SETTING THE COURSE FOR SUCCESS
Meet Dawson Granade, senior production manager on the Small Balance Loan (SBL) team at Freddie Mac Multifamily. With nearly three decades of experience in real estate financing under his belt, Dawson is an invaluable asset to the group.
He was born and raised in Marietta, Georgia, part of the Atlanta metro area, known for its rich background in art, culture and history. The first time he lived outside of his hometown was when he went to North Carolina to pursue an undergraduate degree at Davidson College, where he discovered his passion for economics.
Approaching the end of his senior year, Dawson was still undecided on what career he was going to pursue and planned to move back home to look for work. That was until he met his future wife Sally and decided to find a job local to Davidson. He landed a role in real estate finance at Wachovia Securities as an analyst in their Mortgage Banking Group. Dawson credits this job for having a significant influence on him continuing down this career path as it gave him a positive introduction to the industry.
After many years of successfully financing complex properties and working on securitized projects in different cities, he found his way to Freddie Mac in 2017, joining as a manager on the Multifamily Credit Risk Oversight team. A year later, Dawson moved over to the SBL team and has continued to thrive. In his current role as senior production manager, he oversees the production team in the Southeast and part of the Northeast region. Now with 26 years of experience in the industry, his passion for preserving affordable and workforce housing only continues to grow.
Let’s hear from Dawson about how Freddie Mac has impacted his career and what he does to excel in the workplace.
What is your favorite part about working at Freddie Mac?
A: It’s the people. I love what we do and what we do for workforce housing. The people here make all of that happen; they are the heart of this business. There are so many smart, dedicated and intelligent employees — it truly makes working here an incredibly rewarding experience and it’s an absolute blast.
What are some activities you enjoy outside of work?
A: Now that I have a manageable yard, I have gotten much more into gardening in recent years. I grow all kinds of species of flowers every spring and have recently introduced some pumpkins into the mix. I also love to grill and have been refining my skills ever since the pandemic. Recently I’ve been perfecting my grilled wings with sauces and seasoning. On top of that, I really enjoy being a family man. My wife and I love supporting our three daughters with all their hobbies. Whether they’re playing softball, trumpet, singing in choir or acting in theatre, we’ll be there cheering them on.
Dawson's family, from left to right: Sally (wife) then daughters Margaret, Natalie and Mary
How do you promote diversity/inclusion within your teams?
A: At a core level, I try to ensure everyone can make a meaningful contribution, because there is a wealth of knowledge that exists here. The diversity at Freddie Mac is one of its tremendous strengths, so having the ability to gather insights and viewpoints at any given point is not something I take for granted. Creating a positive environment among your teammates and having an open channel of communication really goes a long way. As a manager, I make conscious efforts to foster the most successful paths possible for those around me.
What are some things you independently do to thrive in the workplace?
A: I am a huge proponent of having a checklist and handwriting my notes. I’ve found that for me, it’s the best way to retain information and it allows me to keep my thoughts organized. If I write it down, I am doing it. No excuses. It’s something I’ve learned to be very disciplined about, because in my role, I am very focused on creating the best possible customer experience. We’re in a spot where people are coming to us, but we’re still very proactive with our lenders. Just as much as the product and the execution, we have our customer service to go along with it. I really believe it makes our Optigo® lenders feel that genuine partnership and sets us apart from the competition.
Any advice for someone who just joined Freddie Mac?
A: Take advantage of meeting new people — really put in the effort to get to know as many people as you can. If you are young and just getting into the business, you’re in the right place. Freddie Mac does a great job of creating an environment where learning and taking on opportunities is highly encouraged. We have plenty of excellent resources, so make sure to use them because the industry is always evolving. I encourage everyone here to really put themselves out there, because you never know what knowledge you will gain or what kind of relationships you will form.