For the seventh year, HousingWire is recognizing the operational all-stars of housing with the HW Insiders award. Each year, this award spotlights the individuals who have a huge impact behind-the-scenes within their organizations — through operations, product development, hiring, marketing campaigns, or improving efficiency.
Honorees like 2021 HW Insider Amanda Cherry, associate product manager at Finance of America Reverse, represent an exceptional class of housing professionals who continuously drive their team to achieve excellence in a number of different facets of housing.
HousingWire reached out to Cherry to hear more about her career trajectory, industry updates and what upcoming projects she’s most excited about.
HousingWire: Are there any pivotal moments or decisions that influence the trajectory of your own career?
Amanda Cherry: Throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate enough to have had many influences and mentors that have had a positive impact on its trajectory.
My career began in funding which accelerated with the opportunity to manage products and pricing in our LOS along with Project Management. I committed myself to the PM role and becoming a LOS subject matter expert which led me to my previous role as a business analysis. It was at that point a former manager introduced me to the possibility of a different career path within reverse mortgage. Having the ability to learn new aspects of the business has always and continues to be especially important to me. Given the opportunity to join Product in 2021, I knew the next chapter of my career would be the most pivotal and rewarding.
HousingWire: What projects are you working on right now that you’re most excited about?
Amanda Cherry: While I can’t go into specifics, I can tell you that we are working on technology enhancements to help put the customer at the center of the business and by extension the center or the products and service we provide. This, in turn, will help us further elevate our customer experience through digital solutions.
HousingWire: When you think about operational excellence, what KPIs are you focused on in the near future?
Amanda Cherry: By far the most important indicator of operational excellence for me is positive customer feedback. We aim to facilitate a tailored customer experience through product innovation, and we only know if we’re successful by eliciting feedback. What’s more, by applying learning to future innovation, we get better with every effort.
HousingWire: What impacts have reverse lending seen in the current housing climate ?
Amanda Cherry: Macro trends continue to point to the need for people 55+ to have access to their home equity. It’s a significant source of stability and flexibility in pretirement and retirement years. We’re confident that interest in both agency reverse mortgages and our proprietary HomeSafe loans will continue to grow and that our retirement mortgage – EquityAvail – will play a larger role in the product portfolio.