‘It’s truly amazing to be a part of it’: Local realtor a finalist for national publication’s 30 Under 30

Sean Anthony, pictured with long-time girlfriend and business partner Stephanie Haley, was recently named among 50 finalists from across the country for Realtor Magazine’s 30 Under 30.

The news first came in a Facebook live video posted Wednesday evening.

With a camera focused on himself, local realtor Sean Anthony said, “I can’t wait to flip the camera around and show you what literally brought a tear to my eye earlier.”

That news was an email that said he was a top 50 finalist in Realtor Magazine’s 30 Under 30 for 2019 and would be going against top talent from across the nation when the week long voting period opens up to the public on March 15.

“It’s truly amazing to even be a part of it,” Anthony said during an interview Thursday. “I feel like even making the top 50 is such a feat.”

Anthony, who will turn 30 in August, applied just in the nick of time. He didn’t even know that the recognition existed until his brokers with Howard Hanna Realty Pioneers, Thomas Saveri and Raul Azpiazu, approached him about applying given the success he had garnered in his real estate career up to that point.

The 30 Under 30 finalists are based on a mix of success with sales, innovation, community involvement and leadership, according to the correspondence sent to Anthony announcing his inclusion as a finalist.

With $11.127 million in sales last year, Anthony figured his inclusion was more about his community involvement and innovation with how he does his job, given that an agent in New York City could move $3 million condos every day.

As his career has blossomed from humble beginnings to becoming owner of the Sean Anthony Realty Group under Howard Hanna Realty Pioneers, Anthony has branched out to create the #CommunityConnect Facebook video series that features organizations and businesses for free, as well as free professional development offerings, a VLOG through his YouTube channel, the Keepin’ it Real Estate podcast, and as a speaker at professional development seminars in different parts of the country. He also continuously looks at how to improve how he showcases homes, having invested money he has made into things such as education on video production, video equipment, and a drone with FAA licensing to use commercially — contributing to the “innovation” part of the 30 Under 30 consideration.

As an example of his forward thinking, he recalled a recent conversation he had with long-time girlfriend and business partner Stephanie Haley about how they could leverage technology like Amazon Alexa to help promote what they do.

Anthony, a 2007 graduate of Athens Area High School, said he had hit “a glass ceiling” in his previous job as student loan debt collection agent and was looking for a path where he could professionally advance. Then he started talking with his uncle Aaron Anthony, who had been working in real estate part time over the past 10 years, about the business over breakfast.

“He said, ‘What do you have to lose?’” Anthony remembered.

After taking classes through Mansfield University and passing his licensing exam in 2015, Anthony was ready to dive into the world of real estate. It wasn’t long after that he quit his job.

“It was time. I was ready to be in control of my destiny,” said Anthony.

But no one knew who he was and he had just shy of $100 to his name, with rent and bills to pay.

“In real estate, when you sell a house, you don’t get paid for 45 days, until it closes. It’s not like we’re salaried or anything,” he explained. “So that day, I said, ‘I’m a young agent. How do I get people to trust me in the area?’ I went and knocked on doors, knowing that I have all of these payments due. I had to get in front of people.”

With this approach, he asked one question: “I know this sounds crazy, but have you ever thought about selling your house?” He ended up picking up a few leads that day. His first sale ended up coming from a family referral.

“Now, I had to borrow money from every family member that you could ever think of … and we didn’t come from money,” said Anthony. “Going to my mom and dad was $20 here and there to get gas or get lunch before my next showing appointment. Borrowing money, I was able to get by. I had a couple of closings coming up and just worked really hard and knew it was going to pay off.”

After becoming more experienced and established, Anthony turned to the digital space to keep himself in front of clients and gain more respect from the business community.

In line with his personal mantra to give more value than he expects in return, Anthony started his #CommunityConnect Facebook video series, which profiles area businesses and organizations for free. Following a cold call to the Athens Area School District, he profiled his first client using an iPhone X mounted on a tripod and two lavaliere microphones.

He now has much more experience with video editing, better equipment, and employs a videographer.

Anthony believes it was his #CommunityConnect series that largely made him stand out when it came to the 30 Under 30 recognition.

“I feel like I’ve already won,” Anthony said. “Top 50, I don’t even need to make the top 30. I’m just so humbled. I mean, top 50 realtors (under 30) in the whole nation — I don’t need anymore than that. I’m happy. We come from Bradford County. It’s just so surreal to me.”

When voting begins next week, Anthony will be sent a link to share on social media.

For more information about Anthony and all of his projects, visit www.connectedwithsean.com/connect.

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I am the Editor-in-Chief of The Daily and Sunday Review.