March 2008

Ryan Stefonick: On the Go!

Author: Miranda Spencer

It was a somewhat quiet, lackadaisical Saturday afternoon when I arrived at Darn Good Bagels to meet with Ryan Stefonick. I was late, a little disorganized, and I had spilled my Dr. Pepper down the front of my jeans while accidentally jumping the curb to turn into the plaza. What a great impression. But as I pulled into the parking lot (meanwhile hoping that no one had seen my curb incident) there he was waiting patiently with a smile on his face and dressed to the business-casual nines. I felt a little underdressed with my Dr. Pepper stain, but this guy was cool. We went inside the bagel shop, and almost immediately my frazzled nerves were calmed.

You don’t meet many guys like Stefonick—an artist, a family guy, a creative real estate agent, a traveler, an athlete, and one of the recent bachelor nominees—all in one package. Originally from Pennsylvania, he attended Valley Forge Military School where he learned the facts of life: responsibility, discipline, and challenge. He eventually landed at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia, studying art.

“I didn’t know what I wanted to do for the next four years,” said Stefonick as he readily settled into the bagel booth, “but I could definitely see myself making art. Plus I loved the town, and I loved the people.”

But after college, Stefonick didn’t stick around. Instead, he and his “at-the-time girlfriend” traveled around the U.S., camping in various locations. “We were lovin’ it. But after that it was time to get serious,” he said.

Being a motivated, family-oriented guy, he decided to focus on work now so he can travel and play later. “I’m taking the time now to provide for my family later,” he explained with a sure grin. “I know what I want, and I’m working towards it.” This was when opportunity called (quite literally) from Hilton Head Island: real estate with his father, Mike Stefonick.

“I didn’t know anyone other than my family. My sister lives here with her family, and since my dad has always been with Re/Max, that’s what I knew: I had a future in Hilton Head where he’d teach me something valuable. It would have been foolish to pass up the offer.”

Stefonick, however, is far from foolish. He’s actually quite the visionary. “With real estate, you can think outside the box and differentiate yourself from the rest. You gotta make it your own—get creative and have fun with it. It’s not even a job anymore,” he said.

Meanwhile, Stefonick is flexing his real estate creativity in another way. He and his father have established an online real estate marketing solution that is sure to knock the socks off of any real estate broker or agent. “It’s called GoRealEstate.com. It’s a powerful URL, and it’s going to be big,” said Stefonick.

GoRealEstate.com is a way for agents to market themselves nationwide without having to pay a whopping $5,000-$50,000 a month for brand identity. It’s only $250 a year to lease keywords to real estate agents so they can, as Stefonik says, “make their hometown their homepage.”

“My last name may be hard to remember,” he explained, “but if you go to www.GoRealEstate.com/HiltonHead, it takes you straight to my personal Re/Max website. This way people only have to remember the name of the state or city where they want to find a home. It’s a simple way for consumers to find homes and to be in contact with an agent faster and easier.”

Stefonick and his sister, Amee Patrick, a local firefighter and trainer at Matrix Training Center, are also in cahoots with another savvy business endeavor. The brother and sister duo’s ingenious plan is entitled “IWILL.”

“It’s high performance, motivational athletic attire that features inspirational quotes from professional athletes that make you want to accomplish your goals,” said Stefonick. “And I love seeing people achieve their goals.”

Eventually the proceeds from the clothing will go to the non-profit side of IWILL, called Adopt an Athlete, a program for local athletes who help young and upcoming athletes achieve their goals. You’ll be able to read more about this in their upcoming newsletter, “Go Train Hard Systems,” which will also feature interviews with local athletes. And if you don’t think that Stefonick already has enough on his plate, he’s also sponsoring a series of triathlons called Go Tri Sports Beach Bum Triathlon. The first takes place June 28 with additional triathlons on July 12 and August 9. It’s for everyone—even the kids—and will involve biking, swimming, and running.

“So you’ll see me there in my full Re/Max racing attire!” said Stefonick.

For more information, visit www.GoRealEstate.com. For IWILL apparel, visit www.iwill-wear.com. To read more about Adopt an Athlete, visit www.remax-racing.com.

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