AIME Academy aims to empower broker-owners, small brokerage shops

Training hub is tailored to support wholesale originators nationwide, CEO says

AIME Academy aims to empower broker-owners, small brokerage shops

The Association of Independent Mortgage Experts (AIME) has launched the AIME Academy aimed at providing in-training support to broker-owners and small brokerages, officials have announced.

The AIME Academy showcases two new training programs – the Loan Officer Assistant Training Program and the Processor: Level 100 Training Program – designed to provide entry-level training for those without prior mortgage industry experience, officials explained. 

AIME’s CEO Katie Sweeney (pictured) said the academy was prompted by a dearth of critical training support in-house for small broker shops and broker-owners. The association she helms is committed to helping is members effectively scale their businesses, she said, and the necessary tools and resources are critical toward that goal.

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“Brokers are working hard to grow their businesses and in a volatile market, supporting roles like LOAs and Processors are increasingly important to the bottom line,” Sweeney told Mortgage Professional America. “With the AIME Academy, brokers now have a training resource to provide the knowledge needed for these roles to be successful. It’s with these smaller broker shops in mind that the AIME Academy was created, and we’re excited to continue our support of wholesale originators nationwide.”

AIME is a non-profit, national trade membership association created for independent mortgage brokers, now counting some 65,000 members in its ranks. The group’s aim is to empower brokers with technology, continued education and networking opportunities to help with their residential mortgage needs. Officials note the association operates with a growth-focused strategy, providing tools and resources toward propelling the wholesale channel beyond a 25% share of the mortgage market in 2022 and beyond.

In announcing the newly launched academy, AIME officials described each of its initial components:

  • The Loan Officer Assistant Training Program is tailored to provide the basics of the mortgage industry and its history, while teaching the responsibilities and expectations of the average wholesale LOA. This self-paced program also highlights the basic requirements from the Fannie Mae, FHA, HUD, VA, and USDA selling guides, and is designed to support wholesale brokerages as part of their internal training processes.
  • The Processor: Level 100 Training Program is the first level of a multi-tier processor training plan, teaching aspiring processors how to analyze initial loan data. Trainees will be able to determine eligibility, including income, property, assets, and credit. This 10-hour competitive syllabus takes learners through five in-depth courses, covering lender regulations, guidelines, IPAC, and various workflows - all specifically designed for the wholesale mortgage channel.

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“The AIME Academy was created to specifically help broker owners and small broker shops, who often lack critical training support in-house,” Sweeney expounded in a separate prepared statement. “Our association is committed to helping our members effectively scale their businesses, and in order for the broker channel to continue to grow, we need to provide the tools and resources that make it easier for their businesses to thrive.”

Those availing themselves of the academy are able to work at their own pace towards the next level of certification, and all graduates earn skill badges and a completion certificate. Both training programs are available immediately in the AIME Academy with additional courses available in the coming months, officials noted.

“This program is intended to be a game-changer for anyone who wants to step into the wholesale mortgage industry,” Mike Cox, AIME’s vice president of education, said in a prepared statement. “The nation’s leading mortgage experts developed the coursework for the training program guaranteeing that learners will excel in the fast-paced world of wholesale mortgage lending.”

The AIME Academy launch is the latest in a series of major strides made by the association in recent weeks. Last month, AIME officials detailed the formation of its political action committee dubbed the Broker Action Coalition Political Action Committee – or BACPAC. In a previous interview with MPA, Sweeney said the PAC was formed to help amplify the collective voice of AIME’s broker members on Capitol Hill.

Prior to the PAC launch, AIME earlier this year hired a lobbying firm named Forbes Tate Partners in a similar move to represent brokers’ interests before lawmakers. The lobbying firm is focused on communication and engagement strategies to reach and engage key audiences, AIME officials explained. The group is described as a bipartisan, comprehensive public affairs firm specializing in government relations, traditional and digital communications, grassroots advocacy, third-party coordination, insights, polling, coalition management and business development.