Relationships are a Top Priority
Growing strong relationships is a quintessential part of our business model. And providing the support necessary to cultivate those relationships is an important component of our culture.
Humans have the basic need to build relationships with others. They need to feel connected. This necessity is yearned for in personal life and it spills into our professional lives, too. At Atlantic Bay, we know that building relationships is an integral piece to growing your business.
“Relationships equal efficiency,” Chrissy Zotzmann Brown, Chief Operations Officer of Atlantic Bay says.
When a team has strong relationships with their managers, co-workers and their clients, the workplace reaps the benefits. You are more likely to see more collaboration and camaraderie. Team members are more likely to feel a stronger sense of loyalty and perceive more value in their daily work.
“Developing relationships creates trust and breaks down barriers so everyone can get to the best version just by being honest and transparent.”
“If you ask us what our secret sauce is at Atlantic Bay, it’s that we’re relationship focused versus profit focused. It starts at the top with our CEO. His leadership style is certainly people and relationships first. Everyone at Atlantic Bay has your best interest in mind. And that in turn creates efficiency.
“In our opinion, every mortgage is like a snowflake. No one person's financial history or situation is the same. In order to truly make the best decisions for our company and our borrowers, we need to have trusted and honest communication between Sales and Ops. That kind of relationship creates the best outcome for our borrower. We are all working toward the same goal,” Chrissy explains.
Relationships are important here. That’s why each Mortgage Banker works with a designated Operations team, so the guess work in daily work-life is eliminated. More on the unique one-team approach can be found here. By creating a One-Team Approach, we can deliver those outcomes more efficiently.
Growing and Maintaining Relationships
“I truly feel like the ability to develop and maintain good relationships is key to your personal and professional growth. As cliché as it is, nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care. You can be the smartest person in the room, but if you are unable to connect with others, it will stunt your growth. I have developed a community of peers within this industry. Those relationships have been priceless. I have a different approach to industry peers. I come to the table, regardless of the other person’s accomplishments or title, as I am. I am not afraid to be transparent about what I know and what I need help with. In turn, I feel as though I have created genuine relationships, which can be hard to find in business.” Chrissy says.
Chrissy recalls periods of time in her career where she felt intimidated – especially being the only female in the room most of the time. It wasn’t until a very wise friend told her the secret to business... “Everyone is a fraud.”
In a group setting, most people are afraid to ask questions or appear incompetent – so they stay silent. From Chrissy’s experience, asking questions and absorbing information from the wisest people in the room is what has helped her grow and stay outside of her comfort zone.
Once she began actively interacting with her peers, she started receiving responses privately from others stating that this kind of transparent dialogue is refreshing – especially in the mortgage finance industry. From there, she has been able to forge bonds with some of the most impactful people in this industry. “I accredit all my success to my ability to create genuine, authentic and transparent relationships,” Chrissy shares.
Her mentor relationship
One of the most impactful professional relationships Chrissy has is the one with her professional mentor. He has been transformative in her career because, “he pushes me to the next goal, the next level. Quite honestly, even when I think I am in over my head. When I need guidance, he will call me and walk through every detail. I am beyond grateful to have that kind of support.” Most recently, he motivated her to study and test to obtain her NMLS license – something most Operations leaders don't have.
He truly wants her to break barriers and reach for the top – just a genuine excitement to see her career flourish. He has walked side by side with her while she obtained her CMB (Certified Mortgage Banker) certification - the highest designation you can get in real estate finance, and he pushed her to join a trade group so that she can learn the legislative side of the industry.
“Only a handful of people in the state of Virginia have theirs. I spent three years in school and studying to reach the point where I was ready for the exam. I met my mentor during my prep course and having that relationship with my mentor helped me through it. He actually insisted that I complete my oral panel exam on the first available day, even though I did not feel ready. However, I passed and was grateful for the push. Everyone needs relationships like that. The ones that push you out of your comfort zone and believe in you, when you do not have the confidence yourself,” she says.
Strengthening relationships within
“I am passionate about honesty and integrity within business. I feel blessed to work for a company that conducts business with those values. Everyone gives the same song and dance, when talking about their company to an outside peer.”
“Most people claim they are the best at everything. At Atlantic Bay, we do not say something that we cannot deliver on. We are open and honest; we lay our cards on the table. Here is the good, bad and ugly. It is not going to be perfect, as nothing truly is. But what we can offer is different than our competition.”
The Atlantic Bay experience is one unlike any other, and that experience has evolved over the almost 25 years in the industry. But what has not been lost throughout the years is the culture.
By putting our core value of “We genuinely care” at the forefront of everything we do, both internally and externally as a company, we are strengthening relationships and prioritizing people first.
Supporting the growth of relationships is quintessential. Providing the support that is necessary to cultivate those relationships is important to Atlantic Bay. Here, it is a priority to invest in the culture and our team. Relationships streamline processes and efficiencies, plus they enhance your life, mental health and overall well-being.
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.