Once a year in the month of June, the REALTOR® Magazine selects and publishes 30 featured real estate agents under the age of 30 that, according to REALTOR.org, are “rising young stars in the real estate industry.” Jeffrey Leatherwood of College Station, Texas was chosen as one of these young and rising elite for the year of 2012. He is a proud agent with Century 21, Beal Inc. in College Station, as well as Aggieland Properties.
To be selected as a “30 under 30” is not, however, just to say that these individuals are young and successful. It is an honor that is judged on a national scale, and the selected Realtors are chosen through a rigorous elimination process that considers everything from business success to innovation in one’s field.
This recognition is no matter to be taken lightly. For one thing, the prestige of the REALTOR® Magazine is enough in itself to show the value of such a title. REALTOR® is the official magazine for the National Association of Realtors, an organization that represents over 1.2 million members. That makes it the largest trade association in North America. All members automatically receive the REALTOR® Magazine, and the magazine’s featured yearly project is their recognition of the 30 under 30. Needless to say, that’s a lot of people paying attention to this competition.
This is not to mention the elimination process. Around 600 well established Realtors apply for this honor each year and, as the title suggests, only thirty are chosen. Each applicant must be 29 years or younger and must not have been previously recognized as a 30 under 30 member. Beyond that the elimination process is highly selective.
The initial screening will narrow down the number of possible honorees to 75-100 Semi-finalists. A panel of judges hired by the National Association of Realtors then reviews this group to only 50 finalists. The final stage whittles off 15 or so finalists and leaves five alternatives in case one of the selected thirty fails a background screening. If any Realtor is found to have been convicted of ethical violations or received disciplinary actions he will be disqualified from the group and replaced by one of the runner-ups.
This process concluded, the Association is left with their class of 30 under 30 honorees for the year. Only, what exactly are the judges looking for? With such a rigorous, intimidating elimination process, what qualifies these 30 individuals to be selected as the “30 under 30” compared to other equally successful Realtors?
This is a little more complicated. The selection of 30 under 30 doesn’t simply add numbers together and conclude with the highest ranking Realtors. Success in the business aspect of the industry is only one factor that is taken into consideration: one factor among many. REALTOR® Magazine also considers leadership in the community and within the profession, innovative business strategies, and compelling stories of overcoming personal and public obstacles. They are also searching for balance. “We want to ensure we have a diverse group of finalists in terms of business niches, gender, ethnic background, and geographic location,” states the Contest rules at realtor.org.
All these factors taken into consideration, Jeffrey Leatherwood easily earned his place among the class of 2012’s 30 under 30. Although, it should definitely not be said that this spot was earned with ease. Leatherwood earned his position among the rising stars of real estate due to his outstanding business success, his innovation in running his business, his leadership within his community and real estate agency and, most importantly, his incessant determination and dedication to his profession.
According to REALTOR® Magazine’s description of Jeffrey Leatherwood under the 2012 class of 30 under 30, being conscientious is a lifestyle for this aspiring, successful young Realtor. “I don’t go to bed at night until every e-mail is answered and every voicemail is returned,” said Leatherwood to further reiterate his persistent dedication to his profession. And this type of commitment has earned him no little sum of financial results.
With over $70 Million in sales within the Bryan/College Station area, Leatherwood is one of the leading real estate agents in the Brazos Valley. Leatherwood is also a part of the Aggieland Properties, a corporation that recently took on one of the largest multi-family projects in College Station, the Barracks Townhomes. Leatherwood is currently working with the Barracks developers in preparation for the opening of the first ever wakeboard park in Aggieland. These facilities will include a restaurant, retail shops, and more.
Leatherwood’s innovation is also a primary reason for his selection to the 30 under 30 Class of 2012. Leatherwood works within his office to run an essentially paperless business, and his enthusiasm for this level of efficiency is contagious. “Every single part of my business is technology driven. I run a 99% paperless office and it’s awesome!” wrote Leatherwood in his application to be inducted to the 30 under 30 elite.
To justify Leatherwood’s selection into the 30 under 30 can continue to be broken down by his numbers and involvement within the community and leadership within his office, but the final selling point of Jeffrey Leatherwood’s profile that truly earned him his spot among the rising stars of the real estate industry is his personality.
Described by his colleagues, Leatherwood is fun and encouraging, helpful and inspiring. His key to success is simple and highly respected (“Be fair, honest, and hard working and success will come” he responded in his application), he works to make work fun and easy for everyone around him (“even the FedEx guy”), and his tip to other Realtors is entirely comprehensive and true:
“Do everything you can to turn past clients into an army of enthusiastic advocates for your business. Take care of your army and they will take care of you!”