For a person whose favorite pastime is visiting open houses on weekends, it’s no surprise that Christopher Arce-Dale found his calling in real estate. He began his career in insurance as an underwriter, and although it suited his technical abilities, it lacked the warmth of communication with customers. He moved into escrow as a receptionist, and more than a decade later he not only has his own desk at Glen Oaks Escrow but is also the Branch Manager at the company’s office location in Laguna Niguel.
“I have a Nordstrom mentality where service is everything,” Christopher shared. “After I met with the management team at Glen Oaks Escrow, I knew it was the right place for me.” The organization’s progressive thinking, support system and state-of-the-art technology enables Christopher to focus his energies on providing the personal touch and technical acumen his clients appreciate. He handles residential resale, 1031 Tax Exchanges, large REO groups and some tract sales along with office managerial duties which entail recruiting topnotch escrow officers and building new relationships in South County.
When he’s not in the office or scouting new Open Houses, Christopher loves spending time with his family, driving through Trabuco Canyon and tooling along the coast in search of a good classic car show.
Although he knows his way around a motherboard and enjoys putting computers together, tech-savvy Gabriel (Gabe) Guerra’s real passion is escrow. The 10-year real estate veteran got his start as a receptionist and rapidly learned about builder services, commercial escrow, refinance, REOs and more. Today, he makes his professional home at Glen Oaks Escrow in Laguna Niguel.
“Good leadership produces good followers, and that’s what I found here at Glen Oaks Escrow,” Gabe said, referring to Branch Manager, Christopher Arce-Dale. An Escrow Officer who manages a wide variety of transactions, Gabe appreciates the fact that the office is current on compliance and regulations, using state-of-the-art technology to protect both their clients as well as the organization. “Everything here is more professional yet very inviting and friendly. I’m looking forward to building up my desk and being a successful contributor to the company.”
Gabe is a Notary Public and member of the Orange County Association of Realtors. When he’s not in the office or deciphering the inner workings of computers, he enjoys surfing, especially the hot spot in his own backyard, Salt Creek Beach.
In her early years, Karen Wisdom wanted to be a water meter reader. When she was turned down because she was a woman and not “strong” enough to handle fieldwork, she left for a field that would give her a fighting chance – real estate.
“As an asset manager, I worked on REOs and bank-owned properties, which was often quite emotional,” Karen recalls. “When you give people cash for their keys, it’s a very distressing situation.” She eventually moved over to escrow and caught the bug. When the time came to find work closer to home, she did her research and came across Yelp reviews for Glen Oaks Escrow that had her actively pursuing a position with the company. “After meeting with the management team, I knew I wanted to work here and it’s even better than I expected. Everything is awesome – the marketing support, the computer systems and the people!” Karen’s compassionate streak is highly appreciated by those who’ve experienced distressed home sale situations as well as first-time homebuyers. Her escrow skills and knowledge cover a wide array of transactions including: REOs, short sales, refinance, residential, and commercial.
On the weekends, Karen swings into action on the golf course. Giving her husband a run for his money, she works her way around bunkers and sand traps for those sweet long drives down the fairway. Fore!
Escrow Officer, Rita Butt, has worked for several independent escrow companies for the past 26-years she has been in escrow. Despite the family-style atmosphere she was accustomed to, it did not prepare her for the tight-knit and supportive culture so unique to Glen Oaks Escrow.
“My first day of orientation was very enlightening,” Rita said. “The management team’s philosophy is ‘what can we do for you?’ instead of ‘what can you do for us?’ They’re just good people and it has created a very stimulating and positive workplace.” Rita spent her early years working for the city of Huntington Beach and handling escrow transactions for tract home sales. Over the years, she became a master at refinance escrows and continues to specialize in them today.
Although escrow was a career that happened through a natural progression of opportunities, it has become Rita’s passion, fueled by her ability to help people. “It’s so gratifying to be able to improve the situation of a borrower.” Rita has a loyal base of clients, no doubt due to her responsiveness, attention to detail and warm personality. Outside of the office, this wife and mother of two grown sons enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, family and friends.
Denise truly enjoys a fast-paced work environment and matching problems with solutions, so a career in sales was the natural result. For the past 13 years, she was a top producer in the finance and healthcare arena, recently deciding to switch gears and join the business development team at Glen Oaks Escrow in Laguna Niguel.
“Once you’ve mastered the skill sets needed to be a leader in your field, it’s important to find new challenges and avenues to expand on your professional expertise,” Denise commented. She was working on her own business analysis and career strategy when she discovered her next move. “I’ve always been attracted to real estate, and I love the social aspect, which is such a departure from the analytical compliance-driven space I was in,” Denise shared. “When I learned about Glen Oaks Escrow with its forward-thinking management and culture of giving, I knew I wanted to be part of that family. I’m very happy to be here.”
Denise is jumping in with both feet and enthusiastically hits the pavement each week, eager to forge new relationships in the industry and build her book of business. She is also working to earn her notary commission, and enjoys advising her clients on marketing and social media, a personal passion of hers.
When she’s not tracking down her next sale, and following her personal mission to help her clients achieve their goals, Denise can be found cheering at her son’s sporting events, volunteering at his school, supporting non-profit groups that matter to her, running or mountain biking and pursuing her love of writing.
When it comes to high performance, Hallie Packard is a natural. She was driving a car by the age of nine, got her real estate license at age 19 and owned and operated a driving/racing school with her brother until turning her attention to real estate full time. Today, she is a business development representative at Glen Oaks Escrow in Laguna Niguel.
“My passion is people. I like to get out into the community and see where we can make a difference for Realtors, brokers and mortgage institutions,” said Hallie. “Laguna Niguel is such a special city with amazing topography and close proximity to much of what makes Southern California famous – beaches, sunshine, recreation and of course, wonderful communities. At Glen Oaks Escrow, we’re here to listen, learn what folks need and provide our world-class escrow services.”
During her time selling real estate, Hallie assisted in the closing of more than 20 million dollars in sales. She also became an expert in short sales, a Notary Public and earned a Series 7 certification in financial advising. Exceeding client expectations is her main priority, something for which Glen Oaks Escrow is also well known. “It’s a great fit,” she confirmed. “Our management provides the tools and support that enable everyone in the office to work at their peak potential. We have a highly experienced and motivated team.”
When she’s not out meeting new people throughout South Orange County, Hallie enjoys spending time with her husband mountain biking, paddle boarding and reconnecting with their respective families.