ANTONIO MATARRANZ

Winner of the National Association of Realtors’ 2005 HOPE Award for Leadership (“Home Ownership Participation for Everyone”), Antonio Matarranz is a native of Barcelona, Spain. He graduated from the Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura as an architect. In 1980, he moved to Dallas, Texas, with a large multinational corporation. When his employer discontinued its operations in the US, Antonio chose to stay in Texas.

At the time, none of the large Dallas Realtors® addressed the needs of the low- to moderate-income family first-time homebuyer. Antonio made it his mission to use education to make homeownership an attainable goal, irrespective of income.

In 1986, Antonio established Avangard Real Estate Services, Inc., and made it his mission to use education to make homeownership an attainable goal, irrespective of income. He found that fear of the unknown was the greatest deterrent for low- to moderate-income families who wanted to become homeowners. Without understanding the process, they hesitated to take the first step towards buying a house, and topics like savings, credit histories and lack of a down payment become secondary issues. Hispanic families faced an additional problem with the language barrier. Antonio began presenting monthly home buying seminars, making Avangard Real Estate Services, Inc., the first company in Dallas actively providing education for the consumer.

During his presentations, Antonio holds the audience’s attention with a mixture of wise advice based on years of experience, humor that has a personal resonance with the audience and sincere encouragement not to give up the dream of home-ownership.

As an educator, a problem-solver, and an ardent advocate for low- to moderate-income families, Antonio Matarranz has changed the lives of almost 10,000 families by dispelling those fears about becoming homeowners. Through his programs, Antonio did what no one else was doing when Avangard was formed. He gave low- to moderate-income families the tools they needed to fulfill their dreams of homeownership.

Antonio also pioneered work with corporate entities to help them recognize the demand for affordable housing. He collaborated with banks, mortgage, and insurance and title companies to help them understand cultural differences when working with the Hispanic population. He urged lenders to re-examine standards of creditworthiness.

Antonio stressed that a transaction can still be profitable when the financial profile of a minority borrower does not mirror that of an Anglo-American. He had to get lenders to accept rent receipts and unconventional employment documents as proof of creditworthiness. Antonio has had to help explain why bills weren’t paid and why cars were repossessed. He is known for calling landlords, creditors, collection agencies and others who registered a delinquent account against a client to clear credit report errors. He also convinced title companies to be available after normal business hours and on Saturdays to fit clients’ work schedules.

During an Immigration Amnesty window in the 80s, Antonio researched laws, which affected a new market of thousands that area lenders had not considered as eligible homebuyers. He became so knowledgeable about the Community Reinvestment Act that banks sought his advice in its application.

In 2002, Antonio wrote 33 weekly bilingual articles for The Dallas Morning News explaining each step of the home buying process. When the newspaper added a section in Spanish called “Al Día” (“Up to Date”), Antonio renewed the informative series in Spanish only. Each of these was the first column of its kind in any Dallas area publication.

Antonio is not only a successful broker; he also exemplifies the highest standards of a great teacher. In a 1997 interview, Dallas’ ABC Anchorman John McCaa summed up the impact Antonio has had: “You may think Antonio is just doing his job, but it’s his effort to educate and inspire others that makes him unique and puts smiles on the faces of hundreds for whom homeownership was only a dream.”