Andrew Marquis loves helping people, and this altruism is reflected throughout his business. The CrossCountry Mortgage originator from the outskirts of Boston understands that some people have more opportunities in life while some have fewer. He’s working to bridge that gap for his borrowers and in his community.
“Those clients that we really achieved something with … those are the ones that really make our job worthwhile.”
He loves educating clients, strategizing with them on a path to their goals and eventually seeing them reach their dream of homeownership. “I think (my favorite part) is really just working with clients, and that satisfaction you get out of educating someone and getting them to the point of being able to own their own home when they never thought it possible,” Marquis said.
Much of his business is in conventional and jumbo loans, given the high home prices in his local market. But he said his client base is wide — from first-time buyers trying to avoid high rents to investors seeking to snap up new properties. He sees a lot of clients in biotechnology, a huge industry in Boston, and does U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loans regularly as well.
Because of his focus on education, Marquis and his team are deeply knowledgeable about guidelines and are more strict upfront so there are no surprise denials later. “We get a lot of business from other lenders, where they fail to structure the loan correctly from the get-go,” he said. “So, for example, they don’t poke holes in the loan the right way and figure out what could go wrong with it. … (They) are unable to close, the customer will come to us and we can help.”
Over the thousands of loans he’s closed in his career, Marquis said that the transactions that stick out the most are the ones where he has helped the client out of a tough spot in their life. “It could be a situation of a client that’s getting divorced and has to refinance to keep their home, or it could be a client that we had to work with on their credit, or they had to save for a downpayment,” Marquis said. “Those clients that we really achieved something with — that they did not think they could achieve, or we got them out of a really challenging spot — those are the ones that really make our job worthwhile.”
Marquis and his team also donate $25 from every transaction to the Friends of Boston’s Homeless housing startup fund. In three years, the team has donated more than $100,000 to the fund, which helps Bostonians experiencing homelessness to overcome the financial barriers to housing and get connected to vital support services.
“You know, we’re all on the earth, we’re all going to end up in the same place at some point,” Marquis said. “And you realize you’ve got to allow others to succeed in this world in the way that we have, right? (It takes) a lot of hard work, but not everyone’s been as fortunate and had the opportunities that we’ve been fortunate to have.”
Marquis is riding out the tough market and positioning himself to capitalize on the next up cycle. His team is active on social media to connect with borrowers and Realtors, and he’s always expanding his referral network through events and one-on-ones. Since joining CrossCountry two years ago, he said he’s had support and freedom to design his own processes that work best for his team and his market.
“I think there’s opportunity in the market for the right situation, but our industry is always challenging. … This cycle is very unique,” he said. “The market’s always developing. Now we have to be forward thinking. What’s our next step? Where do we go next?” ●
Tips of the Trade
When you pursue a certain angle, you’re ultimately going to achieve that if you have a focused and dedicated approach. Figure out what direction you want to go — first-time homebuyers, FHA loans, VA loans — and then be very dedicated to that. If you want to go after purchase business, you have to build that one by one. Realtors want a financing solution that’s going to work. Work as a partner who can help them do more business. Work with up-and-coming agents and build business with them. It doesn’t happen overnight, but if you know your guidelines, you do right by your referral partner and your borrower, you provide excellent communication and you follow up, you can really build a great business in this industry.