We’ve been busy at Braustin expanding our team to make sure we can continue providing an excellent customer experience to our new home buyers.
This week we’d like to introduce Chris Martinez, our newest member of the Braustin sales team. Though his story is touched with sadness, it’s one many of us can relate to and we’re so glad to have him as part of the Braustin family.
Chris was born in San Antonio, growing up for the most part around Medical Center and the east side of town. His parents divorced when he was young. While he lived most often with his mother, he and his father were very close.
While Chris was good in school, most of his fond school-age memories come from his time in basketball, which he played from sixth grade all the way through graduation, remarking that both of his parents attended every game.
“I wanted to be a basketball player. But, the height thing, you know,” he says, regretfully reporting he peaked at six feet.
After graduating high school, his family fell on hard times and Chris had to forego any hope left of a future in basketball to help support his family financially.
“I started working as a dishwasher for Sea Island Shrimp House. My best friend’s brother was a manager over there,” he says.
Though life wasn’t taking a course he necessarily expected, Chris took it all in stride and quickly moved from dishwasher into a position behind the counter.
“They allowed me to bus tables first, to, you know, make sure I could interact with the public,” he half-jokes. After proving himself, Chris soon made assistant manager and then manager before moving on to pursue a new opportunity in sales.
It was two years into this new sales job that Alberto Piña, co-founder of Braustin, found Chris, back when he was managing an online division of another mobile home dealership.
When asked what drew him to take this career change, Chris says, “I can serve someone a plate of food, and they’ll enjoy it for thirty minutes and then forget about me. I can sell someone a can of wax, they’ll throw it in the back of their car and forget about me. I can help someone buy a home and they’ll remember me the whole time they live there.”
Having found a job where he felt his work was meaningful that also brought financial freedom, it was a major blow when his division was cut, and Alberto was laid off.
Although this brought on a difficult transition, it didn’t compare to the devastation that soon followed when Chris’s father suffered a stroke.
The next three years were some of the hardest of Chris’s life as he made another career change in order to accommodate the high level of care needed to properly look after his father.
“I went to USAA. It was still forty hours a week, but a little less involved. And my cousin would help me,” he says.
As he thinks back to that time, Chris recounts a memory when his family took a vacation to Disney World in Florida. He saw a carnival style booth where three baskets will win a giant stuffed animal. He paid the $5 for his three shots and prepared to show off.
“I miss the first one. I miss the second one. And I make the third one,” he laughs, “I was a little embarrassed, but then I see my dad walking up, pulling his wallet out,” Chris says, doubtful of his dad being able to do any better but interested to see him try.
“He sinks the first two,” Chris says, amused, “I couldn’t let him beat me, though. So I went back and this time made two shots.”
In the end, it was probably the booth owner who won, but Chris and his dad walked away with one of those oversize goofy stuffed animals to mark the occasion.
“That pretty much sums up me and my dad,” Chris says, “Competitive, fun and loving.”
After suffering nearly three years following the stroke, Chris’s father passed away in July of 2019.
Chris still grieves for his father, but as he now has a two-year-old boy to raise, he works to be the kind of father that will make them both proud.
A few months after his father’s passing, Chris found he had extra time and was ready to take on work he felt was more meaningful than his job with USAA.
“I reached out to Alberto and asked if he had room for an old teammate,” he says.
Soon after that phone call, Chris made the transition to Braustin and says he already feels right at home. Chris is excited to be a part of Braustin’s future as we all work together to help make families homeowners.