Salem loan officer recognized in national magazine
SALEM — A small town mortgage maker and Salem businessman whose focus is family and community received some big time national attention this month in “Top Agent Magazine,” a nationally-known and internationally-known publication.
William Dawes, branch manager of Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation in downtown Salem, was the subject of a feature article in the Nationwide Mortgage Edition of the magazine for January 2017 as a top mortgage professional. The one-page story described his commitment to his clients, how he strives to help them reach the goal of home ownership, and how he’s committed to Salem through involvement in business organizations such as the Downtown Salem Partnership, Salem Area Chamber of Commerce and Salem Rotary.
The story also stressed his commitment to family, particularly his wife Abbey, his two daughters, ages 5 and 2, and his future son, who’s expected next month.
In a phone interview Tuesday, Dawes said his goal is to be a better father, explaining that if he’s a better father and a better volunteer in the community, then the success of the business will fall into place. He also said being recognized like this proves that there are opportunities for success in a small town like Salem.
“It’s a privilege to be compared with other loan officers in larger, urban loan areas,” he said.
Dawes is one of the top producers of zero down U.S. Department of Agriculture loans in rural areas, which includes all of Columbiana County, earning a spot in the Top 20 of producers nationwide for USDA loans the past four years running. He’s in the Top 5 of producers for Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation with 265 loans closed in 2016. That’s out of 200 branches nationwide, from a small office on East State Street.
He credited those statistics with getting him noticed. “Top Agent Magazine” reached out to him based on recommendations from real estate agents and other members of the industry who nominated him. Mortgage professionals must go through a nomination and interview process to be considered for a feature story. According to a press release from the magazine, “All candidates are then evaluated based upon production, professionalism, as well as industry and community involvement. It is considered a privilege to be nominated as it speaks to a certain success level all mortgage professionals strive for.”
The magazine is written for top real estate agents about top real estate agents and is considered a trusted source for the real estate and mortgage industry. The press release recognized Dawes as “a stellar example of the kind of prominent leaders of real estate we are proud to feature in ‘Top Agent Magazine.'”
Dawes said they’re not a credit counseling firm at Fairway, but they try to help educate clients on credit and even if they don’t qualify for a loan, he and his team try to help give ideas on how to improve their credit score. The team includes his wife, his mother Carol and two assistants. He commented that if he can help 265 families move into a home in one year, that’s an indication of economic achievement.
“I love putting Salem on the map,” he said.
That success all plays into what the community is trying to do with the Downtown Salem Partnership, the Chamber, the Sustainable Opportunity Development Center and other groups in trying to build up downtown. He loves living in Salem. He lived in the city until he was 9 years old, then they moved to Florida. At the age of 21, he moved back to Salem and he’s been here ever since, building the business, volunteering and growing his family.
“It’s a town of great people. Everybody’s all in, everybody is committed to the success of downtown,” Dawes said.
As president of the Downtown Salem Partnership, he’s deeply dedicated to eliminating one of the greatest misconceptions about downtown Salem — the idea that there’s no parking. There’s plenty of parking in lots off of the main thoroughfare of East State Street within walking distance. His goal is to have colorful signs that show where the parking is located so when developers come into town looking for space, they’re no longer asking “where’s the parking?”
Downtown Salem Partnership is pushing to try to get the Artful Access program funded to create the color-coded signage directing shoppers to themed parking lots that note the history of Salem. Kiosks will provide information, too, and possibly murals will be painted to dress up alleys that serve as access to the parking lots. The first grant attempt failed, but there have been meetings with the Salem Community Foundation and the city administration to try to get the program funded.
Another project of DSP has been the window clings project, funded through the Columbiana County Port Authority, to bring attention to properties in need of tenants in the downtown. So far at least four window clings have been installed, with one location now a business. He’s anticipating the final window clings to be installed before spring, for a total of 10 to 11 clings in all.
The group is also talking about being more involved in the Salem Super Cruise this year. Downtown Salem Partnership includes 14 to 16 members who meet the second to last Monday of each month in a second-floor room at the KSU City Center. Lib’s Market owner Ben Ratner serves as vice president and Sara Baer serves as secretary. For membership information, contact the group at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dawes can be reached at 330-337-3260 or via email at WilliamD@FairwayMC.com. For more about him, visit HonestLending.net.