Written by: Diana Wallenberg
Superheroes do exist; they walk among us. Men and women of such outstanding character and ability that their effect on the world sends out ripples, the furthest reaches of which remain hidden from view but are still felt. These superheroes save people in distress, lead people out of trouble and in the right direction, and encourage those around them to achievement by their example and word.
Sometimes superheroes are found in the most unlikely places. Living in anonymity, but leading and inspiring those around them each day. At Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation one such hero leads an unsung life of extraordinary courage and service. Her name is Carrie Guarrero.
An Origin Story
Every superhero has an origin story. This story paints a picture of the life experiences and lessons responsible for making the hero who they are. In the case of Carrie Guarrero, this story starts very early. When she was eleven, Carrie’s mother, a home mortgage lender herself, paid Guarrero to go door to door in apartment and townhome complexes handing flyers out to potential homebuyers explaining first-time mortgage loans. This first job prefigured her future life.
But, as happens in many origin stories, Carrie first had to battle her demons before she could emerge victorious as a budding young superhero. Carrie became a mom to two children and struggled through a divorce all before the age of twenty. After Guarrero had overcome tumultuous teenage years, she was determined to be the example of what she wanted her children to one day become. In her words, “I got…lost between 11 and 20, but I didn’t lose the understanding of mortgages and the worthwhile work my mother taught me about.”
In heroic fashion, Carrie never missed an opportunity to grow and learn from past experiences. Mistakes and career hurdles became to Guarrero opportunities in disguise. She asserts that “You experience failure and it hurts…but the truth is you’ll get up and get back out there…and reinvent yourself.” It’s that mindset that set her on the path from mortgage sales to becoming one of Fairway Independent Mortgage’s most successful representatives and every opportunity she’s seized since.
Behind Every Superhero is a Mentor
Even superheroes need mentors encouraging and supporting them on their path to greatness. For Carrie, this mentor was her mother. Guarrero became a mortgage lender at 20 years old, with little more than a brief education in the field and sheer determination. She leaned heavily on her mother for guidance and support.
In Guarrero’s words, “My mother, bar-none, is one of the best mortgage lenders ever to exist; not just because she is my mom…she has a reputation for doing things right and doing them with excellence.” She credits her mother for teaching her everything she knows during the time they worked side by side, and in 2004 Carrie made her mother’s mentorship advice the cornerstone upon which she founded her independent career in mortgage lending.
The Unsung Passion of an Everyday Hero
Although most of the deeds of everyday superheroes go unsung, it doesn’t deter Carrie from walking the path of excellence. She has a passion for her work that extends well beyond just selling a commodity. Guarrero believes that in her line of work it’s “who you do business with that matters.” She goes out of her way to learn about the people who walk through the doors of Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation, and if Carrie isn’t the best fit for them, she’ll find someone who is.
Guarrero understands the impact mortgages loans can have on the greater economy, so when she meets with clients, her priority is education. She has an in-depth understanding of each loan’s ins and outs and knows that not all loans will suit every customer. Carrie loves helping others purchase their homes, but her true heroism is shown in how she helps others plan for the long term. Some of her most rewarding moments happen when clients, “come to see [Guarrero] thinking they have no opportunity to own a home, but they sit down with [her] and charter the path to figure out how they can get from where they are to where they want to be, and they achieve successful homeownership.”
The way Guerrero conducts her business is based on her belief in putting others first and taking exceptional care of each client. Some of Carrie’s customers may be catching on to the fact there is a superhero in their midst because many of them are repeat or multigenerational clients. “When you take care of people [from the same family] three generations back, you know you are doing something right,” she notes.
Superheroes Lift Others Up
It isn’t Carrie’s business acumen or interpersonal skills that make her the superhero that she is, though. Guarrero’s heroism comes from a combination of these things alongside her dedication to building up the people around her. Speaking about herself, Carrie puts it this way, “It is in my DNA to lift people up, to help them strategize to figure out how to win, it’s what I love doing every day.” So, when the life coach Guarrero had seen for more than a decade invited her to join him in his work, it was a natural fit.
Superheroes Plan for the Future
Guarrero’s has plans to grow her team and significantly increase their productivity at Fairway Independent Mortgage. But Carrie’s plan for adding team members isn’t for personal gain. Guarrero’s superpower is dedicating her life to uplifting those around her, and her successful business is, “the funnel” through which her advocacy for issues close to her heart is accomplished.
What are the issues about which this hero feels so strongly? The answer is fourfold. Carrie supports the American Warrior Project, an organization that encourages respect and acknowledgment for veterans of the U.S. military. With one son in the army and a history of veterans in her family, this initiative is close to Guarrero’s heart. Carrie also plans to advocate for access to better care for individuals struggling with mental illness. Mental illness affects one of her sons, and Guarrero has experienced the broken mental health care system first hand. In addition, Carrie and her husband run a ministry for families struggling to make ends meet in the Waterville area. And finally, Guarrero plans to continue life coaching and to start speaking publicly about the issues that she believes deserves a spotlight shone upon them. Carrie’s increasing revenue will contribute funding to each of these noble endeavors.
They Walk Among Us
Maybe Carrie Guarrero started out like any 11-year-old girl, looking up to her mother and doing as she was told. But somewhere along her road to becoming one of the highest regarded mortgage professionals in this region, Carrie made a choice. She chose to walk the upright path, to lead her field in excellence, and to encourage others to do the same. This decision makes Guarrero one of the extraordinary secret superheroes that walk among us every day.