The Optigo Next Academy is adding star power to the careers of professionals in housing finance. The unique training event took place in Chicago in June, bringing together 270 rising leaders selected from Freddie Mac Multifamily customers and employees.
Leanne Spies, SVP Multifamily Asset Management & Operations, kicked off the conference with welcoming remarks, "Part of today is talking about how to find opportunity in change and be part of the future. You're the future," she said.
Designed to support our multifamily customers as well as our own mid-career professionals who will be future leaders in the industry, the two-day event provided unique business and industry learning opportunities. Small working groups and an intimate setting created opportunities for participants to get to know each other in person and build stronger relationships.
Event sessions covered topics such as the lending process, enhancing customer service, addressing the affordable housing crisis and career growth through a diversity of experiences.
"People perform better if they know the bigger picture and understand where they fit into it. One of the goals was to give participants a broader understanding of our business and how it works," explains Ran Borgersen, senior director Multifamily Marketing and Customer Experience.
To this end, a popular session titled "Life of the Loan and the Optigo Difference" addressed the multifamily lending process from start to finish, offering participants a bird's eye view of the lending cycle and an understanding of how their jobs fit into it.
"It makes you a better professional to know the basics of all processes and not only focus on your own function," VP of Multifamily Investor Relations Amanda Nunnink adds.
In an industry where trust and connections are vital, there is immense value in opportunities like this to strengthen relationships. "Working with someone you can trust to help you work through the complexities of transactions is key in our business, so bringing our employees and customers together to build those relationships was important," says Ran.
Not surprising for a group of rising leaders, attendees were enthusiastic and engaged during the "Own It: Empowering Your Career" panel, where speakers addressed ways to grow professionally. They shared their professional paths and emphasized that diverse experiences and jobs within the industry led them to success.
"One of the key messages we conveyed is how being knowledgeable and experienced in the entire lending process and not becoming siloed can bring about more opportunities and benefit your career," says Amanda.
With the first Optigo Next Academy event a success, Multifamily is working toward repeating the experience soon.