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"30 Under 30" Realtors® Grounded in Present, Look to the Future

Media Contact: Leanne High / 202-383-1290 / Email

WASHINGTON (May 23, 2011) - REALTOR® Magazine’s 2011 “30 Under 30” honorees exemplify the personal drive many Realtors® have to be the best and provide a high level of service to their clients, despite tough market conditions and a constantly evolving industry.

“I am amazed at the outstanding qualities and work ethic this year’s ‘30 Under 30’ honorees possess,” said National Association of Realtors® President Ron Phipps, broker-president of Phipps Realty in Warwick, R.I. “As Realtors®, we bring the most value to our clients by applying new perspectives to their knowledge and experience. In that regard, it’s important for us not only to recognize these Realtors® for their success, but also to learn from them, since they are the future of the real estate profession.”

The 2011 “30 Under 30” class is a diverse crowd of young real estate professionals. However, among the group are several common threads: a willingness and determination to pass along their knowledge and teach others; an entrepreneurial spirit; and the ambition to try something new and take risks. These traits have helped some members of this year’s class triple their personal sales volumes, become their association’s youngest president, and pursue an M.B.A. and other degrees while working a full-time career.

In the context of today’s market challenges, it’s as important as ever for this year’s honorees to educate their clients on the different aspects of home ownership, as well as the buying and selling process. “I try to take the time to make sure clients understand everything from their financing to their escrow, as well as the contractual process. The more the client knows, the better, in my opinion,” said Chase Craig, a salesperson with Idaho Smart Agents in Meridian, Idaho.

In addition to educating their clients, these young professionals are making a distinctive mark in their local markets. Matthew Peterson, a broker-owner of Prodigy Real Estate in Maplewood, Minn., created a business model that helps young people get started in a business that many enter as a second career.

Jason Anderson, president-broker with Halo Group Realty LLC in Allen, Texas, entered the real estate business at age 25 and developed his own website with a direct multiple listing service feed and his own property management software. After two years he founded TAG (The Anderson Group) Realty Advisors and later sold it to Halo Group Realty. Many other honorees have struck out on their own, realizing the value in innovation and drive.

Some have combined their start-up ideas with helping those in need, reinforcing the Realtor® commitment to improving the quality of life in communities. Blake Sloan, broker-owner of Sloan Realty Group in Myrtle Beach, S.C., helped start REO4Kids.com, which earmarks $100 for every foreclosure sale for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. In 2010, the group donated more than $185,000.

Success in real estate today is often predicated on being able to adapt to rapidly changing markets. Tiffani Conatser found this to be true when she saw an opportunity to work in foreclosures even when the market was at its peak. “While most other agents were busy selling residential real estate in the early to mid-2000s I chose to shift my business to selling bank-owned homes,” said Conatser, a salesperson with Crye-Leike Realtors® in Nashville, Tenn. “The market at the time seemed almost too good to be true. I saw an opportunity in REOs (real estate-owned properties) while most agents turned their nose up when they heard the term ‘bank-owned home.’”

Despite their varying paths to real estate success, there’s one value held strongly by all the “30 Under 30” honorees and the rest of the Realtor® community: the importance of home ownership. Scott Engle, broker-owner of Realty Source Inc. in El Cajon, Calif., grew up in an apartment and always wondered what it would be like to have his own home. “Now I understand the motivations of a first-time buyer and the importance and value of home ownership,” said Engle.

This year marks the 11th anniversary of REALTOR® Magazine’s “30 Under 30” program. Over the years 360 rising young stars have been recognized for their commitment and dedication to the real estate industry.

The 2011 “30 Under 30” honorees are:

Jason Anderson
Halo Group Realty LLC
Allen, Texas
Leonardo Pareja
Keller Williams Realty
Arlington, Va.
Becky Barrick
Keller Williams Realty Puyallup
Lake Tapps, Wash.
Matthew Peterson
Prodigy Real Estate
Maplewood, Minn.
Bret Butler
Windermere
Bellevue, Wash.
Samara Presley
Smart Choice Realty Co. Inc.
Raleigh, N.C.
Tiffani Conatser
Crye-Leike, Realtors®
Nashville, Tenn.
Christopher Price
Keller Williams Realty –
The Indy Property Source Indianapolis
Chase Craig
Idaho Smart Agents
Meridian, Idaho
Jessica Sadler
Urban Durham Realty
Durham, N.C.
Ryan Dallas
RE/MAX Realty Associates
Champaign, Ill.
Lindsay Sanger
RE/MAX Elite
Rockledge, Fla.
Armando Diaz
Realty Executives
Merced, Calif.
Blake Sloan
Sloan Realty Group
Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Dino D’Orazio
Keller Williams Real Estate
Blue Bell, Penn.
Joshua Smith
RE/MAX Professionals
Surprise, Ariz.
Scott Engle
Realty Source Inc.
El Cajon, Calif.
Tyler Smith
Keller Williams Realty
Folsom, Calif.
Kira Epstein
Long and Foster Real Estate Inc.
Bethesda, Md.
Teresa Staiano
Prudential Douglas Elliman
Flushing, N.Y.
Kyle Gable
Ackerman & Co.
Atlanta
Angela VanEman
American Way Realty
Mankato, Minn.
Jill Johnson
Keller Williams Signature Partners, LLC
Wichita, Kan.
Seychelle Van Poole-Engelhard
Keller Williams Realty, Van Poole Properties
Dallas
Paul King
IST Realty
Sunny Isles Beach, Fla.
Devon Viehman-Wheeldon
Jackson Hole Real Estate Associates – Christie’s International Realty
Jackson, Wyo.
Aleksandr Milshteyn
Edward Surovell, Realtors®
Ann Arbor, Mich.
Pamela Wye
W.C. & A.N. Miller (A Long & Foster Co.)
Washington, D.C.
Joanne Paleo Taranto  
Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty
Weston, Mass.
DelRae Zimmerman
Brokers 12 Inc.
Minot, N.D.

Complete profiles of all of this year’s honorees are online in the REALTOR® Magazine section of www.realtor.org. The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

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Information about NAR is available at www.realtor.org. This and other news releases are posted in the News Media section.

REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark which may be used only by real estate professionals who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics. Not all real estate agents are REALTORS®. All REALTORS® are members of NAR.