Real-world Education: Shawn Anen’s work ethic comes "100 percent" from his single mom, who simultaneously worked several jobs (including a brief stint in real estate) while raising him. During college, he was earning decent money bartending and working at a restaurant, but he decided to obtain a real estate license, too. Although he never finished his coursework, he has earned a degree from the school of hard knocks, he says. Last year, Anen sold 45 homes for $15 million in volume. (On the side, he has also renovated and sold nine homes.) His clients include such heavy hitters as some New York Giants players and coaches. His secrets include his positive outlook and his willingness to tell his clients the truth, he says.
Factory delivered: To promote special homes, he hires Tour Factory to do videos, which he uploads to YouTube. Sometimes he also buys a domain name, such as 124main.com, to sell a house.
Have I got a guy for you: "I’ve got a guy for everything," Anen says. "Even people I’ve sold houses to five years ago call me up" to get names of good contractors and handymen.