Five REALTORS® have been named Texas REALTORS® to Watch for 2022. The award goes to REALTORS® under the age of 40 for their excellence in leadership, community involvement, and everything else that makes a well-rounded young professional in real estate.
“These five young leaders stood out through their dedication to their clients, our industry, and their personal and professional growth,” says Texas REALTORS® 2022 Chairman Russell Berry. “I could not be prouder to congratulate them on all of their successes. I cannot wait to see what they will accomplish in the years to come.”
Berry thanked everyone who applied for the award, adding that it was inspiring to learn about the candidates’ contributions around the state.
After a successful 2021 in which she led the largest brokerage in Houston in individual agent sales, Lauren Ashley decided the time had come to start a team. In January, she joined up with two agents and a transaction coordinator along with her administrator. “My primary focus for my team and my personal sales is residential sales through referrals from our sphere and through farming our communities,” she says.
Ashley aims to grow as a leader and mentor while continuing to serve clients at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene – Champions. The team has closed over 50 transactions totaling over $20 million in sales through the third quarter.
A self-described extremely driven and passionate personality, Ashley felt unfulfilled in her previous career as a school psychologist. She switched careers and became a real estate agent in December 2017. She has earned the Master Certified Negotiation Expert, Accredited Buyer’s Representative, and Graduate, REALTOR® Institute designations.
A formative experience was the sale of a unique 30-acre property in Tomball. Ashley threw herself into the project, taking extra classes to learn how to market, negotiate, and navigate the deal. It felt like it took everything within her to push the transaction forward.
“Every transaction is a new experience. Each one comes with its own hurdles, experiences, and a uniqueness that you must be willing to tackle,” she says. “Be open to learning and understanding. Be open to the fact that you are on your clients’ path to their next step in life. That’s a big deal and it should never be taken lightly.”
Ashley was honored as one of the Houston Association of REALTORS® 20 Under 40 in 2020. She is active with Young Professionals Network groups. She co-leads and participates in the annual ReBuild It project, which supports families in need of home repair. She also helps lead the brokerage’s annual fundraisers for Operation Snowstorm and Friday Harbor, charities that assist families of cancer patients, as well as the Gary Greene Foundation.
Ashley says she is hard on herself, a trait her husband says both drives her and occasionally tears her down. She is constantly striving to improve in all aspects of her life. She says her greatest challenge has been work/life balance.
“When I finally committed to hiring my assistant and then continuing to grow the team, it was a huge struggle for me,” she says. “I believed at the time this would help with my work/life balance. All it really did was catapult my business more, which has been a blessing! I am constantly striving toward that appropriate balance so that I don’t neglect my why: family success, growth, and happiness.”
Alicia Jammer considers herself a real estate advisor. “I use the word advisor because it is my job to advise them on the entire homebuying/selling process so that they may make an informed decision with one of the most difficult-yet-rewarding purchases they will make,” she says.
Jammer loves helping people; she was looking for a career that could make an impact in the community. She realized that no one had thoroughly explained the real estate transaction to her when she bought her home in Houston in 2013. “The process seemed short and sweet and if you blinked, you were at the closing table,” she says.
She and her ex-husband had bought and sold a few homes in California, but she never thought about real estate from the agent’s perspective. Plus, both of her sisters work in the industry—property management and eminent domain coordination. “It seemed like real estate was the perfect choice for me,” she says.
Jammer started her real estate journey in 2014.
“I didn’t do a good job letting people know that I was a REALTOR® and this was my full-time job,” she says. “I was no longer a stay-at-home mom and I wanted people to take me seriously. So I struggled building my clientele and tried many different ways to build my business.”
Top producers advised her to not be a secret agent. They encouraged her to get out in the community, get involved, meet as many people as she could, and build off her existing relationships. She began using social media to show the world who she was, and clients started taking notice.
Today, Jammer is a residential sales agent with Compass RE Texas who has worked with professional athletes, business professionals, investors, and first-time homebuyers. She ended the second quarter of 2022 with over $4.7 million in sales as well as two pending deals over $1.8 million. She has earned her e-PRO and Accredited Buyer’s Representative designations.
Jammer is active in the Houston Association of REALTORS® and the Young Professionals Network. She also volunteers as an ambassador for Child Advocates of Fort Bend. She served as president of the Women’s Council of REALTORS® Fort Bend in 2018.
