Real Estate Teacher Wins With Students’ Help

The 2016 30 Under 30 Web Choice Award winner credits his students and hometown connections for their support.

Kyle Kovats says it was his teacher’s pets who helped him become REALTOR® Magazine’s 30 Under 30 Web Choice winner.

Kovats is an instructor at his family-owned prelicensure school, Kovats Real Estate School, in addition to his work as an agent. He says his students showed up for him in a big way, helping him gather 2,473 votes over one week to win the online voting contest held last month. And he didn’t even have to offer extra credit.

“I was kind of taken aback by it and thought it was incredible,” says Kovats upon learning he won the online voting contest that allowed the public to pick its favorite candidate for REALTOR® Magazine’s 30 Under 30 class of 2016.

Kovats, a salesperson with Keller Williams Suburban Realty in Livingston, N.J., says he enjoys teaching in part because he’s simultaneously learning from students as he helps them prepare for their licensure tests. Their help in the voting process was just another benefit of the relationships he’s established at his school.


When marketing himself as an agent, Kovats favors more old-school methods of cold-calling and door-knocking. But in the effort to spread the word about this campaign, he also turned to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Snapchat for help. Knowing he had a broad network of supporters, Kovats says repeating his message and providing concise instructions for his followers helped drive support.


“Since you can’t see the voting totals, you don’t know how many votes you need,” says Kovats. “It was kind of like when I’m marketing homes in that I was constantly reaching out to people.”

Kovats created an incentive for those who shared his finalist profile in a Facebook post, encouraging their friends to vote in the contest. He awarded one lucky winner $100 after he drew their name in a raffle among all who shared his post.

Kovats also credits his competitive spirit with helping him win the contest: “I’m a very sore loser. If I was playing basketball and you told me I could win 20 games and lose one, I’d be so much more mad about losing the one game than happy about winning 20.”

His passion for sports also came in handy in a somewhat unexpected way. He contributes to a blog focused on Rutgers football (his alma mater), and he was flattered to see support roll in from readers when he posted a link to the contest.

“I got a ton of support from all the people in New Jersey,” he says. “We kind of stick together and go to bat for each other.”

Announcing the 30 Under 30 Class of 2016