Anne Lusk

Lusk & Associates | Sotheby's International Realty

Penn State’s football team may very well consider Anne Lusk of Sotheby’s International Realty their number one fan. 

“I drove to the Fiesta Bowl, although I didn’t have a ticket,” she says. “But God bless, the players made sure I had a seat at that game. It was incredible.” 

That seat at the game was a “thank you” to Anne. A Penn State graduate herself with a degree in telecommunications, Anne’s support for Penn State football goes beyond cheering touchdowns. Her dedication to the players stems from a respect for hard work and excellence, both on and off the playing field. 

“Pro football isn’t a forever career, so many of those young men graduate and then go for their masters. They truly are a class act, and I help them in any way I can through mentoring, raising money, or teaching them about NIL— ‘name image, and likeness’—and building their own businesses and nonprofits. It's a real passion of mine.”

Anne’s success story is similarly rooted in perseverance, hard work, and a dedication to continuing education. In a career spanning three decades, Anne says goal number one has always been doing her best for her clients.

"Real estate found me, and it's been an incredible journey ever since. But the real legacy is what you leave for others. In my work and my life, my focus is taking care of people.”

The Road Less Traveled

After graduating from Penn State in 1987, Anne began her career as a TV anchor in Billings and Miles City in Montana, eventually working at KCTC TV in Bozeman. Very quickly, she achieved her milestone goal of appearing on national television with a spot on Good Morning America. 

“After that, I came home to Lancaster County,” she says. “My mother was distraught that I quit being a TV anchor person. But I didn't feel I was serving people in my work.” 
Anne enjoyed a successful stint in sales for Armstrong World Industries – a job she says helped her understand the home-building process – but says her passion for cars inspired her next career move. 

“I moved to Florida where I got into wholesaling cars. I then moved to California and worked for a Porsche Audi dealership. We dealt with Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Bentley's, and Rolls-Royce's. Working for luxury car brands gave me a lucrative database, but more importantly, I developed confidence dealing with the high-end buyer.”

Annes says the luxury car business also taught her another valuable skill: adaptability. “You had to know when to let it go. For example, the value of Ferraris could change on a dime. It’s the same in real estate. Things can happen very quickly.”

Returning home again, Anne faced the challenge of reintegrating into a community she hadn't lived in for a decade. For a short time, she sold veterinary pharmaceuticals. Then, leveraging her ability to speak Spanish, she identified an underserved demographic in the early '90s—first-time homebuyers who spoke Spanish. 

"I started at a mom-and-pop shop in Lancaster City, and I served a niche that no one else was serving," Anne says. “I could read and write Spanish, and I even taught first-time home buyer classes in Spanish. Very quickly, I built an incredible business based on referrals.”

And, says Anne, her business thrived because she understood the importance of marketing. 

“I only had $600, so I did this ad with my rescue bull terrier, Lucky. ‘You don't have to be Lucky to get your home sold.’ I could only afford to run it on cable for two or three months. People come to my open house and ask me how Lucky's doing from my 1995 commercial.”

Reflecting on her early days in real estate and her current success, Anne emphasizes the value of investment in one's craft. 

"Agents ask me, ‘What's your secret to success?’ Let's start with no vacations for my first seven years in real estate. Let's start with investing back in my business. I read. I go to seminars. I listen to podcasts. I educate myself every day.”

Present and Future

Anne’s most challenging moment, leaving Prudential, turned into a significant opportunity when she acquired the Sotheby's International Realty franchise for Lancaster, Pennsylvania. 

“I never dreamt that Sotheby’s international Reality would come to Lancaster. But I had friends who saw how hard I worked and saw that Lancaster Central Pennsylvania had a lot to offer.” 

With a focus on customer service and educating her clients, Anne continues to succeed by putting the needs of her clients at the forefront of every interaction. “Buying or selling a home is an important transaction, so if it doesn't feel right then it's not meant to be next. I don't care if it's a $9,000 trailer or a $5 million deal, both are financial decisions that can affect someone’s future. The transaction needs to be right for everyone.”

Anne says she doesn’t have a team of agents, but she does rely on a support team. “Sandy Zerkers is a fabulous broker, and I have great people who run my office. I have a transaction coordinator and a lot of marketing people.” Describing her maverick personality, Anne laughs: “I'm a type A, High-D DISC. I sleep, like, four hours a night, so I can get a lot done in 20 hours.”
Anne's commitment to serving others extends beyond property transactions. She is involved with the Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute, and the Water Street Rescue Mission, and has a decade-long association with Linden Hall. 

Anne is a mother of two boys, Matthew and Kenny, both licensed agents. Her collaborative efforts with her son Ken include hosting the TV show "American Dream TV." "He's probably a better salesperson than me. He has a little more patience, and he's quite handsome and charming," Anne laughs.

Looking to the future, Anne shares insights into the evolving real estate landscape. The ongoing NAR lawsuit on commissions and fees prompts her to suggest a return to sub-agency as a potential solution. 

“Many people are afraid we’ll become a fee-for-service industry, but I don't see that happening. There's too much ‘human touch’ involved in our profession. Great agents do a lot of handholding and develop relationships with clients. And there's a place for all types of agents –the big teams, the transactional, the sale by owner, and the fee for service. In America, it's all about our voice and our choice.”

Asked what advice she has for up-and-coming agents, Anne advocates for a return to professionalism within the industry. “Dress professionally and come prepared to every showing. Be the agent who doublechecks to ensure all the doors are locked and the lights are off. Be the agent that makes people either put booties on or take their shoes off. Be respectful of the client and their home that we have the privilege to show.”

Regarding the ever-changing landscape of real estate, Anne does not anticipate a significant reduction in home values. "I do feel we're still going to have a housing shortage for the next several years," Anne predicts. “As agents, we will need to work harder to save our client’s time. We need to be efficient and make the transaction as smooth as possible.

“As professionals, we have to return to work ethic and pride of workmanship. And we have to get back to caring. We're all humans. We will all make mistakes. We will all have bad days. Empathy and a focus on excellence are the two important skills we will all need to succeed.”