It’s a bit over the top, but part and parcel of the youthful vibe.
“This industry tends to trend so much older,” Sweeney, a member of the millennial generation, said. “The people who are running the mortgage space are people who aren’t going to be around that much longer. They’re getting ready for retirement, moving into another phase in life, and that’s great. But there’s not anybody to come in and take it over. And our philosophy the whole time has been – let’s bring in the new blood, let’s get them into the community right away. Let’s create content that presents information that can be complicated, or scary, or complex, and do it in a fun and exciting manner that would be interesting to somebody who’s 22, or 32, or 42 – it doesn’t matter, but appealing to a younger generation is going to be what keeps things fresh and we don’t get stale as an industry.”
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Some of the invited speakers exemplified that youthful bent. Billy Alsbrooks – former recording artist, songwriter and music producer – showed up in full rap regalia to espouse his philosophies in motivating the crowd. And attendees were abuzz in preparing to hear keynote speaker Laila Ali – daughter of boxing icon Muhammad Ali and a legendary boxer in her own right – end the convention with her motivational speech.
“When we think about the people who are going to buying homes and what generations are coming in, it’s largely millennials,” Sweeney said. “They are the biggest class of homebuyers now. I’m a millennial, I was born in 1990. If you can’t appeal to the group of people who are buying homes because the people who are leading the industry are so far past that phase of life, you’re not really connecting with the audience. So, our philosophy is to make sure originators reflect homebuyers, and one of the ways to do that is to bring new people and younger people in and create the next generation of leaders in our space.”