How AIME helped spur a career change worth making

A chance encounter gave one correspondent banker the confidence to make a big switch

How AIME helped spur a career change worth making

There’s no single set path to a career as a mortgage broker in the wholesale channel – but for Vineet Gadura (pictured), discovering the Association of Independent Mortgage Experts (AIME) by chance proved the spark for a career change he’s never regretted.

The Gadura Mortgage president, based in Queens, New York, told Mortgage Professional America that AIME had played a “very, very important role” in helping him make the switch from a role with a correspondent bank to the wholesale channel, starting with a random visit to the association’s Facebook page in 2019.

Before, Gadura had never appreciated how narrow a view of the wider industry landscape he was getting by working in the correspondent banking space.

“When you start, you don’t really get the full picture of the industry. You just learn from the way that the original company is doing business,” he said. “So I spent four years working at a correspondent bank, just only knowing how a correspondent works.

“This is where AIME really helped me because I casually stumbled across that Facebook group in 2019 without knowing anything about the broker channel. And that Facebook group on its own gave me the confidence to get up and not just sit in the correspondent bank and only learn how these guys do business.”

Scouring AIME’s Facebook page, Gadura said, gave him a detailed insight into plenty of questions he hadn’t considered before: What’s required to be an independent broker? How are applications submitted? What conversations are required with compliance attorneys?

What’s more, it also helped guide him through the steps to follow after obtaining a broker license, from signing up with credit companies to getting Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac access privileges and understanding which banks to work with.

Information access a significant difference between channels

The path from correspondent banking to the wholesale channel was a two-year journey, Gadura said – “but I don’t think play would ever have happened if it wasn’t for the Facebook group, if it wasn’t for actually interacting with people who did it already,” he said.

“Just reading through people’s stories and comments for a year. That one little Facebook group has enough knowledge to jumpstart a whole company and career. And this is the reality.”

Access to information is the main difference between working in the broker channel and his prior career in the correspondent banking space, Gadura said, with the ability to speak to multiple banks and lenders rather than being beholden to your employer.

That goes as far as system access and ability to read certain reports and price loans, he said. At his previous employer, managers exerted a strong influence over loan pricing. “From 20 to 24 years old, that’s how I thought the business was,” he said.

“And I stumbled across a Facebook group that’s like, ‘Wait a minute – you can go price out a loan and see all the options and different products. Also, you can check with five different banks too’ It’s just like a snap in your head.

“I’m not going to say every bank works the way that I experienced it, but that was my experience with information control – I didn’t have it. It took me four years to wake up and see what was out there.”

A resource that provides continuing value for brokers

Gadura said he regularly used that AIME Facebook page in his early days in the broker channel, especially its “underrated” search feature giving brokers the answers to any number of questions at their fingertips.

“Somebody has asked [your] question before. And maybe not just one time – maybe 10 people have asked that question,” he said. “So you can see how 10 different people have handled it over the last three years. Sometimes you don’t even need to ask the question – just look through what happened in the conversations in the last four or five years because somebody else has gone through it.

“That’s pretty good public dialogue, and the fact that it’s just all public information is pretty remarkable.”

Gadura has never looked back since getting his start in the broker space just over four years ago – and he’s continued to enjoy a fruitful and productive relationship with AIME since that early experience.

“I don’t actually think I’m ever going to not work with AIME,” he said. “I really attribute the beginning of my career to AIME – and for that reason, I have to be eternally grateful for it. The value that they gave me was basically priceless.”

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