Pushing independent brokers out of their comfort zone

by Kimberly Greene05 Jun 2019

There’s only one week until the upcoming AIME Mortgage Broker All-Star workshop in Atlantic City, NJ, and the AIME team has released a new agenda and concept.

Top brokers will now present “lightning talks” on specialty lending and realtor business development, followed by intimate Q&A sessions in the exhibitor hall.

“We’ve heard directly from our members saying that they want to learn more about these two subjects, and we thought the best way to bring them this education was to actually put the expert right in front of them,” said Kelley Galloway, AIME director of marketing and branding.

Mark Summers, president of AIME, said that top brokers have always been willing to talk to AIME members at events, but having a separate built-in Q&A session is something they’ve been playing with for a while. The team hopes it will provide more of a roundtable feeling where brokers can share questions and bounce ideas off the experts.

Summers is a broker himself, and says that when it comes to specialty lending, it’s valuable to have someone raise their hand and share how easy it really is.

“If we don’t know, we don’t hop into it,” he said. “I might sit back and say, ‘I’ve known about this, but I still don’t know how to take that leap of faith and start lending this way.’ At the end of the day, it goes back to the bigger mission of AIME, which is to educate the mortgage broker community in every possible thing and make them better to gain more market share.”

There will also be social media and branding tips and tricks from brokers who excel in the medium, and they will highlight: ways to grow business with social video; how to expand social reach; building brand credibility for small business; and creating content relevant to a particular audience.

Summers said that there are some people in the broker community who are at the forefront of social media techniques and others who just don’t have the guidance to do it properly. The value in getting advice from multiple top broker experts is that attendees can find a style and technique that resonates with them personally as opposed to getting blanket advice.

Social media changes daily and it’s hard--especially for independent brokers--to put in the legwork of keeping up with participation as well as implementing and testing new techniques. AIME hopes the information presented at the Broker All-Stars workshop will remove some of those barriers and, Galloway adds, there’s value to both sides of the knowledge coin.

“We have these experts who can come on board and come up in front of the stage and say, ‘Listen, I tried these techniques, I tried these strategies, here’s what worked for me, here’s what didn’t work for me.’ That not only saves people a lot of time, but it’s also really relatable. These subject matter experts, they weren’t an expert to begin with, they did a lot of things wrong to get to where they were.”

The day will also include talks by UWM President and CEO Mat Ishbia and AIME Chairman Anthony Casa, and a panel on the art of recruiting.

More than anything else, using peer-to-peer engagement techniques is a tool that AIME has used over the past 18 months to band independent brokers together and grow market share. There’s an energy around that that’s infectious. As brokers still have a relatively small share of the market, there is less focus on competition and more focus on how brokers can interact and learn from one another.

“For one time in a long time, and maybe the first time ever, that this community is actually together,” Summers said. “The bigger banks, the retail banks, those are our competition. I think [AIME] put its guard down a little bit and allowed each of us to help each other, educate each other, and really empower us.”

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