Of the many blessings Tyrone, “TJ”, has had in life, growing up with two great-grandparents is at the top. His great-grandmother was his childhood best friend, his great-grandfather his role model. He heard firsthand their stories of struggles in the early- to mid-1900s, a time when minorities had very few rights, let alone the ability to get mortgages to buy a home.
But his great-grandparents worked hard and persevered. His great-grandfather was an owner in a taxi business and saved enough money to buy a home in an affluent neighborhood just outside of New York City.
"It was encouraging to hear their stories," TJ says. "Knowing their struggles gives me a clear direction of where I'm headed. They're no longer with us, but as I've gotten older and have accomplished a lot in my life, I'd love to be able to sit down with them and reflect on their lives and mine. Their stories give me strength as I reach new heights."
TJ has a lot to reflect on these days. In September, he was promoted to director to help oversee Production and Sales for the Freddie Mac Multifamily Southeast region. The promotion came just nine years after TJ joined Freddie Mac as an associate in the new college hire program. In 2012, TJ earned his first promotion to a producer. Senior leadership asked him to move to Atlanta to open Multifamily's first satellite office to see if being closer to their seller/servicers and borrows would expand their presence there. It worked.
"I was an account lead for several seller/servicers in the southeast," says TJ. "Being in Atlanta gave me a lot of exposure in the region. Our increased business in Atlanta is attributed to the fact we have an office down there."
The Atlanta pilot paved the way for nine other satellite offices across the country. In addition to the new satellite offices, Multifamily opened a new regional office in Arlington, Virginia, for Southeast Production, Underwriting and the Small Balance Loan team in October. The Arlington location allows Multifamily to be closer to customers and provides a favorable location for the growing staff.
"We're relationship driven in Multifamily," says TJ. "We build and maintain our relationships in person, meeting with borrowers and seller/servicers to educate them about our products, new offerings and the advantages we have over our competition. That's why it's so important to have satellite offices — having a physical presence in our markets allows us to be better partners."
As TJ continues to build his career and his team, he's listening to those around him to help influence decisions. He pays special attention to junior staff and takes a chance on them, just as Multifamily did on him.
"The management team has done a great job fostering collaboration and giving people a voice to speak up and speak their mind. Multifamily has been an innovation leader in recent years. That innovation doesn't always come from the top. Often, new ideas come from an analyst or an associate, someone on the ground seeing the day-to-day opportunities and issues; it's up to me as a leader to listen to these inspirations. But ultimately that requires a culture of trust, and that's what we're building in Multifamily, and I'm grateful to be a part of that."