In the early days of the mortgage industry up through the 2010s, the wholesale mortgage industry reflected the channel in its cutthroat nature. It was a lot more common for a broker to look at another broker in their area as the competition than as peers. That mentality changed with the creation of Brokers Rallying Against Wholetail Lending (BRAWL) and its successors, AIME and its Brokers Are Better Facebook group.
The group, along with AIME’s Women’s Mortgage Network Facebook group, have become places where mortgage brokers can network, ask loan scenario questions, find referrals in other states and crowdsource solutions to mortgage issues from other brokers and wholesale mortgage professionals from across the country. More importantly, the groups play a major role in shifting the mentality of brokers to see retail operations as the true competition instead of each other. Now the broker community is united in its mission to grow the wholesale channel.
The Benefits of Joining the Brokers Are Better Movement
The Brokers Are Better Group is an invaluable tool for new brokers who recently entered the channel from outside the industry or who have recently transitioned from the retail side of mortgage to wholesale. The group, now over 11,000 members strong, also includes countless seasoned brokers with years of experience in the industry as well as new brokers who are navigating the industry for the first time.
Those brokers are always available to answer mortgage questions or offer referrals for clients outside of their region. That type of collaborative effort across the entire wholesale channel did not exist even five years ago. That all changed with the creation of AIME and the Brokers Are Better group. Now the wholesale channel has a platform to prop up their peers. More importantly, mortgage brokers started looking at each other as peers instead of competition.
Tom Mancuso, Mortgage Broker, NEXA Mortgage
For Tom Mancuso, the Facebook group served as a major resource when he joined the industry in 2019. Mancuso had no mortgage experience when he joined the industry, having spent over 10 years with General Motors as a Finance Director.
While studying to get his mortgage loan originator license, he was in a serious motorcycle accident where he lost his leg and lost his memory due to a severe brain injury. That accident delayed his entry into the mortgage industry by a decade. He finally became a broker in 2019 when a former coworker, who started a brokerage, reached out and offered him a job at his company.
With no background in mortgage and not a lot of time for training, Mancuso had to get up to speed quickly. Luckily, Mancuso’s boss was a member of the Brokers Are Better Facebook group and although he could not contribute much to the group at first, he made a point to read every post and interact with it.
“The community itself was something that I relied on,” Mancuso said. “I always felt that in a worst-case scenario, I could go search BAB for help, and if I couldn’t find the post, I could reach out and post it myself.”
Along with interacting in Brokers are Better, Mancuso also started watching AIME’s videos including Sales Rally, Broker Playbook, and the Broker to Broker podcast. The podcast especially became a morning routine for Mancuso as he listened to episodes while he got ready for work.
“One of the biggest things that helped me was the Broker to Broker podcast,” he said. “You have the most amazing, successful, brokers totally open and willing to share things with you. I used to think, ‘I want to get in a position where I can do a podcast and give back to others.’”
Todd Bitter, Mortgage Broker, JKS Mortgage
Todd Bitter has been with the Brokers Are Better Facebook since its inception. As a seasoned mortgage broker, Bitter plays more of a support role in the group. Of course, he comes across new issues on occasion, but he mostly serves as a mentor, or “elder statesman,” as he put it.
Just about every single week, Bitter gets messages from brokers asking if he could give them guidance on how to handle real estate agents, Bitter’s specialty. On average, he holds two to three calls with brokers every week to teach them his tricks for developing real estate agent relationships.
“Being in the group is a way for me to give back,” Bitter said. “For years and years, I had people that mentored me and helped me and picked me up when I needed help. I don’t need that much help anymore, but I can get back to the people that are just starting out because it’s a tough business right now.”
Of course, Bitter is just one of the countless seasoned brokers within the BAB group that are always available to help new brokers.
How to Effectively Use the Brokers Are Better Facebook Group
Andrew Kunisawa is another veteran broker in BAB, who has also been a member of the group since its beginning. As an early member, he has become a master of utilizing the Facebook group to grow his knowledge.
“I can say without a doubt the connections that I have made with AIME have influenced the way that I do business,” says Kunisawa.
Kunisawa shared his tips during an episode of the Broker to Broker podcast. He has developed a system where he saves useful posts by placing them in specific folders so they are easy to find later. Along with that, he often utilizes notifications to stay on top of relevant information.
Kunisawa’s tips to utilize the Brokers Are Better Facebook group:
- Save posts into easy to find folders
- Turn on notifications to get alerted to relevant information
- Use the search feature in BAB to look up relevant topics
- Work to keep things on a positive level
- Interact with group members to organically network
“The easiest way to use the group is just to interact with posts,”,” Mancuso says. “Everybody can participate in the group, everybody can be a member of the community. You don’t have to have 40 years of mortgage experience to like someone’s post or congratulate someone.”
The Brokers Are Better and Women’s Mortgage Network Facebook groups are an invaluable resource for the broker community. Both groups feature thousands of experienced mortgage brokers who can answer important questions and help guide new and experienced brokers.