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Rookie Spotlight: Ryan Sampson
A degree in real estate pays off

Ryan Sampson
You might say that dirt is in Ryan Sampson's blood. In fact, he would say that.

"Yeah, my dad has always been in the land business," said the 22 year-old rookie. "I remember going with him as a kid to vacant warehouses, and I found it very fascinating to wander around those huge open spaces. I grew up with a nice lifestyle; I always thought it would be a nice thing to do."

The "nice thing to do" has been good to Sampson, even this early in his career. Two weeks after graduating Florida State University with a degree in Real Estate, he was working in Tampa at Eshenbaugh Land Company with the owner, Bill Eshenbaugh.

"His dad called to set up an interview," Eshenbaugh said, "and I wasn't all that interested, being a lone wolf kind of guy. But business was booming and I figured I could spare Ryan a half-hour of my time. Then I realized I liked what I was hearing and seeing, and my business plan changed at the interview."

Sampson's business plan is an unusual one, taking him through university, REALTORS® Land Institute (RLI, focused on land brokerage) and Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM, for commercial and investment real estate) designations. He's testing for his Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) designation and his broker's license in May, taking 120 hours of courses given by RLI.

"I'm doing it," Sampson said. "I'm up against other companies and brokers who are larger, more experienced. I'm not going to get more experience than they have, so I get more education." According to Sampson, there are only 27 brokers on Florida who have both CCIM and ALC designations. "I want to be one of that small number."

In 2006, Sampson was involved in more than $45 million in sales, and more than $100 million since he joined the company, focusing on corporate and industrial sales. "Most brokers get here from some other career," Bill Eshenbaugh said. "But Ryan is in it from the beginning, he has a great work ethic."

Sampson found that his job was an education as well. "When I started I was told this was a full-time job, but I didn't realize that after starting at 7:30 in the morning and finishing at 8pm, Bill would take me along to all these organization meetings, for the networking." To get his name out, Sampson has joined just about every real estate and builders organization in the area, as well as being a vice chairman of the Urban Land Institute’s Young Leader Group Tampa Bay.
Ryan's father helps him put it all in perspective. "He tells me, 'you're supposed to starve the first couple of years,' so I guess he's a little jealous. But he's very proud of me as well."
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