“I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit,” she says. “Being an entrepreneur as a REALTOR® has allowed me the flexibility I needed to be there for my boys. I love my clients and navigating them through the process of purchasing or selling their home. It is truly a blessing to be a part of.”
Ever since Tory Ramirez shifted to a management role at Krueger Real Estate, his focus has been on developing his agents.
During the past six months as team leader, he has recruited 24 agents and worked hard to raise conversion rates for his brokerage and agents. He recently allowed three agents to shadow him on his personal transactions and split his commission.
Ramirez has implemented a training called Morning Hustle, in which his agents share their successes, gratitudes, and challenges. “From there, we all mastermind ways to help one another and act as a constant support for one another,” he says. “I’ve created accountability groups and do my absolute best to push my agents daily toward success.”
Ramirez’s brokerage is third in the nation among the 700 Zillow Flex Teams, an elite group of Zillow partners chosen from the top 1% of Zillow’s 70,000 members. He says what sets him apart is that he genuinely cares about his colleagues and hopes to see them become successful. “I strive to become a part of the success stories of the agents I assist,” he says.
A Texas REALTORS® Leadership Program graduate, Ramirez specializes in residential real estate with a focus on first-time homebuyers and new construction. He has earned his Accredited Buyer’s Representative designation.
“I decided to obtain my real estate license for the sole reason of being able to put myself in a position where I can take care of my family and friends, and begin to build generational wealth,” he says. “My mission is to obtain ultimate financial freedom through building meaningful relationships and create opportunities for my friends and family. For me, real estate isn’t so much a business of homes, but more so a business of people.”
A key moment for him was when his mentor, James Krueger, asked him what’s more important: how much money you make, or how many families you help? “At that moment, I finally understood. The only thing that should matter is helping as many families as I possibly can.”
He serves as Leadership Chair of the Houston Association of REALTORS® Young Professionals Network. He volunteers and helps with Rebuild Houston and Hartsfield Elementary School.
“Being in YPN and TRLP has greatly changed my perception and has also given me great understanding of my community and self-worth,” he says. “My recent transition into management has also greatly changed me as well. I’m more empathetic than I’ve ever been and am highly obsessed with assisting my agents in becoming the best versions of themselves.”
Kelly Vullo Raulston
“I chose to become a real estate agent because it is a career in which I can provide value, education, and advocacy,” says Kelly Vullo Raulston. “My favorite quote that I base my whole life on is by Albert Einstein: ‘Strive not to be a success but rather to be of value.’ Success is an accomplishment, but value is a merit.”
Raulston was a middle school math teacher before obtaining her real estate license in 2016. In the classroom, she prioritized making a difference over getting the best results. That drive now animates her real estate career with East Texas Preferred Properties.
“The real estate journey is not just a school year,” she says. “Real estate is not stagnant; it’s ever-changing and evolving. I want to continue to strive to learn and advocate for my region, so that I can continue to provide value. The best way I can do that is to be a Texas REALTOR®.”
Raulston says her age has been her biggest challenge in real estate. She says she’s sometimes seen as “too young.” Her ideas are “not the way it’s done.” Her marketing is “too cute” or “just for laughs.” She attended meetings and mixers and none of the leaders looked like her.
“I thought being a leader was out of my reach, and I would have to wait my turn,” she says. One day, a little voice inside her told her to volunteer when her local REALTOR® association’s Professional Development Committee needed help.
She feels a strong responsibility to represent and advocate for her region. “Many use the excuse that they are too busy to serve. However, if I am going to provide the best service for my clients and represent my region in the best light, I owe it to all to serve, regardless of how busy I am.”
Raulston is a 2021 Texas REALTORS® Leadership Program graduate and the 2022 chairman-elect for the Greater Tyler Association of REALTORS®—the association’s youngest ever. She was named GTAR’s Rookie of the Year in 2018. She volunteers with her church, Marvin United Methodist, and For the Silent, an organization that works to stop commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking.
Raulston advises agents to set healthy boundaries and clear expectations. Agents must be bold. “You have to be willing to ask the questions, stand up and speak on behalf of others, and take criticism,” she says. “You have to show the ability to take risks. And most importantly, you have to be confident.”
Jordan Rosen was drawn to real estate from a young age, growing up with a father in commercial development. From the client relationships to the market knowledge, networking, and business development, she fell in love with the process.
In 2013, she earned her Texas real estate license. Working first in Houston, then in Dallas, she learned the ropes from some of the top real estate agents in Texas before branching out on her own.
