Ten exceptional young professionals have proven themselves to represent central Ohio and Columbus REALTORS® as the 2020 10 under 40 honorees. These deserving awardees exemplify leadership, community, enthusiasm, innovation and success in their real estate endeavors. Each one of these individuals has embodied the diverse landscape of the real estate industry and will only continue to thrive.
The 10 Under 40 Award received a significant amount of interest and number of applicants. Many young professionals applied to be recognized as one of the top real estate professionals under 40 in central Ohio.
Of these 2020 honorees we have a former Ohio State University cheerleader, successful actor, passionate gardener, many OSU graduates, dog lovers, travelers, fathers and mothers, several college athletes and all hardworking real estate professionals that have been raising the bar in real estate year after year!
The 10 Under 40 Award is an initiative set forth by Columbus REALTORS® and the implementation of the award is spearheaded by the Young Professionals Network (YPN). As the name of the award suggests, it is issued to REALTORS® under the age of 40 who are successful, demonstrate enthusiasm, innovation and commitment to the real estate industry.
Each March/April, Columbus REALTORS® In Contract magazine features 10 excellent young professionals in the real estate industry. These select individuals are the rising stars in real estate and have performed excellence within the following categories: sales and volume, community and professional involvement, business strategy and an ‘x factor’ which includes letters of recommendation and uncategorized content.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2020 10 Under 40 honorees and how they have impacted their real estate community!
ALEXANDER BUCHNER, Keller Williams Greater Columbus Realty
Alex is originally from Washington DC, moved to Wisconsin for undergrad and then to Colorado to begin graduate school. After finishing his master’s degree at the University of Colorado, he moved to Columbus to pursue his PhD in 2012. Three years later Alex thought a career change was in order, so he followed his calling into real estate. Three months in, Alex knew he’d made the right decision and there was no turning back. Now he spends every day hustling for his clients and for himself hunting down properties to satisfy home ownership or investment needs. When not working, he’s either spending time with his dogs Pizza and Nadine, visiting local theater, traveling, or drinking at one of Columbus' amazing bars!
Give us a little taste of your secret sauce! The thing that has made me successful in my career is being unapologetically myself. I'm a loud, fat, blond guy with super long hair. I swear like a sailor, stay true to my beliefs and I never miss an opportunity to laugh at myself. I even ran with the joke my brother made about me being “RealThor” and now I spend my days “hammering out deals.” All this helps people get to know, like, and trust as a person and as their go to for their real estate needs.
Tell us about “that” transaction! I think the most important transaction for me in the last year was the purchase of my first investment property. That transaction spring boarded my property renovation side hustle and I got a chance to sell that first renovated property to the client of another one of this year's 10 under 40 award winners. In addition, the sellers of the house when I bought it were so excited about the work, we planned to do on their home that they hired me to help them find a new one to move to. Win-win for so many people and that kind of stuff just makes my heart happy!
ALEXANDRA KRAUSE, NextHome Experience
Alex is a full time REALTOR® and Marketing Director with The Anita Graves Group. She got her real estate license in 2007 while still in college at The Ohio State University where she was a member of the dance team and all-girl cheer team. Go Bucks! Just three years after obtaining her license, Alex relocated to the Cleveland area, where she started her own virtual real estate marketing company. With a focus on social marketing, lead generation, and website management, Alex helped agents all over the country. Alex has taught CE classes all over the state of Ohio, was a featured writer for Inman News, held internationally attended webinars, and was featured in a real estate mastery summit. In 2016, she moved back to Columbus and jumped back into her passion, selling real estate full time. Alex currently lives in Worthington with her husband and two children.
Why did you get into real estate? Having grown up with several family members in the real estate business, I was able to capture a behind the scenes look into this career from a young age. I loved the flexible schedule, that every day was never the same, meeting new people, being able to help others, and the endless possibilities. Being a REALTOR® allows me to combine my two passions, helping others and entrepreneurship.
Volunteering—What does that mean to you? Tell us how you’re involved. My family has been directly impacted by the rare genetic disease, Cystic Fibrosis. We are very involved with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, raising money, and spreading awareness. This journey has helped me realize that everyone is going through something. Be kind, you never know who needs it the most!
AMANDA RODERICK, Key Realty
Amanda grew up in southern Ohio (Lucasville) and moved to central Ohio for college, becoming a first-generation college graduate (BA in Psychology, The Ohio State University). During school and a few years after, she worked in retail, restaurants, the wellness and yoga industries, and a few years on farms—one year on an organic vegetable farm in Connecticut, then a few years at the local Sunny Meadows Flower Farm. Amanda and her husband bought their first rental property in 2014 and her desire to learn more about real estate led to the real estate market research and analysis industry. Amanda worked for The Danter Company, then Vogt Strategic Insights, studying multifamily developments across the country. Amanda loved real estate and wanted to get more involved locally, so she transitioned into the role of full-time real estate agent in early 2018. She is thrilled to be in this profession!
