30 Under 30 FAQ and Contest Rules
Each May, REALTOR® Magazine features 30 rising young stars in the real estate industry, and hundreds of real estate practitioners apply to be one of the honorees. Here are answers to common questions about the 30 Under 30 program.
How can I submit an application?
The application is now closed. The application period for the 30 Under 30 class of 2021 opened on Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, at noon CST and closed on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, at noon CST.
Who’s eligible to enter?
For the 2021 feature, any member of the National Association of REALTORS® who is 29 years old or younger on May 31, 2021, and who has not been profiled as a previous 30 Under 30 honoree is eligible. Previous finalists who didn't make it into the group of 30 honorees are allowed to reapply.
What's the deadline?
Applications were due by 12 p.m. CST on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021.
What are the judges looking for?
Several factors are considered—business success is just one. Community and professional leadership also are important factors. We strive for balance: We want to ensure we have a diverse group of finalists in terms of business niches, gender, ethnic background, and geographic location. Finally, we look for compelling stories that bring to life innovative business strategies that have worked for you or obstacles you've overcome. Learn more about how to stand out from the rest of the pack here.
What is the selection process?
Initially, all applications are screened by the National Association of REALTORS® staff members to ensure all necessary information has been provided. In the initial screening, we narrow the group down to 75-100 semifinalists. A panel of judges then reviews this group, weighing the factors mentioned above, until a consensus is reached on 50 finalists. Of those, we tentatively choose 30 honorees and five alternates. The 30 are vetted with their local and state associations and with the state regulatory boards for ethical violations or disciplinary actions. If a finalist is disqualified for any reason, a replacement is chosen from the list of alternates.
Can I make changes to my application?
Yes. During the application period, you can retrieve your saved application using the e-mail address and password you created when you started the application. After 12 p.m. CST on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, the system will no longer be available and your application will be considered final.
Can my broker or colleague provide supporting letters?
Recommendation letters in support of your application can be submitted, but are not required. They must be submitted online via a link on the application form. A maximum of two letters can be submitted.
Can I submit other supporting documentation (awards, certificates, etc.)?
As part of the vetting process, applicants will be asked to submit documentation of their sales numbers, such as MLS records or broker-certified spreadsheets. However, due to the high volume of applications we receive (more than 400), we can’t accept other supporting documents. Awards, designations, and other honors should be mentioned in the application. We will contact you if clarification or additional information is needed.
What if I don’t yet know my closed sales volume or transaction sides for the year?
You should indicate on the application that 2020 figures are estimates. If you obtain actual sales volume and transaction side data for 2020 before the Jan. 15 deadline, you can go back into the application and update that information, using your e-mail address and the password you selected.
Why do you ask about ethics violations and state regulatory actions? Will either eliminate me from consideration?
Our 30 Under 30 finalists represent the next generation of industry leaders, and as such, they should set an example of professional and ethical behavior. An ethical violation or disciplinary action does not result in an automatic disqualification. The editors will consider the circumstances and weigh the incident against other factors in your application.
Will my sales numbers be independently verified?
Yes. If you are selected as a finalist, we will seek verification from either your broker or MLS.
Why are you asking me to report my transaction sides? Why can't I just tell you how many deals I have done this year?
Each real estate deal contains two sides: a purchase and a sale. By asking applicants how many sides they accomplished in a given year, we can get a more accurate look at the work they have done.
Do I have to be a member of NAR?
Yes. Only REALTOR® members of the National Association of REALTORS® are eligible. If you’re not already a member, you can join before the deadline and still submit an application.
I don't know my NRDS number. Where can I find it?
Your NRDS number is your NAR membership identification number. You must enter your NRDS number to initiate the 30 Under 30 application process. If you don't know your number, you can find it here.
How will I know if my application was received?
An e-mail will be sent to the address listed in the application to confirm receipt of the submitted form. If it’s determined that the application is incomplete or missing some information, a second e-mail will be sent.
How and when will I be notified of the judges’ decision?
All applicants will be notified of their status via e-mail in March 2021.
Why is May 31 the birthday cutoff?
The feature appears in the May/June issue of REALTOR® Magazine and profiles practitioners under the age of 30.