This week’s HW+ member spotlight features Matthew Blanchard, producing sales manager at Academy Mortgage Corporation. Blanchard previously worked at Loan Depot before joining Academy Mortgage Corporation. Standing proudly since 1988, AMC has continued to build and promote a united culture for the lives of their employees, partners, homeowners, and communities.
Below, Blanchard answers questions about the housing industry:
HousingWire: What were some of your biggest takeaways from last year’s HW Annual event?
Matthew Blanchard: I flew out from Boston to hear Logan Mohtashami’s 2022 forecast, not really knowing what to expect from the event, but knowing I wanted to be one of the first to hear what he had to say. I arrived back home, not just with Logan’s insight about what to expect in the year to come, but also where the future of our industry is headed.
HousingWire: Why do you think people should attend HW Annual this year?
Matthew Blanchard: We all have our own focus and interests. HW Annual pulls you back and provides a bird’s eye view of all that’s happening in the industry. It’s a great couple of days to pull the blinders off and listen, learn, and then be ready for the future.
HousingWire: What is your current favorite HW+ article and why?
Matthew Blanchard: Without question, it is Logan’s America’s Back Recovery Model article. When the rest of the world was looking around wondering what was happening, he drew a line in the sand, forecast what was to come- and he nailed it. Leveraging his insight from this article allowed me to understand what happened in the last two years and stay ahead of what was to come.
HousingWire: What is the weirdest job you’ve ever had?
Matthew Blanchard: I was a paperboy for six years. I started when I was 10 years old. After school I’d ride around the different neighborhoods near me on my bike and drop off the evening news. It didn’t seem weird then, but it sure does now! You don’t see many kids with saddle bags on their bike slinging newspapers anymore. Let’s not forget, it snows a lot around here!
My parents worked incredibly hard and instilled that work ethic in me at an early age. There were days when I would much rather have gone to the park or over to a friend’s house, but this was a commitment. This work ethic has stayed with me ever since and is a key to my success in this business. I still see a lot of the people from my route in town today. It’s pretty fun to be at this point in life and still be referred to as “Matt the paperboy.”
HousingWire: If you could have picked a different career, what would it be?
Matthew Blanchard: I’d run a waterski school. I love teaching and educating and there’s nothing more fun than watching someone learn something new. Water Skiing is a pastime of mine that I truly enjoy sharing with others. It’s not a common activity so there is a never-ending opportunity to teach people something new, different, and incredibly fun. I love to be outside, especially on the water, so this would be the perfect combination of doing something I love, teaching people something new, and being in the environment I love.
HousingWire: What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?
Matthew Blanchard: You can’t golf and boat. Pick one. I don’t golf. Just kidding! I think the best piece of advice is simple- “just be honest.” We have hard conversations in our business. They are my least favorite part of the job but at the end of the day, being transparent and fair is all anyone really wants.
HousingWire: When do you feel success in your job?
Matthew Blanchard: I sit at the closing table with clients I’ve been working with for months or years – finally buying their first home. I built my career teaching first time home buyer seminars. So many of my clients started their home buying journey in those classes and it’s amazing to walk them through their first set of questions all the way to the day they get their keys.
Some take more time than others, some don’t seem feasible in the beginning, and after careful planning, hard work and commitment it’s amazing to see them finally get to their goal. It really is an incredible feeling to be a part of such a moment in their lives.
HousingWire: What are 2-3 trends that you’re closely following?
Matthew Blanchard: I think the Fed has their work cut out for them trying to implement policy that can adequately fight inflation and still come in for a soft landing, not creating further recessionary concerns. This policy is having a massive impact on the current potential home buyer and the affordability of home ownership. Secondly, all eyes are on inventory. Mine included. I’m wondering when the levy will break, and we’ll start to see more movement in the industry.
HousingWire: What keeps you up at night (think of a problem or issue in the housing space) and why?
Matthew Blanchard: The affordability of home ownership. The increase in home prices compounded with the rise in interest rates has made home ownership harder than ever, especially for first time home buyers who do not have existing equity to leverage. As the housing shortage continues and demand remains strong, I’m very worried for our younger generation who are stuck renting when they would love to own. Owning a home is such an important step in long term financial stability so it’s hard to watch monthly payments continue to rise.
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