30 Under 30 Honorees of 2002

Pick another year

Paul H. Pruitt Jr.
Owner
Century 21 Towne Centre
Age: 
29
Team volume: 
$75 million

Tip: Find a mentor instead of trying to reinvent the wheel.

As a successful sellers’ representative, Paul Pruitt sold customers on the winning ways of his company. Today, he uses the same principle to recruit top talent for his fast-growing company, Century 21 Towne Centre in Wilmington, Del.

To attract top sales associates, Pruitt combines his personal powers of persuasion with a recruiting CD-ROM that touts the company’s benefits. More than 90 percent of the salespeople who interview with Pruitt come aboard, he says.

Pruitt started selling houses right out of high school in 1992. Although he didn’t have a car, he sold 23 homes in his first year. By 1998, he owned the two-office company. And by 2001 he’d expanded to three locations and 84 salespeople, closing $75 million in sales last year. Since then he’s opened two more offices and expanded to 123 salespeople.

Pruitt no longer actively lists property, preferring to spend his time supporting his growing cadre of sales professionals. “If you’re looking for Paul’s office, I don’t have one,” he says. “I’m constantly moving between each of my offices and seeing my salespeople. If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be here.”