Why did you get into real estate? Because it was the perfect combination of all my past experiences! This role allows me to use my Psychology degree, retail and hospitality experience, time in the real estate market research and analysis industry, and the past several years of owning and managing rental properties. It’s a perfect fit!
Other than real estate, what is your passion? Having worked on vegetable and flower farms, I am still passionate about gardening. My husband (who also worked on both farms) and I maintain approximately 400 square feet of productive garden, around half in raised beds. It’s a great way to be outside in nature and connect with other gardeners!
ANDY DUTCHER, NAI Ohio Equities
Andy is the Senior Vice President of the Office Brokerage Group at NAI Ohio Equities where he specializes in selling and leasing downtown and suburban office properties. Half of his business is representing Sellers and Landlords and the other half is representing investors and businesses in need of office space. Andy is a 2005 graduate of Ohio University, married his college sweetheart and has five awesome kids.
Give us a little taste of your secret sauce! It’s so simple, yet one of the biggest complaints I hear from new clients we win over is that their previous agent was just a terrible communicator, never reported back to them and failed to follow up on things they say they were going to do. In such a highly competitive business, in addition to be an expert in the market, you must have the communication skills to compliment the knowledge.
Tell us about “that” transaction! One morning in March 2014 I was making cold calls and happened to dial CoverMyMeds. The next day we met with Matt Scantland and he told us we had to figure out a way to satisfy some major growth. We were fortunate enough to work alongside his company from 2014 through 2017 and helped them grow into 85,000 SF in Columbus and 20,000 SF in Cleveland. It was a great experience to work alongside such a fast growing company with an awesome culture and figuring out solutions to their real estate challenges.
GREG HARRIS, Keller Williams Consultants Realty
Greg is originally from Pittsburgh, PA, and moved to northeast Ohio as an adolescent. He studied business administration at Kent State before graduating from Ohio State with a BS in Financial Management. Life has taken many interesting turns along the way, as displayed by his many different job titles: construction worker, lawn care entrepreneur, campus bus driver, beer delivery truck assistant, golf caddie, music producer, songwriter and recording artist, French fry cook, bar-back, catering server, valet attendant, car detailing entrepreneur, financial advisor and even an actor in over 40 television shows, movies, and national commercials. Not in that order. Oh yeah, and a real estate consultant. To Greg life is all about experiences. Travel is also a high priority as his wife, and him visit Europe every year and have seen over 15 cities abroad. Greg tends to karaoke whenever possible and has done so in 10 states and five different countries. He also likes to cook, lift weights, and has been learning the piano as of recent. Greg lives in Dublin with his wife and two small dogs.
Volunteering—What does that mean to you? Tell us how you’re involved. For almost three years I’ve been a volunteer mentor with the Franklin County Children Services program, and I’ve made the most wonderful connection with an 11 year old boy and his family. This program is always seeking new volunteers and they’re especially short on male mentors. Please consider joining!
Why did you get into real estate? After returning from California, my mother talked me into joining her at Hondros. We sat together through class and even tested within a week of each other. She remains the premier agent in Columbiana and surrounding counties, and I’m so grateful for her guidance and direction throughout our careers.
JILL RICHARDSON, Keller Williams Greater Columbus Realty
Jill is a Cincinnati native and made her way to Columbus after living in Virginia for several years. She’s lived in New Albany for the last 14 years with her husband, Jeff and two daughters, Anna (13), and Mae (12) and three dogs, Ziggy, Roxanne and Rigsby. Jill loves traveling and experiencing new places and cultures. Being somewhat of an adrenaline junkie, she’s always looking for a new adventure or sport to try, and absolutely loves being outdoors, especially near water, or mountains. Jill’s real estate career started out by working as an appraiser’s assistant when she was 19 years old. She thinks this experience created a solid foundation for her understanding valuations, which has been the most important tool for her in working as a REALTOR®.
Other than real estate, what is your passion? I absolutely love to cook. Aside from being on a beach somewhere warm and beautiful, the kitchen is my “happy place.” I especially love trying new recipes and infusing my own little twists in them as well.
Bragging on your backyard! Columbus is one of the few cities in the country where real estate is still somewhat affordable, but the values continue to increase, making it very investor friendly. It’s a global melting pot with so many different cultures, restaurants, entertainment and landscapes. There’s literally something for any and everyone.
