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Today’s real estate market is challenging and competitive, but this year’s REALTOR® Magazine “30 Under 30” honorees haven’t let that deter them. The 2012 class is following in the strong entrepreneurial tradition of real estate, creating their own pathways to success.

“I am always astonished to see the “30 Under 30″ professionals every year and all that they have achieved in such a short amount of time,” says National Association of Realtors® President Moe Veissi. “What amazes me the most about this year’s class is how they recognize there is no one formula for winning in real estate. They have discovered success their own way and display the dedication and hardworking spirit all REALTORS® possess. REALTORS® are constantly evolving with the market, and it’s important to recognize these young people and learn from them, as they are the future of the real estate profession.”

The 2012 “30 Under 30” honorees, who are featured in the May/June issue of REALTOR® Magazine, are a mix of broker-owners/managers and salespeople, representing all sectors of the market from commercial real estate to rental properties. Some are immigrants to the U.S., while others practice in the small towns where they grew up. Some were born into a real estate family and always knew they wanted to enter the profession, while others were on a much different career path before real estate came calling.

Mandy Becker, a broker-owner in Myrtle Beach, S.C., originally envisioned herself as a lawyer. Amanda Ruchti, a real estate salesperson in Houston, Texas, saw herself as a travel writer. Meanwhile, Seth Goodman, a salesperson in Lincoln, Ill., knew he wanted to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather, a Cleveland, Ohio, area broker. Goodman now has a successful business in his hometown of Lincoln with a population of just 14,500.

Many of this year’s “30 under 30” came into the business shortly before or after the housing market decline. They’ve thrived because they haven’t been afraid to take risks, often at a very young age. Rachel Adler, a salesperson in Bellevue, Wash., was 19 when she purchased her first home and-inspired by the young, vibrant agent she worked with-quickly earned a real estate license. Likewise, Inessa Chernioglo, a salesperson in Elk Grove, Calif., had just graduated high school when she used her savings to buy her first home. She soon bought and rented out the first one. “Having this experience helps me encourage the younger generation to be wiser with their spending and shows them that homeownership is very attainable if done wisely,” says Chernioglo.

Along with taking risks, this year’s honorees are thinking outside the box on how to achieve results in the industry. Brandon Brittingham, a salesperson in Salisbury, Md., developed an REO application for the iPhone that enables real estate professionals to connect with legitimate REO companies. He saw the need after teaching short sale and REO classes.

Timothy Ho, a sales person in Whitestone, N.Y. and this year’s REALTOR® Magazine Readers Choice Winner, devised a prospecting database system for his team that is both simple to use and sophisticated enough to handle the 200 to 300 calls his office receives each month. Michael Wolf, a salesperson in San Diego, Calif., says he is in constant “refinement mode” and looking for ways to better himself. He has written The First Homebuyer Book, and started the company, where real estate professionals across the nation can buy and sell used lockboxes.

One quality that runs throughout the “30 Under 30” class of 2012 is an inherent understanding of the importance of long-term relationships. “If you focus on hard work, ethical behavior, and providing the best service possible you will build a network that sticks with you for life,” says Melissa Kennedy, a broker-owner in Newport Beach, Calif.

This year marks the 12th anniversary of REALTOR® Magazine’s “30 Under 30” program. Over the years, 390 rising young stars have been recognized for their commitment and dedication to the real estate industry.

For more information, and to view the 2012 “30 Under 30” honorees, visit