The Association of Independent Mortgage Experts (AIME) hosted its 4th annual Fuse National Conference, a conference for brokers and wholesale mortgage professionals. It is the largest nationwide gathering of independent mortgage professionals in the industry.
The conference spanned three days, with a pre-event dedicated to empowering women leaders as part of AIME’s Women’s Mortgage Network Summit. The Women’s Mortgage Network Facebook group saw a 100% increase in membership since September 2020, so it’s not a surprise the event sold out its 400 tickets.
AIME CEO Katie Sweeney gave the trade association’s keynote, during which she announced a new AIME Member Portal (AMP), along with associated membership tiers with benefits for members. The lower tiers give members access to AIME’s Facebook groups and vendor discounts. Higher tiers include things like complimentary tickets to upcoming Fuse conferences and access to AIME’s healthcare system, which allows members to offer their employees medical, dental, and vision coverage. AMP is set to launch by the end of the year.
“In order to provide the types of services that independent originators need to be successful, we as an association, need to develop a sustainable financial model in order to support them,” Sweeney said.
“With the launch of our new AIME Member Portal, we will be able to continue its efforts to educate borrowers on the benefits of working with brokers to create more awareness of the broker channel for years to come.”
“We are proud to focus on the needs of brokers every single day, however, that support comes at a cost,” says Brendan McKay, President of Broker Advocacy at AIME. “In order to level the playing field for brokers, they need access to healthcare, training programs, lobbying, and consumer advocacy and that’s what we’re focusing on going into 2022.”
The conference also featured keynotes from UWM CEO Mat Ishbia; Molly Bloom, an inspirational speaker and author of Molly’s Game; Simon Sinek, a leadership expert and author; and basketball legend Magic Johnson.
Ishbia announced his company’s new Bolt underwriting system that he said would enable brokers to underwrite a loan in 15 minutes or less, which went live on Monday, Sept. 27.
Also speaking at the conference: disgraced former AIME CEO Anthony Casa, who stepped down last year after it was revealed he sent misogynistic video texts about a rival’s wife. Less than a year later, he returned to participate in a Fuse panel.
The event was well attended, with 3,000 brokers and professionals in attendance. It’s certainly a boon for AIME: the organization reported a 100% increase in lender partners and a 62% increase in vendor partners since the 2020 Fuse conference.
With 2022 around the corner, AIME is “focused on furthering its goal of educating borrowers that brokers are truly the best option for their home buying experience,” according to AIME’s press release about the event. It plans to expand training and certification programs for brokers.