Culture of Support
Growth Doesn’t Have a Final Destination Here
Continuing to learn and evolve is something that sets our team members apart from their peers. And that’s why our growth opportunities are abundant and attainable!
We feel pretty confident saying that this dynamic duo is one of the best in the game. Eric Pendergrass and Connor Malloy are a powerhouse pair on our Sales Training team. Together, they make every effort to assist new and seasoned Mortgage Bankers while they continue to grow their business. From training processes to maintaining your license, no request is too big or too small for Connor and Eric. In their trainings you’ll laugh, you’ll learn, but most importantly you’ll easily accomplish what you’ve set out for.
After talking through their backgrounds, we found out why they are such naturals at training. Eric, a psychology major, and Connor, an education major, both enjoy solving problems. They exemplify these traits by working with our Mortgage Bankers to get to the root of any issue and solve any problem that Mortgage Bankers bring to the table. Training is in their DNA, and you can ask anyone who listens to them just how helpful they are.
Life before Atlantic Bay
Both started out in the banking industry where they shared with us the same song and dance – working in an environment that didn’t support a positive work culture, micromanagement was perfected, and the idea of career growth was a pipe dream.
Connor reflected, “I was applying for random jobs after college, so I applied at a bank. Looking back, I realize they look for people right out of college because that environment is awful. It was a giant call center sitting on the phone doing loan applications. You’re doing the same thing you might do here at Atlantic Bay, but everyone’s listening to your calls, the pay is based on customer service reviews, and you need 5 stars. I thought to myself who would ever do this?” Even for an entry-level job, it wasn’t worth it.
At this point, Connor knew he needed to make a change in his career. “When I came to Atlantic Bay, I was shocked. It was a totally different world. I didn’t know people could live their lives and originate loans. And that has remained true the entire time I’ve been here. I was completely missing this type of freedom at my last job,” Connor shared. “When people come over from banks, it’s fun to watch their reactions when they realize just how different we are. Especially if they are coming from places where they had to request bathroom breaks or were just extremely micromanaged.”
Eric had a similar experience and reflected on his time at a bank, “I started right after college. I was there for six years, and it was a very stuffy and a tedious job. My last year I became a trainer, I would train 100-150 mortgage bankers at any time,” Eric adds. It was not an environment where he felt like he could build real relationships and make a true impact in the careers and lives of those Mortgage Bankers, so when Connor reached out and asked him if he was interested in joining Atlantic Bay, “I jumped!”
Sometimes success doesn’t come easy, and hindsight is 20/20. But, if you look at those missed opportunities and where the learning moment is in them, that’s where success is born.
“To get good at the job you have, you make your mistakes. Try hard to learn from them.”
“Connor and I make sure that we’re available to support and prop you up when these learning moments come along. If you have an issue understanding workflow between who's doing what in the loan process, or even understanding where the gap in your business plan lies, we’re here to help,” Eric said.
As problem solvers, Connor and Eric enjoy when people need help - it’s like a puzzle to solve, figuring out the mistake or problems, and how they can help rectify them. And that’s how our Mortgage Bankers can advance their business - and ultimately experience more success.
“The philosophy is these Mortgage Bankers shouldn’t get caught up processing loans or tracking down a ton of info. They should be giving their borrowers great customer service and prospecting for new clients. If we can give them the free time to do that, everyone makes more money, helps more people, and closes more loans, and that’s the goal,” Connor added.
Training with an Atlantic Bay Twist
Neither Eric nor Connor love anything corporate, in any sense of the word. They aim to be as personable and low-key as possible. So, when it comes to their training, they keep it light and like to make jokes so that it doesn’t feel like a boring training session.
When someone joins the team at Atlantic Bay, we know we need to get them up and running as quickly as possible. We make sure within the first month that everyone understands the loan flow, who touches that loan, and how to navigate the systems we have in place.
“We want everyone to feel comfortable enough with us to ask any question that comes up without the fear that we’re going to judge them for not knowing something,” Eric shared as he reflected on their training style.
So, whenever there is a question or a need, Connor and Eric make sure they’re available to help.
Coffee with Connor
Connor knows that everyone learns differently. And he performs one-on-one trainings and group trainings so that everyone can learn in a manner that’s most effective for them. He also conducts a weekly “Coffee with Connor” call to meet with Mortgage Bankers and talk through a specific topic. It’s an optional forum to source solid material or ask the questions that you need answers to.
