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Brokers on how to stand out from the crowd

Knottingham noted the authentic nature of Nelson’s identity – both in the community and with prospective customers: “This didn’t start from marketing,” he observed. “It started from serving your community from a place you saw and has been something you have able to lead and show compassion to people.”

For Nelson’s fellow panelist, Mike Cox (pictured right), his identity is suffused with education – particularly given his role as vice president of education for AIME. He’s also not ashamed to describe himself as a nerd – with eye-catching brand awareness that has all but made his Mortgage Nerds a household name in some parts. Cox has been in the wholesale channel for more than a year. He transitioned to the broker channel to become broker owner of Mortgage Nerds after years in the retail channel at GSF Corp.

While acknowledging the power of his own branding, Cox stressed aligned dynamics have to be reflected in a company’s mission statement – “not what is your selling proposition,” he said. “For our company, we spent money and time trying to figure out why we do what we do. Our mission statement is to make the mortgage experience the best part of buying a home. It all comes together with vision,” he noted, adding that his borrowers are able to count on his firm’s guidance and expertise. “Everything flows from your vision, your values,” he said. Absent such a credo, one cannot stand, he suggested: “You cannot build a longstanding business without them.”

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For Porch Point Mortgage president and CEO Darius James (pictured center), personal branding comes down to the first impression in the way he dressed. Without hesitation, he said a “nice flashy suit” is part of his brand. Indeed, on the second day of the conference, James walked with a confident gait at the makeshift networking center at the exhibition hall set up at the Paris hotel and casino with his equally resplendently dressed wife and trusty assistant at his side. He wore an elegant yet modern-cut, three-piece suit of a blue hue that bordered on electric.

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