Pat Kennedy - Your Washington, DC Real Estate Connection


My Bone to Pick With NAR: 30 Under 30?

This week it came in the mail.  Yes, that slap in the face to to the wise elders in the real estate profession. 

The mail in question was the latest issue of Realtor Magazine with the cover story that glorifies youth.  Yes, the dreaded "30 Under 30" issue.

I read recently that the average age of NAR membership is somewhere in the mid-50's.  So why glorify the youngsters?

They are embracing technology.  Well, um, so are the rest of us.  Hello?  If we don't, we go out of business;

They are developing new business models.  So are the rest of us.  And if we want to see really interesting business models,  we should be looking at the people coming into real estate as second or third careers who are bringing in ideas from decades of experience in other corporate  settings.

The 30 under 30 are mostly coming into the business out of college where they might have actually studied real estate.  And while I believe in book learning, I also think it needs to be combined with experience, in the outside world as well as in real estate.

So are these kids being acknowledged for their mastery of the business?   How about the quality of the services they offer?  Or innovations that save consumers money while they are providing competent representation?

And who nominates them for this honor?  Their colleagues?  Their clients?

I'm not sure about this year, but in past years, they nominated themselves.  And I noticed in the pat a few blog posts from agents who nominated themselves then asked for your votes.  And I gotta wonder, is it about acquiring mastery of this profession at a young age, or is it a gift for self- promotion - actually self promotion skills do come in handy in this profession.

What I've also started to wonder is how many of the past honorees are still in the business?

If NAR wants to find a mechanism for finding and acknowledging the best real estate professionals in the country, that's one thing. 

But 30 under 30?  It's just one more thing that makes me question NAR's credibility.




Comment balloon 35 commentsPatricia Kennedy • May 27 2011 11:06PM


Pat:  This has always irked me, as well.  Who ARE these people... and yes... who PUTS them in this silly list.  There are so many other agents... "seasoned" agents... who are doing such wonderful things.  So yeah... woman.  Give it to 'em !

And... I bet none of them can play the flute, either !

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 9 years ago


these 30 sure can make money. Their numbers are very impressive. I wrote a blog about 30 under 30 and it was interesting for me to see how they were presented on AR, and how they fared here

Posted by Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL, Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices (Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408) over 9 years ago

Karen, maybe I'm jealous because I can't get up and down the stairs of 4-level Victorian townhouses like I could in my 30's.

And Jon, I'd love a link to your post.

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 9 years ago

They nominate themselves, and then solicit all of us to vote for them, that is my experience with one nominee who did make it a couple of years ago.  Now I was glad for him, but his 1 year of experience made me question the criteria of NAR for this competition.  He has since changed companies approx. 3 times, and haven't heard much from him in sometime.  Silly is a good word for it.


Posted by Cheryl Campbell, Wasilla Alaska Realtor (Jack White Real Estate) over 9 years ago

A true tribute to the masters of the trade would be an article on 60 over 60. Sometimes an under 30 is gifted a client base from a long suffering parent. Kudos the those under 30 for being successful, but really, every year?

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) over 9 years ago

Pat, if they want to feature 30 under 30, so be it. But..... they should also feature "the most influential" agents and/or the "the agents who've beat the odds in good times and bad"... or the "game changers," or...... pick your favorite designation.  As you've already stated there are so many other amazing agents who should be recognized for their accomplishments.

Posted by Vickie Slade, Service You Can Trust ~ Someone You Can Depend On (Colorado Landmark, Realtors) over 9 years ago

Maybe they should have honorees nominated by agents who have done transactions with them!

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Hi Patricia, this issue of Realtor made a lot of people smoking hot...not as hot as dapperly dressed dudes and dudettes on ladders, but pretty darned hot.

Jon's post was awesome, I saw you asked for a link so go here for a good read.  I found his post when he responded to my post.  Since I got so worked up with my post and then Jon's post, there had to be a sequel post.

Just when I had calmed myself come's your post!

Posted by Mona Gersky, GRI,IMSD-Taking the mystery out of real estate. (MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC) over 9 years ago

Mona, you were a lot more polite than I was!  And thank you for the links.

Jon, loved your post.  Not sure how I feel about an REO agent doing a gazillion transactions a year being held up as a paragon of professionalism.

