A teenage agent finds success by leveraging training, lots of support and a family tradition in real estate
By Dorota Wright-O’Neill
At 19 years old, Mason Thurber isn’t able to legally buy a drink for a couple of years, yet he spends his days – and nights – helping people twice his age buy high-end properties.
Age, as it turns out, has never been a barrier to his success. The young Sales Associate with RE/MAX Pro Realty in Charleston, S.C., closed 17 transactions, for a total sales volume of more than $3.2 million, in 2013 — his first year as an agent.
Thurber was practically born into the business. His mother, Vel Thurber Everett, is a real estate veteran and Co-Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Pro Realty. Throughout Thurber’s childhood, she frequently brought him to the office, RE/MAX events and open houses.
“I remember helping her open lockboxes,” Thurber says. “And I was amazed by the RE/MAX Hot Air Balloons. My mom actually brought one to my school for science day once.”
Thurber considered going into engineering after graduating high school, but real estate proved a stronger draw.
“I was shocked when he said he wanted to work in my office,” Thurber Everett says. “He had so many other interests.”
She made it clear that he needed to give real estate his full commitment.
“He went into it with his eyes wide open,” she says. “I agreed to take him on, because he’s focused and he has seen first-hand that this can be a demanding profession.”
Encouraged, Thurber earned his license in 2012. Shortly after, he earned the Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE) designation and began working under the watchful eye of his stepfather, Broker Associate Bill Everett, Jr.
“I think growing up around RE/MAX gave me an advantage right away,” Thurber recalls. “I knew from watching my mom and stepfather that I’d have to work hard and do everything possible to meet my clients’ needs. I never questioned the necessary work ethic or the focus on customer service because I’d been around RE/MAX so much.”
His first lead, a $1 million transaction that took eight months to close, came from his stepfather. By the time he finalized it, Thurber already had several other clients in his pipeline, and was quickly mastering the nuances of transactional paperwork.
“I still review his contracts and, occasionally, I’ll remind him to check on this or that,” his mother says. “But usually, he already has it covered.”
In fact, Thurber is exceling, and he freely credits the support – both personal and professional – he receives from his real estate-savvy family.
“Anyone starting out in real estate should find mentors,” he says. “My advice would be to partner with someone who is much more experienced than you are. And make it a point to ask questions; you can’t ask too many questions.”
Thurber Everett credits her son’s success to hard work and perseverance, but she also thinks his age is an advantage.
“Like most teenagers, he’s a natural with technology,” she says. “Marketing with social media is second nature to him. Plus, at that age, you’re able to absorb a lot of information very quickly.”
For Thurber, this is just the beginning of a long career. He’s exploring RE/MAX University courses to help him gain the skills he knows he’ll need to advance. Right now, he’s primarily a buyer’s agent, and wants to earn more listings. Eventually, he might shift his focus to commercial real estate and managing others.
“I want to expand on what I’m doing now,” he says, “but I also want to work my way up to become a team leader, possibly before I’m 30.”