darren-nolander-scrappyScrappy can be good or bad – depending on which side you’re on. If you’re on the scrappy side, it’s invariably a good thing, as scrappy groups and individuals are relentless, stopping at nothing to get the job done. If you’re on the other side, however, you don’t always like facing a group that’s considered scrappy…because they’ll stop at nothing to get the job done.

You probably know by now that scrappy is one of APM’s core values, along with transparency and respect. The unwavering resolve we show to our clients is one of the reasons APM has more than 31,000 five-star consumer reviews – and counting!

Scrappy is loyalty. It’s perseverance. It’s fierceness.

The word may mean all those things, but how can you tell if your team is scrappy enough to get the job done? Rather than challenge them to a knife fight similar to West Side Story, consider the personality and behavioral traits that go along with scrappy individuals, then see if your team fits the bill.

The Passion is Palpable

You can’t be described as a dog with a bone if you don’t have a taste for bones. Scrappy individuals can maintain their sticktoitiveness because they care about their cause. A lot. For us, that’s the borrowers, their dreams of homeownership and a brighter, more financially secure future.

If you’re not ready to growl, snarl and show some teeth on behalf of your borrowers, then scrappy is probably not a word used to describe you.

The Goal is Unwavering

Scrappy teams get the job done because they know what the goal is! It’s not enough to rah-rah your way through a team meeting; scrappy players are very clear on what they’re fighting for. They’re a quick draw when it comes to their strengths, value proposition and what they’re looking to achieve.

In short, they can tell you their “why” in no seconds flat. Chances are, they’ve also established some strategies to tackle the “who,” “what,” “where,” “when” and “how” strategies that will help them smash their goal. Scrappy team members are not ones to mince words. They’re on a mission, and they know exactly what they’re fighting for.

Speed Bumps Were Meant to Drive Over

Being scrappy doesn’t mean bulldozing everyone and everything around you in pursuit of your goal. It does, however, mean anticipating what bumps are likely to pop up on that journey and how they may navigate around or over them.

Scrappy individuals have the tough conversations. They stare honesty in the face. They’d rather have all the facts to determine precisely what they’re dealing with. They don’t shy away from tough assignments and they don’t hide from data or feedback that they don’t want to hear. Instead, they take it all in, then devise a plan to work through it.

The Unknown Doesn’t Phase Them

There are always going to be curveballs. Plot twists, blindsides, surprises, whatever you call them, uncertainty reigns supreme in this universe and industry, and it will continue to do so until the end of time. The difference between scrappy individuals and others is that the scrappers know this. They may not be able to predict or prepare for every twist and turn, but their frame of mind allows them to adapt to those scenarios as they’re presented.

A scrappy team doesn’t back down when the game plan changes. They pivot, find their new footing and proceed on, unfazed. This is an essential skill in the mortgage industry, as the housing market, economy, interest rates, lending restrictions and borrower circumstances can change at any moment.

Is being scrappy the only way to get a loan approved? Of course not. Especially in today’s low interest rate environment. But what about those not-so-good times? Or those challenging borrowers who haven’t made headway elsewhere, and you’re their last hope? It’s those times and those deals that require more of you.

That’s when the scrappy become the victors.

Regional Vice President - Southwest

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.