The Association of Independent Mortgage Experts (AIME) has hosted several events this year, and they’re saving the biggest for last.
AIME’s second annual conference, FUSE 2019, will be held at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, NV on October 11-12, 2019, and the agenda has recently been expanded from one day to two. The reason, according to AIME Chairman Anthony Casa, was that content is king.
“For us, to be able to provide our audience and our members with the content that really addressed their needs and demands, we needed to add a day that was focused strictly on broker-to-broker content, which means basically aggregating top originators and top brokers that are going to be featured in panels and during segments that are really based around topics that are more close to home for mortgage brokers,” he said.
Attendees will benefit from sessions covering everything that matters to broker business today, including making their business recession-proof; protecting broker business from fintech companies; recruiting and managing loan originators; strengthening lender-broker relationships; and more.
Gary Vaynerchuk and Ryan Serhant are featured speakers for the event, providing their expertise on the topics of being an entrepreneur and real estate, as well as building a brand.
“Adding serial entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk and American Real Estate Broker Ryan Serhant to our already accomplished speaker list will further underscore our commitment to the mortgage broker community to provide incomparable event experiences with key business takeaways that they can repurpose within their day-to-day strategies,” Casa previously stated.
Additional speakers and exhibitors include powerhouses such as Barry Habib, Jeffrey Tesch, Laura Brandao, Christine Beckwith, and others. They will share the stage with top broker/owners, and all presenters will reinforce AIME's mission of empowering independent mortgage experts with products, tools, knowledge and community support.
A number of factors separate AIME from other mortgage associations, one of them is the importance placed on networking. Other conference audiences tend to have mixed audiences, consisting of broker and retail loan originators, as well as executives and thought leaders in the mortgage space. That’s valuable, and AIME members do want to hear about high level topics, but Casa said that they also want to be in a situation where they’re hearing from and sharing with their peers who have built successful business or ways that they’ve implemented specific strategies and systems into a model that is very similar to their own.
“Those are the things that, because they're isolated, small business operators, they just don't have access to that kind of knowledge,” Casa said. “[To] have our national conference and not address that kind of need, it didn't feel right.”
Around 1,100 mortgage brokers attended AIME’s inaugural Fuse National Conference last October; organizers expect attendance to surpass that this year, and are planning to host about 1,500 mortage brokers.
Part of AIME’s mandate has been to unite the broker community and leverage that connection and power to gain access to the technology and services required to advance the channel as well as compete with larger lenders. They’ve addressed that through a series of regional events in 2019: Irvine, CA, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Atlantic City, NJ, and Scottsdale, AZ. At each event, the team has tried to get more targeted and granular with content, addressing the most topical issues for mortgage brokers today as well as the uncertainties of those originators curious about entering the channel.
It’s been a wild ride, but there’s a great energy in the broker community. Larger lenders have sensed the momentum and been vocal in their support of the channel, which has given a big boost to broker confidence. Many originators have made the switch to the broker channel, which now has more than 40,000 members compared to the 34,000 in 2018.
In spite of this energy and camaraderie, FUSE organizers acknowledge that it’s a big ask for brokers to get to FUSE, especially given the incredibly aggressive rate environment that’s allowing them to rake in the deals.
“Everybody's making a lot of money, things are really good, so taking three days off to go to an event in Vegas, it sounds like it should be easy, but people are busy, and it's hard to do. There's a lot of sacrifice. They're already sacrificing time from their families by working overtime in their businesses,” Casa said.
But, he adds it’ll be worth their while.
“This is going to be a big transitional event for both mortgage brokers but also for our organization.”
Register today for AIME FUSE 2019 at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, NV on October 11-12, 2019.