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Hi, Those of us that didn't like this 30 under 30 article ( any more than we did last year) are just mad because we aren't cute and so cleaver anymore - I know, speak for myself William, lol.  I deleted the rest of my very long comment. I shared my very long opinion and now I am over it, so I don't even want it there. Nice thing about being a bit older and gathering just a bit of wisdom. We know when to just shut up and go about our business.  :-)


Posted by William Johnson, Retired Real Estate Professional (Retired) over 9 years ago

It would be interesting to hear the history of how NAR decided that it would be a good idea to do the annual 30 under 30 issue.  I wonder if it was originally a reaction to the core fact that the averager real estate agent is over 50 and female.

I always look to see who is in there from the Metroplex...and, beyond scanning for people from my area, I just breeze on to the next thing I need to focus on.  One of the advantages that comes with being well over 30 is that I understand that the most precious asset I have is my time and I do not invest that asset in things that do my advance my personal goals or entertain me or my cat.

Posted by Judith Abbott (Coldwell Banker Residential) over 9 years ago

Just ONE MORE thing to make a rational person question the credibility of the NAR.



Posted by Jim Hale, Eugene Oregon's Best Home Search Website (ACTIONAGENTS.NET) over 9 years ago

Do you know that in some countries most agents ARE young....and start right out of college?   And that they are employees? 

Especially in places where large firms dominate the whole market Taiwan.

Posted by Jim Hale, Eugene Oregon's Best Home Search Website (ACTIONAGENTS.NET) over 9 years ago

Stop to think about it:   WHO ARE the major advertisers in (all of) our national real estate magazine(s)?


Posted by Jim Hale, Eugene Oregon's Best Home Search Website (ACTIONAGENTS.NET) over 9 years ago

Patricia,  Agreed.  The best professionals, no matter what the profession have the combination of education and experience.  And I use as the example of pilot Chesley Sullenberger III who glided his plane down and landed on the Hudson River- as a perfect example.

Posted by Kathleen Vetrano, Helping YOU Achieve YOUR Dreams (RE/MAX Gateway) over 9 years ago

I've written NAR numerous times why the bias for an industry that upholds equality! Why no, "40 Under 40", "50 Under 50" or "60 Under 60" articles?

Posted by Mike Mayer (Mike Mayer, Broker/Owner - i List For Less Realty, LLC) over 9 years ago

A lot of good points made on how they are nominated, never knew that.  I Think it should be based on a few different types of criteria, such as production, experience, time in the industry like a minimum 3-5 yrs of experience at least, maybe even 5-10 yrs. 

Perhaps if NAR ran a feature on 40 und 40, 50 under 50, 60 under 60, but broke it down by decades, agents between 30-40, 40-50, 50-60 to qualify for each section.

Posted by Hrisco & Associates, Roanoke Homes for Sale - Roanoke Neighborhoods (Hrisco & Associates ) over 9 years ago

I am with you.  I am also annoyed that they are all so hot too. Is it 30 under 30 and in fantastic shape?  ULGH.  How about the agents over 30 who work so hard they don't have time to work out?!  

Posted by Coral Gundlach, Real Lives. Not Just Real Estate. (Compass) over 9 years ago

Pat, i too wonder what all the hoopla continues to be with this realtor it to entice the Gen X/Yers to jusmp into real estate...long lasting is important & given the stats with the average age of realtors i don't get why they don' spread the love around better!!

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in Southern RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Patricia - Perhaps they are just reaching out to the younger generation that will become the "seasoned veterans" in the Real Estate Biz one fine day.  Nothing wrong with that.  Though, I think the ones who are already seasoned should be reached out to as well.  Without youth, there lies no future.  Without age, there lies no past.  And us as humans being sensitive to time and all, I do believe we need both.  That's my philosophical moment for the week.

"What I've also started to wonder is how many of the past honorees are still in the business?"  Very good question. 

Posted by Jason Sardi, Your Agent for Life (Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina) over 9 years ago

Pat, It's just an article that gets skimmed for me, as unfortunately does most of the magazine.  What I really want to know?  Well that's already been posted by someone here in the Rain, probably months before! :)

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 over 9 years ago

Pat. I think we need 50 over 50. And highlight us older folks that smoke these youngins when it comes to technology. Heck I had my first website before these agents could drive. And completed transactions via email and text before they finished high school. Buy hey......I'm old :)

NAR also had their monthly poll results psoted in the front of the magazine. They had something like 72 responses!! 72 out of over 1 million members. YIKES!!!

Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) over 9 years ago

OK, I'll admit it.  I'm a little wistful trying to remember the days when I could show 4-level Victorians in Georgetown - five or six in a row, up and down all those steps - without thinking about my knees!  And yeah, we all get a chance to be hotties when we're in our 20's.   But I'm a whole lot more valuable to my clients today than when I could navigate steps two at a time.

