Ginny Phillips’ first big bank experience was costly. The job was frustrating, tedious, and expensive. Her near perfect files were held up for the smallest reason. She had to shield agents from behind-the-scenes stress and eventually, she hired — out-of-pocket — an assistant to remedy operational inefficiencies.
Ginny was told that every mortgage institution had the same shortcomings. “It’s the Kool-Aid effect,” she says. “I thought it was this way everywhere and everybody had the same problems. It was the same process that every person had because of the CFPB.”
However, the Kool-Aid eventually began to sour. Things came to a head when Ginny had 15 loans set to close during the week of her vacation and not a single one closed on time.
“There’s Mr. and Mrs. Smith and they have the moving van sitting in the parking lot and this deal is tied to four other deals right behind it,” she explains the frustration. “So that by my deal not closing on time, I have caused an entire domino effect of havoc.”
Ginny was convinced that she needed to find a company that recognized the families and not just the dollar amount represented by each loan. Thus began a month-long interview process with every mortgage company in Hampton Roads. Ginny was in search of what she calls “fresh H2O” to replace the Kool-Aid.
“I thought it was this way everywhere and everybody had the same problems. It was the same process that every person had because of the CFPB” GINNY PHILLIPS
After leaving her big bank employer, Ginny worried she might have to sacrifice a professional brand image with a smaller company like Atlantic Bay. Her fears disappeared the moment she laid her hands on an Atlantic Bay closing packet, which, like the rest of the marketing was “a totally cohesive, professional image that they were putting forth in the market.”
Ginny trusted her instincts. She was hungry for change and it just “felt right” when she walked through Atlantic Bay’s doors. “For the first time in a long time it felt really good that I wanted to go to work,” she recalls.
It took Ginny three to four months to detox from her previous work environment. “I had to just relearn how to relax again, how to trust again, how to let go, how not to micro-manage,” she explains. However, despite the stress-free environment, Ginny was still wary.
Even though all of her loans were closing on time, she attributed it to a honeymoon period. “I’m waiting for this to end. I’m waiting for the ball to drop.” It wasn’t until the Marketing Department released a new flyer featuring Atlantic Bay’s 99.7% loans closed-by-contract date statistic that Ginny realized that she “wasn’t special” simply because she was brand new — Atlantic Bay handled each loan with the same speed and efficiency.
For the first time, Ginny could provide her agents with the level of service that she always wanted to give. “I’ve never worked for a company that puts so much emphasis on helping a real estate agent gain business and gain market share,” she admits. “I joke at Virginia Peninsula Association of REALTORS events, ‘If you do not have an Atlantic Bay mortgage banker in your Rolodex, you are leaving money on the table.’”
Atlantic Bay not only delivers quality service to her borrowers and agents, but also to Ginny herself. “Atlantic Bay is the only place that I’ve worked for that understands that the loan officer is just as much a client as the REALTOR®.” Whenever she calls her underwriter — even if it’s at 7 PM — she not only receives a prompt reply but “it sounds like that person is smiling on the other line, regardless of the situation, regardless of the request.”
It’s why she echoes her enthusiasm every chance she gets. “I love my job!” Something Ginny wouldn’t be caught saying previously is now her go-to phrase. “You can actually do your job and enjoy it again,” she concludes. “It was a breath of fresh air when I moved to Atlantic Bay.”
Ginny’s life improved rapidly, both inside and outside of the office, when she switched to Atlantic Bay. “I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to have some free time on the weekends and take a Thursday or Friday off,” she refers to downtime that she could have never afforded to enjoy previously. “I can do everything mobile if I need to.”
Ginny’s also had more time to focus on her health. For the past eight years, if she wasn’t in the office, she was running on Noland Trail in Newport News, VA. However, she’s no longer pounds dirt to work off stress; she runs for fun.
Just six months into a promising first year of production, Ginny received news that she never expected. She was diagnosed with both lymphoma and leukemia. “A huge anxiety for me was that I didn’t want to disappoint,” she remembers thinking. “I didn’t want them to feel like they had just hired a dud.”
The response she received from Atlantic Bay astounded her. “It was very one-on-one and personal.” Upper management assured her, “We care about you. What can we do to make sure you can get better because your health is the most important thing? How many people do we need to put on your team to make sure that you get what you need?”
Atlantic Bay helped Ginny get her life back. Her flexible schedule allowed her to work from her laptop while she went through hours of chemo treatment. “I appreciate everything that they did. I don’t think that any other company could have provided that support,” she shares.
Now, cancer-free, Ginny is in her second year at Atlantic Bay. “If I hadn’t made the transition to Atlantic Bay when I did, I would probably still be on long-term disability. I would be out of the mortgage business right now.” She considers herself “loyal for life.”
“If I hadn’t made the transition to Atlantic Bay when I did, I would probably still be on long-term disability. I would be out of the mortgage business right now.” GINNY PHILLIPS