Delaney Philbrick passed the exam for her New Hampshire state real estate license on July 2.
RYE, N.H. — By age 4, Delaney Philbrick was ruthless at Monopoly. She would beat her older brothers, who accused her of cheating, and had memorized the rents for every property on the game board.
With two parents working in real estate, you could say it’s in her blood. But this 18-year-old clearly has a passion for the family business.
Philbrick passed the exam for her New Hampshire state real estate license on July 2. Within one hour of passing the test, she and her father, Dan Philbrick, were on their way to the state’s real estate commission in Concord. In that hour, she had the results notarized, along with the testimony of three character witnesses and the criminal record release form required by the real estate commission.
“My dad and I are always doing crazy stuff like that,” she said.
Philbrick’s by the Sea in Rye, owned by Dan Philbrick, is best known for rentals of summer cottages on the beach. The minute Delaney’s license arrives in the mail, she plans to expand into listings of single-family homes. While her father has always been more interested in the management and steady rental income of the cottages, Philbrick said she is more interested in buying, selling and earning a commission.
“I’ve had my signs made for two years,” she said.
Those would be the signs that read “FOR SALE. Call Delaney Philbrick” with her work number. She had them printed when she was 16. She began at Philbrick’s by the Sea three years ago, helping to manage seasonal rentals on a part-time basis.
But her desire to get started representing buyers and sellers is what drove Philbrick to make the trip to Concord immediately after passing her test. Most people send in their results and required forms by mail.
It can take the real estate commission weeks to process the paperwork and send out the two documents required for practicing real estate — the smaller version of the license a salesperson must carry while conducting business, and the larger version that must be framed and displayed in the office. Think of when you go to your dentist or doctor and see framed degrees on the wall.
As for a degree from a college or university, Philbrick has no plans for that. When asked if anyone has suggested she should broaden her options by going to college, she replied, “Everyone.”
She grew up sure of what she wanted to do with her life.
“In high school, I would skip class to go to closings,” she said, adding that many teachers understood.
But one teacher told her directly that she would “never be able to afford a nice house.”
Philbrick, however, had grown up in a large home purchased by her father, a real estate broker. She learned first-hand all the ins and outs of selling this childhood home when her father represented himself as the listing agent. And these same legal concepts, such as “adverse possession” and how to properly subdivide a lot, were on the exam for her license.
“Everything we could’ve learned in class, I had a real-life example of,” she said.
She studied at Charline Mason Seminars Unlimited, a real estate school with classes in Portsmouth, and described Mason as “the best teacher ever.” To devote more time to studying for the exam, Philbrick graduated from Portsmouth High School almost five months ahead of schedule in 2017.
Philbrick credits her family, teachers and mentors for supporting her career ambitions. Her mother, Jennifer Philbrick, is a real estate agent with Berkshire Hathaway. Neither of her parents pressured her to go to college, she said.
She texted her four older brothers, who are range in age from 20 to 29, after passing her real estate exam. Although they do not share her interest in the business, and despite the past arguments over Monopoly, Philbrick said she they were happy for her.
Chief among her life mentors was her longtime babysitter, Melissa “Missy” Parker. It was Parker who taught her how to play Monopoly and who devised a filing system for properties and money so they could continue playing the next day. Parker died at age 46 due to complications of cancer in late 2016. Her influence on Philbrick’s life is etched on her — literally. Based on an old card, Philbrick has a tattoo on her foot in an imitation of Parker’s handwriting that reads, “Love you bunches.”
Love seems to be a theme in talking with Philbrick. She quoted her dad’s philosophy: “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”
Liza Bonilla McGuckin is a reporter for the Portsmouth (N.H.) Herald.