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As the real estate market continues to show signs of improvement and consumers grow more optimistic, a young class of REALTORS® is ready to embark on a new era of real estate. This year’s REALTOR®Magazine “30 Under 30” honorees have not been deterred by a challenging and competitive market. Instead they have developed innovative and groundbreaking skills to create their own pathways to success.

“This new generation of REALTORS® represents the future of the real estate industry,” said National Association of REALTORS® President Gary Thomas, broker-owner of Evergreen Realty, in Villa Park, Calif. “Consumers in this country recognize the value of a successful and vibrant real estate market, and these REALTORS® work hard to keep the dream of homeownership alive. Despite their young age, this class of professionals is wholly committed to the value of homeownership and real estate investment and the many benefits they bring.

The 2013 “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 property management. Some practice real estate in small towns, while others thrive in the nation’s largest cities. The honorees also represent a wide range of cultural backgrounds and come from every region of the country, from Boston to Wasilla, Alaska.

Christine Ko, a salesperson with Bridgepointe Group in Santa Clara, Calif., is the youngest member of the board of directors for the Silicon Valley chapter of the Asian Real Estate Association of America and is focused on promoting sustainable homeownership, specifically among the area’s Asian community.

“When I embarked on my real estate career in 2007, it may not have been the best time to jump in, but it was a critical time for the community and families like mine who were in need of legitimate advice and advocacy,” says Ko. “My personal mission became assisting distressed Asian homeowners while promoting sustainable homeownership.”

This year’s “30 Under 30” have varying backgrounds and different levels of real estate experience, but all are working to bring their unique experiences and gifts to bear for their clients.

Meredith Lane, a salesperson with Milestone Realty Consultants in Lexington, Ky., used her background in journalism and television news to help her brand her business through various media outlets.

“I write articles about real estate for two area magazines and have hosted infomercials on cable television that feature local home decor and improvement businesses,” says Lane. “My goal is to be the local real estate expert for central Kentucky.”

Despite technology and social media, this year’s class still believes that real estate is a personal business based on relationships and face-to-face interactions. “Even though I am the biggest advocate for using the Internet and technology to my advantage, buying and selling houses will always be an extremely personal process,” says Matt Laricy, a salesperson with Americorp Real Estate in Chicago. “It is important to make an emotional connection and lasting impression with your clients.”

REALTOR® Magazine readers had the chance to vote for their favorite “30 Under 30” honoree in the Web Choice competition in late March. The winner, Kristi Tanner Mock, a team leader at Keller Williams Realty in Wasilla, Alaska, received 2,844 votes. Alaska has only claimed one other “30 Under 30” honoree in the 13 years of the competition’s existence – Wayne Salmans of the 2009 class.

“A lot of (the drive to get Web Choice votes) had to do with Alaska, and wanting to put us on the map. Everybody kind of rallied together to support not just me but also the state of Alaska,” says Mock. “Extraordinary success is achieved by identifying the game changers. I leveraged my sphere of influence who wanted to help, but I didn’t stop there. I was also diligent in leveraging key contacts within my spheres’ sphere.”

This year marks the 13th anniversary of REALTOR® Magazine’s “30 Under 30” program. Over the years, 420 rising young stars have been recognized for their commitment and dedication to the real estate industry. In addition to the excerpts in the May/June issue of REALTOR®Magazine, full profiles on each of the “30 Under 30” honorees can also be found here.

The 2013 “30 Under 30” honorees are:

Bradley Allen, Prudential Midlands Real Estate, Columbia, S.C.

Ian L. Barnacle, Residential Properties Ltd., Barrington, R.I.

William Boswell, Coldwell Banker-Franklin Lakes, Franklin Lakes, N.J.

Luke Bouman, Coldwell Banker-Woodland Schmidt, Holland, Mich.

Angela Cole, Keller Williams Realty, Raleigh, N.C.

Victoria Crown, Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty, San Diego

Shawn Culhane, Culhane Premier Properties, Austin, Texas

Stephanie Palmer Cummins, Front Gate Realty LLC, Ridgeland, Miss.

Cole Currier, Foggy River Realty LLC, Hollister, Mo.

Dan Faulkner Jr., John L. Scott Real Estate, Snoqualmie, Wash.

Jamie Hayden, Hayden Real Estate, Stephenville, Texas

Sara Jacobson, Red Barn Real Estate, Boise, Idaho

Christine Ko, Bridgepointe Group, Santa Clara, Calif.

Meredith Lane, Milestone Realty Consultants, Lexington, Ky.

Matt J. Laricy, Americorp Real Estate, Chicago

Sara J. Levy, Classic Properties, Scranton, Penn.

Rachele Maczuk, RE/MAX Today, New Haven, Mo.

Danai E. Mattison, Long & Foster Real Estate Inc., Bethesda, Md.

Christopher R. McShane, Strategic Land Group/Site Services Group LLC, Atlanta

Andrea McDonough, Bushari Group Real Estate, Boston

Kristi Tanner Mock, The Kristan Cole Team, Keller Williams Realty Alaska Group, Wasilla, Alaska

Ashley M. Petroske, Real Estate Design LLC, Minneapolis

Alexander Phan, Keller Williams Realty Professionals, Portland, Ore.

Cy Phillips, RE/MAX Innovations, Waukee, Iowa

Justin Schlegel, RE/MAX Preferred Choice, Peoria, Ariz.

Barak J. Sky, Long & Foster Real Estate Inc., Bethesda, Md.

Leo Solarte, First Western Properties Inc., Chicago

Ryanne Maureen Vaughan, Keller Williams Realty/Austin Properties Group, Austin, Texas

Mary Whitworth, Keller Williams Realty Brazos Valley, College Station, Texas

Daniel Zia, Keller Williams Realty, Santa Barbara, Calif.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

For more information, visit