Jeremy Wilstein was in the running for a prestigious Realtor's Magazine "30 under 30" award until last Tuesday. A win would have made a great headline, but that's the day he found out he didn't make the cut.
"I'm not too upset," says the 26-year-old Park City resident, who got his license just three years ago. "There were some pretty legit people up for the award and some had been applying for a few years."
The good news, he says, is that he was still among the 50 finalists from across the nation. That determination was based on an extensive application process and a flurry of questions from the magazine staff.
Undaunted, Wilstein says he'll apply again next year. "I've got three more years to work hard and try for this award. If there's one thing I've learned so far, it's that having a positive attitude is the single best trait a person can have in life," he asserts. Wisdom beyond his years.
Born in Santa Monica, Calif., Wilstein moved to Park City in 1989 with his family when he was just three years old. That makes him practically a native Parkite. Parents Ron and Colleen Wilstein wanted to get away from the L.A. basin and raise their children in a safer, more pristine environment. Wilstein senior sold commercial real estate in California and transitioned to residential sales after moving here.
Jeremy Wilstein is the youngest of three children. Sister Zahava lives in Rome, Ga., has a Ph.D. in mathematics and teaches at Berry College.
Wilstein navigated the Park City school system with relative ease. He played football and lacrosse for Park City High. As a senior, he captained the lacrosse team to a berth in the state semifinals.
After graduating, Wilstein was accepted to three western colleges. He chose Colorado State University in Fort Collins for its sports-medicine program and the Colorado lifestyle. "Also, I wanted to go out of state to meet new people," he says. During his freshman year at CSU he played on the lacrosse team. "We actually won the club national championship that year, beating out our bitter rival, the University of Colorado, Boulder," he grins. "Go Rams!"
He studied abroad during his junior year at CSU, choosing a college in New Zealand on the advice of his sister Rachel, who had visited the country before. Though he loved the country, he realized he'd chosen the wrong school. He switched his student visa to a work visa, took a job as a hotel concierge and stayed in the country for several more months.
Wanderlust struck Wilstein on the way home and he detoured for a few weeks through Australia, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. His takeaway: "In Asia, I learned how important attitude really is. Most of those people back there have no money to their name and yet they'll do anything to help you. It really is your perception of life that makes you happy or sad."
Wilstein returned to Fort Collins and Colorado State to graduate with honors in 2009, but by then his priorities had changed. "I thought I wanted to be a physical therapist but, after spending time in a PT office, it was boring to me. I really didn't know what I wanted to do."
Perhaps sensing his son's angst, Wilstein's father called him a month before graduation and made him an offer he couldn't refuse. "My dad asked me if I wanted to try selling real estate. I didn't have any other plans so I said, 'OK, sure.'"
Wilstein admittedly had a leg up out of the gate. His father, Ron, has been a successful and respected broker in Park City for more than 20 years. But he's nevertheless paid his dues over the last three years in a less-than-stellar market. He's established himself as an energetic, hard-working and conscientious agent, a fact clearly reflected in a respectable sales record during a down market. His hard work paid off last year when he bought his first home in Prospector.
Away from work, Wilstein enjoys most of the activities and opportunities Park City has to offer. "I love the quality of life and the quality of the people in this town. I love the fact that I can leave my house and be on a mountain bike trail or out skiing in less than five minutes. Since moving back home, he's been a regular cast member of the annual Park City Follies at the historic Egyptian Theatre on Main Street (the show runs April 5-7 and April 11-13).
Wilstein has set high expectations for himself as a Park City real-estate agent. His positive attitude has paid dividends as he continues to grow in his profession.
Steve Phillips is a Park City-based writer and actor. Send your profile comments and suggestions to him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Favorite activities: Mountain biking, skiing, wakeboarding, summer concerts
Favorite food: Sushi
Favorite reading: Mostly online magazine articles; "I like all of Michael Lewis's books about finance and the economy."
Favorite music: Electronic dance music (EDM). "Tiësto, Swedish House Mafia, Kaskade and Calvin Harris are some of my favorites. I can't get enough of it."
Bucket list: Backpack around the world; learn to fly.