JOSH NUNGESSER, Keller Williams Excel Realty
God has blessed Josh with two amazing boys, Jackson (6) and Samuel (2), a beautiful wife, Kristin, and a rock-solid foundation of family and friends! He grew up in Hilliard, graduated college from The Ohio State University and then spent ten years in Cincinnati. Josh spent twenty years working in the retail industry, where he ran stores, and sharpened his skills of customer service and teaching/training. Josh moved into the real estate industry so he could be directly rewarded for his efforts and be in control of his own schedule. Working with Keller Williams has allowed Josh the training he need to obtain quick success, in a culture of learning and development. He recently became a Launch Coach to assist new agents with business growth! Josh’s hobbies are golf, travel, and running.
Give us a little taste of your secret sauce! Real estate success, for me, is about much more than sales. To me, the relationships I cultivate with all my clients will take me much farther than one simple transaction. My goal with every interaction is to become a friend who can provide value far past the closing date!
Bragging on your backyard! Columbus has evolved into such a melting pot! There’s so much culture and diversity! Although I’m proud to have been selected for this honor, I’d love to see a truer reflection of our city amongst this group of honorees! I’d challenge us next year to have more diverse candidates!
KRIS SHANNON, CRT, REALTORS®
The foundation for Kris’s success is his beautiful wife Sarah and his three tiny humans, Nova, Paisley and Karter. Beyond Kris’s family he is active in church and spends his free time at the gym or playing soccer at Resolute. Kris tries to keep his head down, do his work and spend his time with his family and friends. Kris feels this keeps him grounded and better suited to serve his client’s needs.
Give us a little taste of your secret sauce! The secret to my continued success has been loving on my past clients and sphere of influence. By year three I had a strong referral and repeat client business, in year eight it makes up 80 percent of my continued business. We now throw multiple client appreciation events every year and have our first “celebration of success” planned for the end of March! Loving on past clients and your sphere is a huge key to success in my opinion!
Fast forward: What does your real estate business look like in 10 years? I've recently realized my passion for mentoring new and/or existing agents. I don't have all the answers of course, but I've gone through a lot in this business. In 10 years, I hope to be in a position where I can use my experience to help mentor and train new agents. My philosophy has always been to share what works because there is plenty to go around. Success in 10 years to me would be having multiple agents I've trained/help get started enjoying a prosperous career in real estate.
LAUREN LUCAS, Keller Williams Classic Properties
From small town girl to big city chick; college athlete to major back surgery; four colleges, three majors, spanning nine years. It took the heartache of losing her dream home for reasons she didn’t even understand at the time for Lauren to fall in love with real estate. After nearly six years of punching the clock in a job she was not passionate about, Lauren made the jump to real estate – literally the day after graduation with her bachelor’s degree. Fast forward almost three years from getting licensed; a successful solo career, a failed attempt at building a team, and a leap of faith to merge with Jennifer to create the LKW Home Team in 2019, and here they are. A team of four, over 140 lives changed, and just getting started. The LKW Home Team focuses on educating and advocating for their clients to ensure they are building wealth for the future!
Why did you get into real estate? At 22 I got into contract on the perfect starter home, using the listing agent—I had no clue that I could have my own representation. I fell in love with real estate while researching the home buying process after six months of frustration and devastation, and after losing that home to a short sale.
Give us a little taste of your secret sauce! I stay active in the real estate community, attending networking events, to build relationships with fellow agents. Through social media, strangers become clients. And through clients, I build trust and provide value that leads to referrals. Everything in Real Estate comes back to relationships.
SHAUN HOOD, Coldwell Banker King Thompson
Shaun grew up in the small village of Ada, Ohio, and relocated to Columbus after joining the Army Reserves in 2002. He served in the Army Reserves for eight years. Shaun came to Columbus to attend The Ohio State University, where he later graduated with a History degree. It took him a long time to figure out what he wanted to be when he grew up! Shaun got into real estate in 2015, struggled to get his bearings, but has become obsessed with the business and has been successful. Shaun loves everything about it—the people, the properties, the challenges, solving problems. Shaun and his wife, Molly, are high school sweethearts and have two dogs. Columbus is home! Shaun enjoys connecting with new people, building relationships as well as spending as much time outdoors as he can and loves to golf and travel.
Give us a little taste of your secret sauce! Find a mentor who’s been successful in your area of business. Do what you can to add value to them and ask a lot of questions. There’s no reason to re-invent the wheel. I’ve been blessed with excellent mentors, and they’ve been a large part of my success.
Why did you get into real estate? I got into real estate because it was recommended to me by a friend. I had never considered real estate as a career prior to our conversation. I was tired of my past career and needed a change. Real estate offers unlimited opportunity for income and growth and allows me to help lots of people.