And I would love to see some sort of award based on things other than productivity.  GCAAR gave up the productivity awards a long time ago as new business models allowed agents to rack up huge numbers of sales as limited service companies.  Also, the team approach sort of skewed things as you'd get 10 to 20 agents working for one team leader who got the production credit.    I am not at all impresses by big numbers alone.

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Hi Pat, I read some of it and NAR is promoting this big time. The rest of us have embraced technology. Like you said, if we do not, we are gone.

Posted by Jackie Connelly-Fornuff, "Moving at The Speed of YOU!" (Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Babylon NY) over 9 years ago


I didn't read it, yet, and may not. More important things for me to worry about right now - business, some family issues, personal life. Not sure I have anything to add other than what has already been convincingly said.

Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California, Inc.) over 9 years ago

Hear, hear, let's celebrate the other end of the scale.  Over 50, 60, or 70.  I know of one amazing woman still selling real estate in her 80's!

Posted by Dianne Goode, Realtor/Broker (Raleigh Cary Realty) over 9 years ago

Niki mentioned at Rain Camp that statistics of Active Rain members is 50-60 makes you think perhaps this is a median age of Realtors

Posted by Marilyn Boudreaux, Lake Charles LA Century 21 Realtor (Marilyn Boudreaux, Century 21 Bono Realty) over 9 years ago

I skimmed the article, and I thought the cover shot was a little cheesy... But, do you know what occurred to me while reading the comment thread?  Maybe the "big deal" is not so much that these agents are hot stuff, maybe it's a big deal that REALTOR magazine was able to actually find 30 producing agents under the age of 30....?  Just sayin' ;)

Posted by Jennifer Prestwich, Madison & Co Properties (Henderson, Thornton, Broomfield and Westminster) over 9 years ago

I think the reason NAR does this is simple.  Get younger folks jazzed about becoming Realtors®, thus increasing their membership.  It's completely self-serving.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) over 9 years ago

Pat, I question NAR's credibility nearly every day.  ?????  They certainly aren't in touch with those of us who pay the dues to pay their salaries.

And, the 30 under 30 really frosts me.  I generally just throw it in the circular file.  Besides, if you checked most of those realtors were doing REO business.  Not the hardest part of real estate.

I suggested this post and am reblogging it.  You have some great points here.

Posted by Suzanne McLaughlin, Sabinske & Associates, Realtor (Sabinske & Associates, Inc. (Albertville, St. Michael)) over 9 years ago

Pat, I actually enjoy the 30 under 30 whether it be real estate agents or attorneys (they have a 30 under 30 too) and I did write a post earlier today about 30 under 30 and facing 40 in the fall! I remember years ago when I became an agent the older agents turning their noses up and laughing at blogging, social media, etc. perhaps they should've read the 30 under 30 back then. Hey at this rate the NAR can do a 20 under 20, 40 under 40 and so on.....

Posted by Gina Chirico, Real Estate Agent - Essex County, New Jersey (Lattimer Realty) over 9 years ago

Yeah, I saw that and thought "what the bleep"; now NAR needs to recognize those over 50 that are doing a bang up job!

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) over 9 years ago

Two past '30 Under 30' designees that quickly come to mind that have done quite well ... Jon Washburn and Ben Kinney.

Posted by John Novak, Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace) over 9 years ago

God Bless them. Just like any other magazine, REALTOR magazine wants the 18-29 demographic. Advertisers have always wanted to reach them. Not sure why considering the aging boomers and suddenly senior 50+  will account for 45% of the population by 2015 and have the most consumer discretionary spending and assets (real estate lol) and they are the most generous generation buying homes for their under 30 and some over 30 kids.

The best real state brokers I know have all had very interesting accomplished careers before entering real estate. I think bringing many skills and wordly knowledge and wisdom is so much more valuable then only knowing real estate. (boring) I'm glad I was already 40+ before I started my real estate career.

Posted by Mitchell J Hall, Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn (Compass) over 9 years ago

Hi Pat:

I've always gotten hot whenever I see the issue "30 Under 30."  It definitely elevates my blood pressure.  Reading the comments from other bloggers here gave me a laugh.   40 over 40, 50 over 50, and 60 over 60?  What's wrong with that?  It would be kind of fun to see if there were 80 octogenarian realtors still practicing, and if they were,  whether they had adopted the latest and greatest technology?

Posted by Carol Pease, CRS, Broker-Associate 512-721-6320 (JP & Associates Realtors) over 9 years ago