Down Under to On Top: Although he’s New York–born and bred, Ryan Donnelly started his real estate career in Sydney, Australia. Representatives from a large agency had visited one of his marketing classes at the University of Technology, Sydney, and he ended up interning for them. After he graduated, he moved back to the United States and began working at Coach, REALTORS®, where he was named top sales associate in 2007. Last year he closed 39 sides worth $27.3 million (seven transactions exceeded $1 million each).
Using youth to his advantage: About six months ago, he created a local young professionals group. He also reaches out to friends from his high school, where he was well known as president of the student council and homecoming king.
Practicing what he preaches: "The best investment for young people is to buy something in horrible condition and rehab it," he says. "The houses are cheap; money is cheap." In fact, he recently took the plunge into the foreclosure market, buying a two-bedroom condo that he’s fixing up.