AIME Activate 2020
Last week a few of our team members made the trek out to Irvine, CA for AIME Activate, which was a 1-day conference for mortgage brokers with a heavy focus on marketing best practices.
One of our loan officers, Ryan Ehler was actually hosting one of the sessions, which we’ll cover below!
For those that don’t know who AIME is, they are the Association of Independent Mortgage Experts. They are a community designed for independent mortgage brokers like ourselves to support and empower the wholesale mortgage channel.
Attract | Engage | Retain
The theme for this event was Attract | Engage | Retain. Focused on helping turn loan officers into marketing experts, covering what’s working today, what they should be focusing their energy on in 2020, as well as some hands on interaction with both marketing and industry experts.
Attract & Engage Experiences
Let’s be real for a second – nearly all conferences these days have amazing speakers, great networking opportunities, and overall great production.
But the Attract & Engage experiences was what really set this event apart from others, there was a headshot studio, 1-on-1 video coaching rooms, and a behind the scenes look at how podcasts are made.
We are lucky enough to have an in-house video studio and marketing team at our disposal, which is amazing, but most brokers and loan officers don’t have the same luxury – and we saw plenty of people take advantage of this experience.
What an amazing person.
René was the main keynote speaker of this event, and he did not disappoint! An amazing storyteller who delivered many value bombs throughout the day.
One thing that stuck out was his approach on the concept of time, and how we as humans are always wish we could have more “time”.
I wish I had more time to spend with my family.
I wish I had more time to help my kids with their homework.
I wish I had more time to play more golf.
You get the point. René challenged us to think of a few things that we would like more time with and to replace the word time with the word life.
It was pretty amazing looking around as the whole audience took a look at their priorities from a different perspective on the spot.
Marketing Makeover Session
Hosted by our very own Ryan Ehler, the goal of this session was to provide a one day “marketing makeover” for two loan officers who were in attendance, using just the available resources from the Attract & Engage experiences.
One of the participants desperately needed help with social media strategy. The second participant, a broker/owner needed help updating an outdated website that was holding back lead generation.
By the end of the day, each loan officer had a new strategy, fresh assets, and a lot of confidence in which direction to go next.
Mat Ishbia: How To Build a Championship Brand
We’ve all seen his videos, but watching the energy that Mat Ishbia brings live is something else!
The high energy UWM CEO spoke about how to build a championship brand. Mat broke down how he developed both the internal and external brand for UWM – by far the largest wholesale lender in the country.
Below is a recap of the 4 things that he focused on to help make the UWM brand what it is today.
1: Know Who You Are.
You cannot hire employees that buy into your culture or believe in your core values until you know(and actually believe in) who you are.
Know who you are, and go all in on who you are. Be proud of your brand, wear your company shirt to your kids baseball practices, get your close friends and family to wear your brand. Live and breath your brand.
GO ALL IN.
2: Know Who’s On Your Team.
You need to hire people and work with partners who are equally all in on who you are and what you do.
You may think of your team as strictly just your employees, but your team should stretch far beyond that. Your partners should be an equal part of your team.
The room went a little silent when Mat made most of the audience realize that some of their so-called partners were really just vendors.
A partner is a mutually beneficial business relationship between two partners who are constantly advocating for eachother.
A vender is a one sided relationship benefiting one party.
Mat challenged everyone to figure out how to turn vendors into partners. As well as asking yourself who you are just a vendor to, and how you can be more of a partner for that person.
3: Focus On The End Consumer.
You can have an amazing company culture, core values, and amazing partners but none of it matters if you do not focus on delighting the end consumer.
This is something that Rene Rodriguez reinforced earlier in the day.
4: Reputation is EVERYTHING.
You can change who you are, who’s on your team, and the things that you focus on day to day. But the one thing that you cannot change?
Your reputation. Your reputation must be earned.
In todays digital age where nearly everyone Googles you before, during, and after working with you – your reputation cannot be understated.
Anthony Casa: Protect, Support, & Grow
Anthony kicked off his amazing keynote by reinforcing AIME’s mission to help protect, support, and grow brokers. Brokers have caused significant disruption in the market over the past few years. Brokers grew by 89% in 2019, while retail and corespondent lender grown declined.
But just as brokers are disrupting the marketplace, technology is disrupting the marketplace just as much – if not more. It won’t be long until tech automates the entire mortgage experience.
Because of this, Anthony reminded us that the game is all about customer relationships. Not just the number of relationships that we build. But the relationships that we nourish over time and ultimately the ones that we retain.
Without customer relationships, we have nothing. Remember that your customers are people, not paychecks. Stop selling every time you talk to a past customer, if you really want to build lasting relationships then start treating the customer like a person. Your automated birthday email to your client is great, but you know what’s better? A phone call wishing them a happy birthday. Maybe you saw on Facebook one of your past clients just had a baby, send them a text congratulating them.
In other words, do the same sort of stuff you would do to people you would want to have a relationship with!
With the shift in the market, this is also not the time to get comfortable. A lot of loan officers are turning down business because they are too busy. While this is a good problem to have, you’re also doing the broker community a disservice by potentially sending a consumer to the retail channel.
Because of this, Anthony argues that now is the time to invest in ourselves and our businesses. If we wan’t to win the battle over retail we all have to arm ourselves accordingly. Figure out your pain point(s) and hire for it, invest in it.
Overall this event was incredibly valuable, in fact, they should triple the price for the next one. The production value, speakers, vendors, and sponsors were all amazing and the whole event truly showed why the mortgage broker community is so special.
We’re not competing with ourselves, we’re working together against a bigger cause.
Anthony Casa said it perfectly. We > I.
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