For Dean Germain, serving Main Street USA isn’t just a job—it’s a calling.
After growing up in Michigan and Illinois, Germain found his way to Nashville, Tennessee, in 1989. He was a network engineer for about ten years, but his work required him to travel often, and he wanted to spend more time with his family. That’s when a friend suggested that he work with her husband at Allied Home Mortgage. Germain signed up on October 31, 2002, and began his journey into the mortgage industry.
A Personal Touch
Germain's focus is, in his own words, “truly helping people”. He knows from personal experience how important financial literacy is. When he bought his first home, he worked with loan officers who were unlicensed and undereducated. He refinanced his home three times, and, at the end of 10 years, his loan balance was the same as when he started. He decided then that he would dedicate himself to helping his clients understand the complexities of mortgages and choose the best option for each unique situation. “My goal is to always work with the client, educate them, and make sure that can help set them up financially,” he says.
For 17 years, Germain progressed in his career but found himself competing with online giants and the increasing use of impersonal, digital communication. He was considering getting out of the industry but took one last training course and found his passion: helping seniors obtain and manage reverse mortgages at Fairway Independent Mortgage.
Germain believes the keys to success are knowing your craft and acting in your clients’ best interest. He quotes a Fairway colleague, saying, “If you were put on trial for doing reverse mortgages, would you be found guilty?” He adds, “That’s what I want—to be found guilty.”
Changing Lives with Reverse Mortgages
Germain's clients are 62½, the minimum age to obtain a reverse mortgage, and older. Many seniors still have a mortgage payment, so he has plenty of work to do. He discusses two experiences that always remind him of the importance of his practice. One of his clients, a woman who had been in the workforce for 35 years, came to Germain when she was 67 years old and ready to retire. She hadn’t drawn on social security yet, but she had a lot of debt and a mortgage. Germain was able to help her get a reverse mortgage, which gave her the money to pay off both her debt and her mortgage.
He describes a second experience working with a couple, aged 69 and 72. They knew they wouldn’t be able to make ends meet with only one income. By taking out a reverse mortgage, they were able to pay off their debt. Now, if one passes, the other will be protected. It’s experiences like this that keep Germain motivated. “I'm just passionate about reverse mortgages and how they truly help,” he says. “It’s just a matter of educating financial advisors, insurance agents, and the general public.”
The Value of NAIFA
Germain is an outspoken advocate for NAIFA membership. He loves going to NAIFA events and networking in person. “The energy when you go to an event is enormous,” he begins. “You filter out of the room, and you can definitely tell how it's going to help promote your business.”
Germain also brings colleagues along to NAIFA events and they're always impressed. “[The presenters] have the facts and the numbers that being a member actually does increase your business and help your production,” he says. “So, not only do you get trusted colleagues, but you actually take a bigger paycheck because they have so much information they can give you.”
Outside of the Office
When he’s not working, Germain enjoys sharing quality time with his wife and two sons, aged nine and six-and-a-half. In the summer, they spend as much time as possible on the lake. “We’re all water babies in my family,” he says.
In recent years, Germain has been active in the Hendersonville Chamber of Commerce and honored as their Volunteer of the Year. He’s also served on the board of directors for the organization’s Holiday Fest, a series of 25-30 events during the holiday season, each of which raises money for a different charity.
For his service to his community and our industry and association, we’re #NAIFAproud to have Dean Germain as a part of our NAIFA family.