While sitting in her senior year auditing class at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Bri Brenkus suddenly fell out of love with the accounting degree she was pursuing. So, she started brainstorming careers she could be passionate about.
“I thought, ‘Why not real estate?’,” says Brenkus. A few months later, in the spring of 2018, she earned her license. Her business grew rapidly in the months and years that followed. Brenkus, a team member of Keller Williams the Marketplace—Brenkus Realty Network in Henderson, Nev., points to her parents—both have worked as real estate professionals for more than 30 years—and their business ethos as her guiding inspiration.
“They lead by example, and I am in awe of their ability to achieve the goals they set, inspire others, and create a legacy worth leaving,” she says.
At the age of 25, after selling 107 homes totaling more than $44 million in volume last year, Brenkus decided to apply for the REALTOR® Magazine’s 30 Under 30 Class of 2022. When she received an email from REALTOR® Magazine in March informing her that she was in the group of 50 finalists, Brenkus says she felt both humble and ecstatic—she couldn’t hold back her tears of joy.
During the week-long online voting period from March 11 to March 18 to find the Web Choice Award winner, Brenkus reached out to everyone she knew (and didn’t know) to cast their votes on her behalf. She posted each day on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, rallied her office colleagues to help, and sent hundreds of emails to her sphere to get as many votes as possible.
“People began posting on Facebook, and their friends would see it and they’d vote, too. It was a whole domino effect. I’d post and repost several times a day with a praying emoji,” Brenkus says.
Brenkus, a listing specialist whose specialty is working with For Sale By Owners, had just joined the Keller Williams Young Professionals a month earlier, and it became a great source of votes with many backing her. “It was perfect timing,” she says. “I didn’t even know about the voting until I became a 50 finalist. But it helps being in many social circles because this is a relationship business.”
Even while working out at her gym, Brenkus would airdrop her voting link to anyone who was there with an iPhone.
“I was thinking outside the box, but I could see people’s facial expressions when they got my link. Some would vote for me right there. I’d have conversations with some of them, and I met a lender that way,” she adds.
Besides her own efforts to gather votes, Brenkus’s family and fellow team members also helped land her a spot on the 30 Under 30 as the Web Choice winner. For instance, her father sent a voting request out to all the builders he knows in the area.
“He told me, ‘Bri, you got builders voting for you,’” she says. “It was all really fun, especially the anticipation. You don’t know how many votes you were getting throughout the week.”
It all worked out, putting her on top with 2,848 votes out of the 41,109 total votes cast, making her the Web Choice Award winner.
“I’m overjoyed and so grateful. I couldn’t believe it. I was on my way to the office when I found out. When I got there, everyone was hugging me,” she says.
She even had a dream the weekend before the winner was announced that she received 3,000 votes.
“I’m big on manifestation,” she says. “I woke up that Monday and they told me I got 2,848 votes.”
Read more about the entire 2022 class of 30 Under 30 in a special digital edition of REALTOR® Magazine coming out on June 27, 2022.