The HousingWire award spotlight series highlights the individuals who have been recognized through our Editors’ Choice Awards. Nominations for HousingWire’s Women of Influence award are now open through Friday, April 29, 2022. Click here to nominate someone you know — it can even be you!
In the midst of the current market volatility, many lenders are looking for ways to grow their broker channels in an effort to initiate and build relationships with borrowers.
“Brokers are the boots on the ground. They’re a part of their local communities. They know what their neighbors need better than anyone else,” said Katie Sweeney, CEO at AIME. “Between their expertise and access to tools, they’re the right people for the job and will come out on top on the other side of the purchase market.”
Sweeney was recognized last year as a HW Woman of Influence for her work in helping to position brokers for a more substantial market share in a competitive housing environment. Since taking over as CEO in January of 2021, Sweeney has been focused on helping the AIME community build sustainable businesses and create success for themselves. These actions include developing lender and vendor partnerships through the Brokers Are Better Network, team development training, and new advocacy initiatives to help impact the success of the broker channel.
HousingWire reached out to Sweeney to learn more about how brokers are handling the current purchase market and her advice to women who are entering the mortgage space.
HousingWire: As we shift to a purchase market, how are brokers staying competitive?
Katie Sweeney: Brokers are the most well-positioned industry group because they have the options, resources, and personal touch that many bankers do not. Brokers are the boots on the ground. They’re a part of their local communities. They know what their neighbors need better than anyone else. Unlike banks, brokers can work with many different lenders to provide a variety of personalized lending options. Brokers work for the borrower, not for their own bottom line, providing the most transparent costs and processes to get to the closing table on time. They are speedboats in a sea of cruise ships – agile and adaptable when things go off course. Between their expertise and access to tools, they’re the right people for the job and will come out on top on the other side of the purchase market.
HousingWire: What do you think brokers are paying attention to the most right now?
Katie Sweeney: We’re listening very carefully to brokers. They want representation for themselves and their borrowers on the Hill. Brokers are paying close attention to legislation being passed to level the playing field between the small shops and big banks. Right now, big banks have the funding for lobbyists all over the country drafting legislation to benefit their businesses – but they don’t always have the borrower’s best interest in mind. Brokers do. And brokers have AIME on their side, defending their issues, fighting for regulatory and policy change. We know brokers are the best option for their communities and now it’s time for that to be fairly reflected in our laws.
HousingWire: What advice would you give young females entering the mortgage space?
Katie Sweeney: Don’t be intimidated by those around you. You’re the expert – you know what you know, so don’t fold when others challenge you. From time to time that’s going to happen, when it does remember that you’re in the conversation for a reason and no one can take that away from you. Be sure to use your platform to give the voiceless a voice as you climb to the top. Many women know what it feels like to be marginalized, so it’s critical to be mindful of other marginalized groups, especially in the housing industry. You were given a seat at the table for a reason. Own it.
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