Mortgage banking was not on Karth Barr’s radar until a university contact offered him a loan officer position at a start-up mortgage company during his senior year of college. Approaching graduation, he had planned to work on the investment side of the financial markets and had several job opportunities on the table. But plans can change, and his did. In his unexpected role, he discovered a passion for the mortgage industry, especially when he was able to provide clients financial education during the loan process.
“Early in my career, I vowed to become a master within my craft,” says Barr, district manager for Chicagoland and surrounding Midwest at First Centennial Mortgage. “During my 25 years of experience, I have developed a product knowledge skillset that helps me win more business.”
Everything Barr does is aimed at providing an unparalleled level of service and financial education to his clients. Each relationship starts with an introductory meeting, where Karth outlines the process, establishes goals and sets a path for reaching them.
What borrowers appreciate most is his attention to detail and his ability to exceed their expectations. To date, he has originated nearly $800 million in residential mortgages, with year-over-year growth of 30%, regardless of market conditions.
“My philosophy of education/mentorship is key but surrounding yourself with an A team is a must,” he says. “I would not accomplish any of this without them.”
When he joined First Centennial more than 7 years ago, Barr worked alone but gradually built a team with production partner Megan Gober. Last year, “Team Karth” became one of the company’s most productive teams and continues on the same path in 2021.
“I am a pretty lucky guy,” he says. “I love what I do for a living, and I love even more coming home to share it with my family.”