Motto Mortgage thrives in fast-changing market

by Emily Mack

Davina Arceneaux and her husband, Kelly Jackson, opened Motto Mortgage Home Services, a Motto Mortgage branch, in 2020.

When deciding to start their business, Arceneaux said that she and Jackson hoped to provide Illinois homebuyers with individualized, yet streamlined, options for lending. “We wanted a way to provide superior service by offering personalized mortgage guidance and presenting competitive mortgage options from carefully chosen wholesale lenders,” Arceneaux said. “We want to give homebuyers choices — no loan is one-size-fits-all.”

Of course, the year 2020 was an unprecedented time for real estate — particularly in the field of lending. Entering at the peak of the refi boom, Arceneaux and Jackson decided to focus heavily on purchase business, in addition to refi business. “We knew that in order to build referral business, we needed a way to focus on our long-term growth,” Arceneaux said. At the beginning, Motto Mortgage Home Services thrived on referrals, often from family members and friends. And while gaining that momentum, Arceneaux and Jackson worked on developing strong relationships with Realtor partners.

“We focused on how to help them grow their business,” Arceneaux said of the various partnerships. “Working as a team to help buyers get to the closing table has been invaluable to building a strong reputation based upon transparency and trust.” Before long, Motto Mortgage Home Services was expanding. The office now services commercial mortgages, as well as residential — and they are working toward opening another location.

Motto Mortgage Home Services is located in Oakbrook Terrace, though the office serves clients throughout Illinois. “We really do see a mix of clients in the city and suburbs that are looking for their dream home,” Arceneaux said, commenting that their clientele comes from within the city, as well as the surrounding suburbs.

Motto Mortgage Home Services also participates in various forms of community outreach. Most recently, the firm sponsored a real estate expo for young Black men to learn about potential careers and opportunities within the industry. Coordinated in collaboration with Lutalo McGee and his team at Ani Real Estate, the event featured a panel that focused on several key real estate topics, including home inspection, home security, appraisals, construction developments and commercial and residential lending. The goal was to provide attendees, particularly first-time homebuyers, with a deeper understanding of real estate investment.

“Becoming successful entrepreneurs has always been a dream of ours, in an effort to not only become financially independent, but to continue making a difference within our communities,” Arceneaux said. And at Motto Mortgage Home Services, those aspirations are intertwined.

During 2020, the Motto Mortgage franchise closed over $2.5 billion in loan volume, helped over 10,000 families secure home ownership. (The statistics for 2021 are forthcoming.) Operating comfortably within that network, this husband-and-wife team has created a full-service brokerage that, above all, aims to put customers first. “We like treating our clients like they are guests in our home, and we thrive on transparency, honesty and integrity,” Arceneaux said. And, as Motto Mortgage Home Services grows, she looks forward to maintaining those principles.

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