“I remember when I closed my first deal, which still gives me goosebumps. I thought to myself, ‘this is what I was supposed to do: help others.’  The feeling of helping someone achieve homeownership is very rewarding. Walking alongside their journey and sharing my personal experiences, so they feel comfortable and confident working with me,” Knouf said.

Knouf also feels it’s important to educate his clients, especially first-time buyers, on the mortgage process and provide them with a total cost analysis for transparency. He also attends open houses and gives out loan product kits for realtors. While they do not need to know every detail, Knouf noted that the more knowledge they have, the better they can serve their customers.

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At Churchill, Knouf and another top producer teach a class for new loan officers called “Next Gen.” The 12-month program touches on the nuts and bolts of the mortgage process and has “income-producing” activities intended to help them boost their business.

“Activity is a short answer for both new and seasoned loan officers. When you first start out in this business, there is so much to learn. Don’t get in your own way. Get out and talk to people, network. Be who you are to your core, and you will attract those that are like-minded. Be genuine. Once you relate to people, you connect. People want to do business with people that they feel genuinely care and can connect with,” Knouf said.