Trainee Spotlight – Marcus Knight
Marcus Knight was the first trainee to participate in the Appraiser Trainee Mentorship program and was awarded a scholarship through the Appraiser Diversity Initiative. He completed his required coursework in October 2020 and received his trainee license in January 2021. Thanks to his partnerships with Solidifi and Appraisal Institute, Marcus is working regularly with an appraiser mentor and is on his way to becoming a fully licensed appraiser.
How did you learn about the appraisal industry?
The Appraisal Institute hosted an information session through the Chicago Urban League. I didn’t know anything about the appraiser profession, but after hearing from the Appraisal Institute (AI) team and learning more about the industry I decided it was a perfect fit for me.
What led you to pursue your appraiser trainee license?
I liked that it involved working in my own community and interacting with new people every day, but it also required analytical skills and strong attention to detail. I was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship through the Appraiser Diversity Initiative and started my required coursework in 2020.
What challenges did you face when seeking out a mentor?
After receiving my license in January 2021, I called appraisers in my area to see if they would take me on as a trainee. I was turned down by everyone I contacted. After more than a month of rejections, I reached out to the AI team to let them know I was struggling to find a mentor. They connected me with Solidifi to find a supervisor trainee.
How was the mentor match process with Solidifi?
The mentor matching process with Solidifi was wonderful. Within one week of contacting them, I was paired and in contact with my mentor, Fred Toussaint. The team at Solidifi was so helpful; they gave me the opportunity to start my appraisal journey. There are so many trainees struggling to find mentors – it’s amazing that Solidifi is helping appraiser trainees like me succeed. I would not be an appraiser trainee today if it weren’t for my partnerships with AI and Solidifi. Receiving the ADI scholarship and the mentor match assistance from Solidifi literally changed the future of my career.
How has your mentorship experience been so far?
Fred is a great mentor. He understands the nuances of the different areas we cover and is such a knowledgeable resource. Fred is supportive and answers any questions I have, but he also challenges me to step outside of my comfort zone. I also have direct access to the contacts at Solidifi and AI who I can reach out to at any time for guidance. I am so grateful for that support.