Dana Zito Bator, VP of Mortgage Lending

Proper Rate

As a player in the Chicago real estate industry since 2004, Dana Zito Bator has learned the art of becoming an advisor rather than a salesperson. “I want my clients to know that closing their loan effectively is as important to me as it is to them,” she shares. “I have a vested interest in the transaction because I’ve built a career on reputation and word of mouth referrals.”

Bator’s real estate career began when she realized she had no interest or passion for her entry-level marketing job. “I was at an event with a group of acquaintances that had recently started in the mortgage business. I have a very distinct memory of thinking to myself, ‘if they can do it, I can do it!’” Bator says her first week was filled with Mortgage 101 lessons from her colleagues and binge-reading Mortgage for Dummies. Now, 18 years later, she considers herself an expert given all the unique circumstances she’s worked through.

Dana exceeded all previous production years at Proper Rate by $10 million in the midst of a pandemic and while juggling kids, changing Covid measures, and lending guidelines. She says it’s her attention to detail, creative problem solving, and her approachability that set her apart from others in the industry.

Although Bator’s company is made up of independent loan officers, she says she’s never felt more a part of a team. “I’ve found a true work family in my colleagues, which is particularly important through the challenges we face in this industry,” she says. “There is room for all of us to succeed within Proper Rate without stepping on each other’s toes.”

In the future, Bator would love to mentor other women interested in real estate or lending. “I work in a male dominated field. Representation matters and we all have something unique to offer others.”

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