Life After 30

Former 30 Under 30 Honoree Matt Phipps reflects on youth and achievement

May 13, 2015

I've been worried about journalism for a while. It was my chosen profession before I walked away more than a decade ago to pursue a real estate career. With information sharing now dominated by Instagram and Twitter, I've watched a drop in careful reporting from credible sources. But after spending a day with the REALTOR® Magazine staff, I’m happy to report that service journalism continues to be performed at the highest level on the 11th floor of the National Association of REALTORS® office in Chicago. You might not be physically turning the pages of this magazine. There's a good chance you’re reading it on a mobile device via the RealtorMag Facebook page. But while the platforms have expanded, the skills of fact-based storytelling are alive and well.

As guest editor of this issue, I'm proud to congratulate the "30 Under 30" class that represents the future of our industry. This is the 15th anniversary of the program, which is essentially a celebration of the triumphs and motivations of the nation’s young real estate pros. To the members of the 2015 class, I realize you've probably skipped this column and nearly ripped the pages of your magazine to confirm that your profile is there. (It's official; you made it!) For some honorees, this was your goal the moment you started in real estate. For the rest of us, the program reminds us that there are plenty of driven young folks who share a deep entrepreneurial spirit and obsessive attention toward their markets. No single path leads to recognition, yet these profiles capture the early stages of careers that may well become legendary.

My time with the REALTOR® Magazine team left me feeling nostalgic—though I admit the sensation might have been enhanced by Managing Editor Meg White's whimsical article about the real estate prophecies embedded in the "Back to the Future" movies. I was fortunate and humbled to be recognized as a "30 Under 30" back in the Stone Age. (It was 2008, and no, we did not sell caves.) I had achieved an important personal goal. But what has endured are the relationships I've built and the wisdom I've gained from my peers. We have a lot to learn from this year's class. They remind us all of how proud we should be to call ourselves REALTORS®.