the go-to loan originator in her field.

“See through the eyes of your client. Always leave a good impression, be an educator, show passion, put yourself out there,” she said. “Also, speak in groups of people and build that network. Be the professional that other industry leaders know about, the reverse mortgage professional of choice.”