30 Under 30 Honorees of 2005

Pick another year

Donald L. Plunkett Jr.
Congress Realty Inc.
Congress Realty, Inc.,
1430 Truxton Avenue
Bakersfield, CA
United States
Team volume: 
$128.8 million
Team sides: 

Plunkett’s flat-fee listing service has generated a lot of attention, from fans—his two offices generated $128.8 million in sales on 469 transactions—as well as detractors, who believe his limited-service concept is bad for the business and consumers. He’s undeterred by such criticism, citing Amazon.com, Costco, and Wal-Mart as examples of retailers that offer consumers low prices by eliminating unnecessary costs. “I appeal to a different type of customer, the For-Sale-by-Owner type,” he says. “I’m bringing more sellers into the fold.” Still, about 30 of Plunkett’s closed transactions last year were full-service.

Capitalist pursuit: Plunkett earned his license at 18 and loves the fact that he determines his compensation. “It’s the American dream—you work hard and you’re rewarded for it,” he says.

Out in front: All practitioners need to adapt to the growing use of the Internet in real estate, he says. “You can’t sit back and think that, because you have all the market share this year, you’ll have it again next year.”