Interest Only with Eric
Eric is passionate about ensuring the necessary support of the Atlantic Bay team. So much so, that he routinely surveys Mortgage Bankers and their assistants to get an understanding of their pain points. From these survey results, “Interest Only with Eric” was created.
“I take the responses and make every training unique to that week’s concerns. No one wants a pre-determined session if it doesn’t provide help or support to them. Instead, I try to make it entertaining and informative.
The Sales Support department at Atlantic Bay is focused on making the mortgage business more enjoyable for mortgage professionals. There’s a large support structure in place even after trainings conclude. Eric knows that anyone can sit in a training session and not fully understand the information they heard, so he makes sure to dedicate time to have one-on-one coaching as needed and provide follow-up materials in various formats for all types of learners.
That One-Team Approach
“When you’re here, you get one Operations team and you’re not going to get that at another company. The problem with not getting one team is that you have no idea who is getting your files, who is your underwriter, processor, or closer, and will they work well together?”
At Atlantic Bay, the same group of people work on a file from start to finish. There isn’t a question of who will be assigned to the file throughout its lifespan. “Unlike other lenders who have a round robin approach, which means you don’t know who your closer is until the file is clear to close. This leaves room for unforeseen stress for the mortgage banker and borrowers alike. We can control everything here, and that type of thing rarely happens,” Connor shared.
The unnecessary stress is removed from the loan process and team members can operate in a more synchronized process. And that makes for a better experience for everyone involved – especially the borrowers!
“We do things in a way that was formulated to make a Mortgage Bankers’ lives easier.” Connor points out that Atlantic Bay also takes the opportunity to invest in new roles in Operations that other companies don’t have - like Compliance Techs and Operations Assistants.
“Because Atlantic Bay chooses to take that money and instead of pocketing it, put it towards a role that makes sense; it alleviates stress, reduces administrative tasks, and keeps everybody happy.”
Our Operations team is a well-oiled machine. “At the end of the month, our Processors, Closers, and Closing Managers are typically celebrating. Where we came from, our Processors would be crying at their desks at the end of the month. It was shocking when we realized that what we had been experiencing did not have to be the norm for our careers in this industry,” both Connor and Eric agree.
Drop in and win
There is no limitation to growth at Atlantic Bay, and that is something that loan officers coming from banks find attractive about our business model. "In an effort to license bankers coming over, the NMLS has created a new Temporary Authority policy, which has given them 120 days to pass the licensing test. The benefit of this is that it gives them time to continue to originate while they study to get licensed, without having a lapse in business that would impact them and their family financially,” Eric explains.
When it comes to recruiting the younger folks, he says, “No kid watches The Big Short and yearns to become a Mortgage Banker. But I’ve seen success with some of the younger team members here, and they are already in The Presidents Club. They’ve been able to drop in and win because they’ve got the access to every single resource they could dream of.”
You don’t have to know everything to be in this industry, either – we've got our Mortgage Bankers covered “There are Mortgage Bankers here who don’t have their nose in regulations all day long because we have the support to keep them prospecting and focusing on building relationships.”
“That’s what’s different about Atlantic Bay. We have people working for you, supporting you in all aspects and departments - so that you can grow your business.”
Our dedicated Culture of Support has built out resources to help every Mortgage Banker's business thrive – regardless of how much they produce or what their main goals are for themselves personally or professionally.
“When you think of a Mortgage Banker you think of someone behind a desk or in my experience, a call center like something in a movie which is not the best mental image for your future career. Atlantic Bay is not stuffy, not pent up, people love their jobs here and are genuinely excited to work here. It breaks that image of what being a mortgage banker is, instead we do 5k runs and host events at breweries. Coming from where I came from at a bank, those things would have never happened, because they wanted to maintain that stuffy appearance,” Eric says.
Continued support and education remain the name of the game for Eric and Connor. Together, they are a unified wealth of knowledge, ready to show Mortgage Bankers how to best utilize our systems, train their brains to be better Mortgage Bankers, and have fun too!
These are personal anecdotes from each individual’s experiences that are unique and not representative of Atlantic Bay's views or practices. Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group, L.L.C. NMLS #72043 (nmlsconsumeraccess.org) is an Equal Opportunity Employer.