Buying a house is a special moment in people’s lives. It represents rooting and committing to the future and precisely for this Christina Santana, broker-owner of Mile Marker Mortgagehe opened his office.
After spending years learning the many moving parts of the industry, Santana opened her own brokerage in 2018 with one guiding principle: This should be memorable for her clients.
“It’s about creating a special moment for the consumer and the realtor partners,” he said of a process that can be overwhelming for homebuyers.
“They can walk in the door and it’s family,” she said.
The Bronx, NY native was headed for a career in law, attending the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan, until she fulfilled a childhood vow.
At 19, Santana moved to Florida, finding a soft landing at her aunt’s house in Casselberry. A first job as a receptionist at a Winter Park brokerage in 2003 was the proverbial fork in the road in her life. He veered into the mortgage industry and never looked back.
Santana took a methodical approach to learning all aspects of running a brokerage. She lived it, for years. One amazing facet of Santana’s evolution from receptionist to broker owner is that he pushed himself to reach each new level.
“I worked for 5 years for a national home builder as a loan processor. Then I worked for a national lender and did originations. I was with that company for about 7 years, then I had the opportunity to to become a managing broker for a startup in 2017,” he says.
That office was a valuable experience, but I felt the time was right to open my own brokerage.
Mile Marker Mortgage he took control of his business philosophy from the start. “The customer service would be warm and welcoming to everyone. You feel at home from the first moment. It’s a small shop and we have the passion and the experience.”
MAKING THE JUMP
She made that leap into property, she says, as a one-woman band.
“I opened the business by myself with no seed funding, no partner, with my own savings. I rented a 10 by 12 office. I did everything from start to finish because I wanted to keep the positive aspects of the loan and create those great memories for the owners.
“I’ve really been through the mortgage journey, in different positions and I’ve seen the ups and downs of the market. And I rode those waves. I can’t imagine not being able to open my own brokerage, my own business.
“It’s small, boutique, but we have the passion and the experience. I want to keep it personal. There’s a huge market for people who want that individual feel when they meet with me, my processor, or another creator we have on our team.
“There is something very tangible about it and it makes the customer feel like a priority. They are making one of the most important purchases of their life and we want to give them the attention they deserve,” he says.
Their intermediation has a motto: Achieving milestones, together! One of Santana’s personal milestones comes this month, when he turns 40.
“I’m embracing it. I feel the happiest I’ve ever felt in my entire life. So I’m really excited to go into the Big 4-0,” she says.
Still, Santana would rather talk about her life’s work than her life.
“I am very passionate about this industry and it is my baby. It really is. For every customer.”
3165 MCCRORY PLACE, SUITE 100
ORLANDO, FL 32803
NMLS # 1788488