darren-nolander-cultureOrganizational culture speaks to the values and ways of interacting that define a company’s makeup. It’s what an organization stands for. It’s what it believes. And it predicts how an organization’s employees will (or should) respond in a given situation.

At APM, our company culture is defined by Experiences that Matter. This means every touchpoint – between LOs and clients, LOs and other LOs and LOs and the broader company – should be a positive one that results in a meaningful experience.

Experience, as we all know by now, starts with service or, essentially, the way we treat people. This is where our core beliefs come in.


One of the easiest ways to lose a connection and shut someone down is to make them feel like they don’t matter. If you don’t respect another, chances are, they won’t respect you. This doesn’t just apply to face-to-face interactions. You’re not respecting someone’s time if you keep them waiting or fail to return their messages in a timely manner. You’re not respecting an individual if you cut them off, dismiss their concerns, or counter that the situation isn’t as they see it and that you actually know better.

Respect comes in many forms, but it starts with listening and observing. Meaningful relationships of all kinds are developed when people feel heard and seen.


One of the top complaints in the mortgage industry always involves communication. If you look at negative mortgage application-related reviews, you’re bound to see a common thread throughout: “I didn’t know it would take this long/cost this much,” “my loan officer didn’t tell me I need this paperwork, and it almost cost me my dream home,” “I never got a clear understanding of the application process or what was required of me,” “my loan officer said not to worry and I trusted him. That was a BIG mistake.”

It makes my heart pound just thinking about the poor borrowers who utter these statements every day. Do not let this be you. Transparency is one of APM’s core values because it has to be. Anything less is unacceptable. Be upfront, open and honest with your clients. Even if that’s not what they want to hear. Even if it will kill the loan. A one-off transaction is pretty meaningless if that borrower has a poor experience. Not only will they never use you again, but there’s a good chance they’ll tell their immediate circle and, perhaps, the world that you’re not trustworthy through reviews similar to those above.

We have nothing if we don’t have trust, so make honesty your “sales strategy” today and tomorrow.


Everyone roots for the scrappy character in movies and books. Why? Because they’re downright determined to do what is right and will fight to the death to see their mission through. We’re not asking you to go all William Wallace on us, but a person with conviction and drive is an unstoppable entity, as the Braveheart hero would tell you. Let your clients know you’re on their side; that they have a staunch advocate in you. Then, follow through on it!

Being scrappy also requires you to be adaptive, resourceful and vigilant. So make sure you’re on top of your timelines and paperwork. Head off any questions, confusion or problems before they become an issue. Utilize all the resources at your disposal to get the job done. Not sure what resources are available? Then take the time to learn about all the tools and support APM has to offer.

Regional Vice President - Southwest

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