Her greatest challenge was starting her career in a new city without knowing anyone. “I didn’t let that stop me,” she recalls. “It was intimidating at first, but I was confident in my knowledge and brave in asking for business or how I could help. I worked very hard to build a client network.”
“The first few years were hard, but I stayed diligent, and started to see my business double and even triple year-over-year,” she adds. “It’s an incredible feeling and blessing.”
Rosen says knowing your market area inside and out is one of the biggest gateways to success. “My first mentor taught me to study the new closings, new listings, new sold and price reductions daily,” she says. “Always be prepared to answer questions or give insight at a moment’s notice. It sets you apart.”
Rosen is the Principle Broker of The Rosen Group at Compass Real Estate focused on residential resale, new construction homes, and developments in Dallas. This year through September, she has closed more than 52 transactions totaling more than $72 million in sales. She earned her Certified Real Estate Broker Manager designation in 2020.
Rosen is active in the MetroTex Association of REALTORS® and has a goal of running for a board position before she turns 40. She donates her time to Genesis Woman’s Shelter & Support and her neighborhood association in Devonshire. She is the president of her townhome development.
Being a team player and helping fellow agents is very important to Rosen; she believes it is instrumental to an agent’s success. “Agents call me frequently for help pricing properties, getting properties ready for the market, or for overall advice in working through a transaction,” she says. “My peer relationships and respect are invaluable.”
Rosen’s clients get the same care and attention. “I follow up. I check in. I drop by gifts or celebratory items as their lives grow and progress in the house. I don’t just go away after the deal has closed.”
Real estate isn’t about winning—however you define it—for Rosen. “We have to work together to get the deal to the closing table,” she says. “Everything always comes full circle, and how you demonstrate that in a single transaction transcends beyond that transaction.”
Checking In With the Class of 2017
Texas REALTORS® Young Professionals Network named 11 exceptional leaders to its inaugural REALTORS® to Watch list. Here are a few highlights of their activities over the past five years.
- 2017-2018, 2020-2022 D Magazine Best Real Estate Agents
- 2017-2022 D Magazine Top Residential Real Estate Producers
- 2019-2020 Texas REALTORS® Director
- 2021-2022, Dallas Builders Association Board Member
- 2019 NAR Leadership Academy graduate
- 2020-2022 NAR Finance Committee appointee
- 2021 Texas REALTORS® Public Policy Chairman
- 2023 Texas REALTORS® Secretary Treasurer
- 2017-2019 Abilene Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors
- 2018-2021 TREPAC Trustee
- 2021 Texas REALTORS® Housing Opportunity Chairman
- 2021 Abilene Association of REALTORS® President
- 2018 Austin Board of REALTORS® REALTOR® of the Year
- 2019-2022 Texas REALTORS® Director
- 2020 Texas REALTORS® Political Involvement Committee Chairman
- 2022 Texas REALTORS® Strategic Planning Committee Chairman
- 2022-2023 NAR Director
- 2019 Texas REALTORS® Leadership Program graduate
- 2020 Greater Texoma Association of REALTORS® President
- 2022 Elite REAL Broker Agent
- 2022 TREPAC Trustee
- 2023 NAR Federal Financing and Housing Policy Committee Chairman
- 2023 NAR Director
- 2023 Texas REALTORS® Regional Vice President
- 2020 NTREIS President
- 2022 NAR MLS Forum Chairman
- 2023 NAR MLS Committee Vice Chairman
- 2023 NAR Leadership Academy
- 2023 MetroTex Association of REALTORS® Executive Team
- 2021 RPAC Hall of Fame
- 2022 Women’s Council of REALTORS® National President
- 2017-2019 TREPAC Trustee
- 2018-2021 NAR Governance Game Changer Presidential Advisory Group
- 2020 Texas REALTORS® YPN Chairman
- 2021 NAR Business Issues Policy Committee Chairman
- 2021 RPAC Hall of Fame
- 2022 Texas REALTORS® Regional Vice President
- 2022 MetroTex Association of REALTORS® President
- NAR Federal Political Coordinator for U.S. Rep. Colin Allred
- 2022 Houston Association of REALTORS® Chairman
- 2021 Texas REALTORS® Strategic Planning Committee Chairman
- Speaker at national real estate conferences such as Inman Las Vegas
- Led eight-member team to Emerald Elite status with Better Homes and Gardens