AIME takes aim at broker-channel awareness

by Ryan Smith13 Jul 2020

Mortgage brokers are continuing to snap up market share, and the Association of Independent Mortgage Experts (AIME) wants to make sure the public’s awareness of the broker channel keeps growing. That’s why AIME is celebrating the third National Mortgage Brokers Day on Saturday.

“We look at this day as an opportunity for wholesale lenders that support brokers, the vendors that support brokers, real estate partners, for everybody to clearly understand what the value proposition is, and hopefully bring more visibility to consumers,” said Anthony Casa, chairman of AIME. “…What we really want to focus on is the consumer-facing messaging and the realtor-facing messaging. That’s what we’re going to be championing for our members. In the mortgage world, if you’re a real estate agent or a consumer and someone says, ‘Hey, I’m going to refer you to my mortgage broker,’ they don’t know what that actually means. And the truth of the matter is that you might be getting referred to a mortgage broker, or you might be getting sent to an originator at a retail lender. It’s a terminology that has been used in a very broad way, so the important thing for us to focus on is: Why are mortgage brokers better?”

Casa said that home buyers – especially those new to the process – could get much more guidance from a broker than from other channels.

“The expertise is something that’s really important. If you go to a Rocket Mortgage or some technology-driven platform that’s completely automated, it’s a self-driven process,” he said. “You start the path, and you drive it, and they’re just pushing you down it. They’re not educating you. You’re borrowing all this money and buying a house, but nobody’s actually speaking to you about the things you should know and the things you should be thinking about.”

And, of course, brokers could generally find their clients a better deal than retail lenders, Casa said.

“Every lender has a different risk tolerance. If I go to a lender with a 640 credit score, that might be the credit box that they love, and they’ll give me a phenomenal rate,” he said. “But if I have a 580 credit score, they might give that a horrible rate and horrible terms – while there’s another lender that loves 580 credit scores. The broker’s value is the ability to focus on the consumer. They don’t work for a lender. They can consider all the options and make sure they find the lowest rate and the lowest fees for their specific scenario.

“If you’re a consumer, where do you go to find the best deal?” he said. “There are places you can go to shop for the best deals for cars or for hotels. That’s what the broker’s job is. At the end of the day, they’re finding the best deal for the consumer, and when you’re borrowing hundreds of thousands of dollars, that matters.”