LOAN OFFICER, BANK OF ENGLAND MORTGAGE PROPRIETOR, OPEN GATE FARMSTEAD
Host of podcast: CraigCast Hometown: Garnerville, NY Age: 26
Education: Double major in Marketing and Entrepreneurship with a minor in Business Administration from SUNY Plattsburgh
Community involvement: Rotary Club of Plattsburgh, Adirondack Young Professionals, North Country Chamber of Commerce
To learn a little about Matt Craig before our SB interview I checked out his Linkedin profile. Here is how he describes himself. “I help first time buyers’ navigate their home purchases and I sell pigs by the half or whole. Contact me today for either. I also have a podcast.” How can you not be intrigued by a guy like that? We met and Matt turned out to be a casual guy in a polo shirt with a warm handshake and a big smile. During weekdays this free spirit helps clients obtain Federal Housing Administration (FHA), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Veterans Affairs (VA) home loans. Evenings and weekends, he can be found raising pigs, chickens, ducks, and goats on his farm in Keeseville.
Matt chose Plattsburgh for his undergraduate studies because it was the only SUNY college that offered Bachelor’s degrees in Entrepreneurial Studies, Marketing and Business Administration. While he was there he met his future wife and decided to stay in the Adirondacks.
After graduation Matt went to work temporarily at the Texas Roadhouse while he looked for a full-time job. Responding to an ad for a loan officer he went to an office but he was early and the was door locked. He met his future boss in the parking lot, pitched his qualifications and got the job!
Matt has been with Bank of England for four years and said the easiest and hardest part of his job are one in the same, “Talking with clients and dealing with their private information. I have to triple check everything from paystubs, tax returns, credit ratings, and more.”
Asked about his business philosophy, Matt explained, “I value my word above all else. Everyone from buyers, sellers, realtors, and attorneys are trusting me to get the job done”.
What are you doing to make a difference in your profession?
I was in high school when the mortgage meltdown happened. Never in a million years did I envision myself becoming a mortgage professional. I distrusted people in suits! Now I am trying to offer a more relaxed and trustworthy experience in the lending community. Our farm operates on a simple principle, happy and healthy animals make the best products possible. Our pigs live like pigs, wallowing in mud on a few acres, our chickens eat bugs and grass, our ducks have a big old pond of their own.
What are you doing to make a difference in your community?
I currently live in Keeseville but most of my professional career is based in Plattsburgh. I am trying to get more young people involved in service organizations while trying to bolster the local Keeseville economy. We have a blossoming young farming community and I try to bridge the gap between my farm community and the professional community. A perfect example of this is selling eggs out of the back of my pickup at Rotary dressed in my business attire.
What is the single most important characteristic for success?
Don’t seek acceptance from others, find it within.
What is your biggest professional success?
Buying a complete gut job, fixer upper house at 24.
What’s your dream job?
Living completely self-sustaining, off the grid with all the modern luxuries far enough away so no one bothers me but close enough to golf.
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
Wake up at 4:30 am.
What important lesson have you learned in your career?
Trust is like a match, strike it once and it’s gone.
What is the most exciting trend happening in the community right now?
The Keeseville farm/brewery scene.
What can the North Country do to make this region more appealing to a younger generation?
Stop trying to copy Burlington or other communities. Let Plattsburgh be Plattsburgh.
What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
Staying in Plattsburgh for half a year while my future wife finished her degree, which led me to not take over my dad’s plumbing company.
What is something that no one would guess about you?
I call my Grandma at least once a week.
Write a note to your younger self…
Don’t change a thing.