Through his father, a veteran commercial practitioner, Sampson landed an interview with William Eshenbaugh, broker-owner of Eshenbaugh Land Co. But Sampson closed the deal himself. “I interviewed Ryan as a courtesy to his father with no intention of hiring anybody, let alone somebody just out of college,” says Eshenbaugh. “In the first 15 minutes, I thought, ‘I don’t want this guy working for my competition.’ He’s not arrogant and has excellent manners.”
HIGH STAKES: Fresh out of college with a real estate degree, Sampson was stunned by how much he didn’t know about commercial real estate. “I felt like I was going from the minor leagues to the majors,” he says. “I spent a lot of nights reading county Web sites to learn local real estate codes.” His 2007 sales volume: $17 million.
DO THE RIGHT THING: The biggest lesson Sampson has learned is that “it’s all about your reputation,” he says.