How To Get the Most From Your Time at #EXP18

Michelle Wahlmark, Sr. Mortgage Banker, Atlantic Home Loans

My colleagues at Atlantic Home Loans and I are thrilled to attend Ellie Mae’s Experience 2018 in Las Vegas this month! Experience is the place to be for mortgage industry professionals and for anyone who uses Ellie Mae’s Encompass software. For those attending the conference for the first time, it can seem quite overwhelming at first – but believe me, it’s well worth the plethora of information you’ll come back with. As someone who’s navigated the event for the past three years, I’d be honored to share some of my success stories, lessons I’ve learned, and tips for how to make the most of your time at #EXP18.

Firstly, I’m a full-time Admin and Loan Officer for Atlantic Home Loans – but I can tell you Experience is for all types of users, not just admins. This includes compliance specialists, managers, those in sales, you name it. The pre-conference training sessions offer a great hands-on learning opportunity and cover a range of topics from Preparing for 2018 HMDA Changes to Enforcing Best Practices/Processes with Expert Business Rules. There’s no better way to learn than in person straight from the product experts - it’s important to register and choose your classes early to get the best selection.

Speaking of preparing early, I highly recommend booking your hotel rooms as soon as possible to ensure a room at the conference venue. It’s worth every penny and your feet will thank you. The dress code is business casual, so be sure to bring comfortable shoes you can walk in. Sometimes it takes minutes just to get from one place to another! Finally, be sure to download the mobile app before you go. This will not only serve as an extremely helpful tool for accessing the agenda and finding where you need to go, but you’ll also be able to communicate and share thoughts with thousands of other Experience attendees in real time.

During the conference, there are so many exciting things happening at once. If you can remember the following tips, you’ll sail through and get the most out of your time:

  • Take a stroll around the Exhibit Hall during open hours and visit all of the sponsor/exhibitor booths. You’ll likely surprise yourself and learn some new things that are out there just by speaking with them. While you’re there, stop by the Ellie Mae “Genius Bar”. If you’re an Encompass admin, these are people you may be speaking to on different support tickets.
  • Bring your business cards! Don’t forget to receive business cards too, and take good notes on the back.
  • The keynote speakers are always inspiring. Don’t even think about sleeping in.
  • Assist with the Ellie Mae Cares charity event each year! Contributing to the giving back initiative is very rewarding. This year volunteers are invited to design and decorate super hero capes and masks for children who are sick, hospitalized, or who live in a shelter or foster home.
  • Attend the evening events and cocktail parties, including the Tuesday night party at XS Nightclub. These are the best places to network.
  • During breaks, make an effort to eat with others besides who you may have come with from your company. This is a great way to meet others and see how they are utilizing Encompass.
  • Sit in the front as much as possible. Prepare questions beforehand and don’t be afraid to ask them during breakout sessions. If you’re asked to partake or speak…do so! This is a great chance to meet Ellie Mae employees.
  • On your way home or after each day, take a minute to recap your notes. I’ve found this to be super important. This will help you organize and take back what you learned so your company can utilize it. List them in order of importance.
  • If you see Ellie Mae Founder Sig Anderman himself, say hi! I get my picture with him every year. What a genuine person!

After the conference, take a couple of days to breathe and soak it all in. As soon as you’re back in action, start again early for the next Experience. Each year the conference continues to grow and you’ll learn new, incredible things each year.

Like life, you’ll only get out of it what you put into it! Register, make the most of your time at #EXP18 and I’ll see you there.

Michelle and Ellie Mae Founder Sig Anderman at Experience 2017.

About Atlantic Home Loans

At Atlantic, we’re committed to providing the highest quality, professional service in the mortgage industry. We understand the importance of the real estate transaction and our originating, processing and underwriting team will work diligently to ensure that your home purchase or mortgage refinance is a successful transaction.

We are a well-capitalized mortgage bank that offers a wide range of loan products to suit nearly any situation. We are also small enough to allow our loan officers to sit down and review your loan, one on one, with our underwriters. At Atlantic, you’ll get the personalized service and quick turn-around that is just second to none.

We know there are many choices in the marketplace and we truly appreciate the opportunity to provide you with home loan financing. If you have any questions, or concerns please reach us at

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