A desk job right after college was driving this off-the-charts extrovert crazy, so he jumped headfirst at the chance to try real estate. After a tough first year learning the business, Zook hit his stride when he teamed with another young associate (and family friend), Brian Cook. Now a three-person group, the Cook and Zook Team closed slightly less than $17 million in sales last year.
Sports authority: Zook, who gets most of his leads from referrals, plays up his love of sports in his marketing: He gives away pro baseball tickets, awards prizes for guessing the winner of sporting events such as the Kentucky Derby, and participates in charity golf tournaments. He also coaches kids for fun and profit; his players' families often become clients.
Style and substance: To give his promotions a wow factor, Zook hired a graphic designer to create a Web page featuring a 3-D floor plan, 360-degree virtual tours, and a digital slide show for every listing. But "our bread and butter when we're competing for business is our buyer and seller guides," he says. Clients didn't read the text-heavy first editions, so Zook shortened the guides to 13 pages with lots of pictures (screen shots of client Web pages, sample ads, and so on). Now, he says, they're "real estate 'CliffsNotes' for first timers."