Hometown Boy Makes Good : Matt Boire and CDC Real Estate

  • By Megan E. Preston

In Matt Boire’s line of work, it’s all about who you know. And he knows a lot of people.

For 16 years, Boire has worked for Crossborder Development Corporation in Rouses Point. Three years ago he was promoted to full partner of CDC Real Estate where he spends his day negotiating deals with local business owners and investors. Working with Mark Barie, owner, and his father, Ralph Boire, Matt sells and leases commercial real estate in Clinton, Essex, and Franklin counties. But don’t let the impressive resume and lack of hair fool you. He is only 38.

Mark Barie, owner of Crossborder recalls the day he hired Matt straight out of college. Barie took one look at Boire’s resume and was sold. “I said to myself, ‘This guy’s either really good or the biggest BSer I’ve ever met.’ As it turns out, Boire was really good. He had a natural talent for real estate and exceeded Barie’s ex-pectations the first year. “Hiring Matt was the smartest decision I ever made with the exception of marrying my wife,” Barie said. “He has been good for business.”

A native of Champlain, Boire did not know where life after college would take him. He graduated from St. Michael’s College in 1992 with degrees in economics and business administration. He had always felt an entrepreneurial spark, even managing an ice cream shop throughout college, but he donned his cap and gown with no job prospects.

Then the CDC came knocking. Boire had interviewed Barie for a school assignment and his networking paid off. Barie remembered him as intelligent, asked for his resume and eventually gave him the job.

Boire looks back fondly on the first few years. “I had a full head of hair before I had to work with Mark Barie,” he said jokingly. “From the beginning, work was fun and there was always something new.”Barie laughed and said, “The day works stops being fun, I’ll lock the door and go home.”

Boire shares his partner’s view. He spends the majority of his day on the phone talking with clients or networking. With his self-proclaimed “gift of gab,” he does well for himself. “As far as what we’ve been able to accomplish in the business, I honestly believe that just came from a natural drive to work,” Boire said. “I have always enjoyed being entrepreneurial and to me working for a small business is definitely where it’s at.”

He puts a lot of stock in being a good businessman. That means returning every call, networking and working hard. “Before I get off the phone, normally I’ve learned something about some project, or some property, or some person that I didn’t know before,” he said.

Boire also prides himself on being true to his word. “If you tell someone you’re going to do something, you’ve got to do it — as much hard work as it might take,” he emphasized. “The one time you don’t, it’s quite possible that that one negative deal, one negative conversation or project could be shared with a lot of people. And it could hurt you. So, you’ve got to be known as someone who does what they say they’re going to do.”

Boire’s clients seem to appreciate his dedication. One of his recent deals began when the client called him out of the blue on a recommendation from a previous sale. Boire made the sale and the client was happy. Boire’s easygoing personality and audible smile are key assets in the business and the community.

As a cheerleader for the region, Boire spends a considerable amount of his time as a volunteer. He serves on the board of directors for the CVPH Medical Center and is a former chairman for the Plattsburgh-North Country Chamber of Commerce. This love for the community is something his father taught him at a young age. “The value of money, hard work and community volunteerism was important in our family,” Boire said, and it’s something he hopes to pass along to his two children, Andee, 12 and Colby, 9. With the support of his wife, Niki, Boire has been able to become successful both in business and in life. “I view my success by my family — and how happy they are,” he reflected. But, according to Boire, the ultimate key to success is loving what you do. For him, that’s real estate.

Crossborder Development began selling real estate long before the separate company was formed. “It was typical for a Canadian company coming down here to say, ‘All right, you helped us with our visas now we need to find a location,’” Boire said. “So we helped them find a location and the real estate business just grew from there.”

Other factors have kept the business strong in a time when residential real estate is faltering. Boire credits the success of commercial real estate to the strength of the Canadian dollar which has influenced our northern neighbors to shop in our area and makes American investments more profitable for Canadian businesses. In the long run, Boire thinks the next ten years will be great for business in the North Country. “I feel that if there’s an economic development puzzle, most of the big pieces have fallen into place,” he said.

One piece of the puzzle, convincing young people to stay in the area, is one that Boire can’t fix on his own. “I think that [young people] need to understand that although they’ve gone to university or college for a very specific major, they should be willing to look at other opportunities, just like I did,” he said. “A lot of them are leaving, thinking there are broader horizons elsewhere. For a lot of jobs that’s true. But for someone who is entrepreneurial and likes small business, I think there are more opportunities here and there will continue to be. If they’re willing to put some hard work into a family business in this area, there are opportunities to grow with the business and do very well.”

Opportunities also exist in this area in manufacturing. Boire recently negotiated the sale of land on the Banker Road in the Town of Plattsburgh to Nova Bus for their new manufacturing facility, something, he says, that will be a huge boost to the local economy.

But to Boire, it doesn’t matter if the clients are large or small. “He treats everyone the same,” Barie said. And that sincerity and honesty has made Boire successful. “For a fellow his age and a hometown boy, I’ve yet to see anyone as successful as Matt is,” Barie said.

And his success won’t stop now.

“Ten years from now, I see [CDC Real Estate] being larger, with a few more agents and working on similar deals, “Boire observed. “But I think the deals and the people working on them will be more real estate savvy.”

When asked about his own future, his eyes sparkled, he laughed and then shrugged as the sun glinted off the top of his head. “I see myself doing the same thing, with the same amount of hair,” he concluded.

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