Building community through conferences

by Kimberly Greene02 Aug 2018

It’s been a big year for AIME, the Association for Independent Mortgage Experts. Anthony Casa founded the organization in February, and it’s been full speed ahead in the months since.

AIME hosted two regional mortgage expert workshop events so far in 2018, one in April in Irvine, California, and the other in June in Denver, Colorado. Kelli Solomkin, Executive Director of AIME, said that the workshops were “hugely” successful.

“In the past mortgage brokers had worked very siloed; there were not many opportunities for them to come together as a community,” Solomkin said. “Part of establishing that community is joining the mortgage brokers, our members, in person at these various events.”

The Irvine workshop hosted around 400 guests, and AIME built upon the energy and excitement for the Denver workshop, which hosted around 300 guests—which is considered a good turnout for that market. Although organizers were expecting brokers from within the local areas, the events were open to all AIME members, some of whom traveled from other states to attend.

Part of AIME’s mission is to provide resources, networking opportunities, and avenues for sharing best practices to independent brokers across the country. In a way, these workshops and events are a kind of “safe space” where they can discuss both successes and pain points.

“We have really been breaking down that perception that they’re in competition with each other,” Solomkin said. “They’re not; there’s plenty of business to go around, and we’ve really been emphasizing that and creating a community instead.”

In addition to providing industry insights and hearing from industry leaders, AIME members also like the fact that the organization provides tools to grow a small business—although AIME members have mortgage broker shops of various sizes, most of them are small business owners. AIME sees it as a strength that they understand the unique challenges that small businesses face, and they are able to offer some resources to support the small business owners, especially in regards to technology.

“A lot of them are either not technology savvy or can’t afford some of the bigger platforms that bigger players are using, so in providing that education and resource and tools to use more advanced technology, we’re really leveling the playing field with everyone else,” Solomkin said.

The spirit of community is expected to be in full force at AIME’s Fuse conference in October, which will be the first-ever national gathering of independent mortgage experts. It will be AIME’s big “coming out” party, where they’re going to gather as a nationwide community, put their offerings on display for all brokers across the country, and talk about things that are in the pipeline for AIME members in the areas of technology, business growth, and industry insight.

“We want [attendees] to leave the AIME Fuse conference with tools and resources that they can take back to their businesses and start using immediately,” Solomkin said. “AIME talks about growing the broker channel over the next few years and this is all part of it. We really want them to walk away feeling like this event was for them, that they got things that they can immediately take back to their businesses and use.”

Early bird tickets for AIME Fuse 2018 are now available; register today!


Related stories:
Grow your business with AIME
Does your message fit the medium?