For three years in college, Benn Vogelsang, 29, owned a house-painting franchise. He enjoyed the marketing, sales, and financial management end of the business more than swinging a brush. Someday, he decided, he would have his own portfolio of real estate investments. He got his real estate license but didn’t think he’d excel at showing homes or conducting open houses. So he pursued the more numbers-oriented commercial side of the business. Today Vogelsang specializes in selling and exchanging multifamily buildings, typically with four to 50 units. He has also bought his first two buildings and is a partner in two more. “Owning properties helps me see transactions from my clients’ eyes,” he says. When Vogelsang’s not working, you just may find him covered in mud. He participates in Tough Mudder Races to benefit veterans through the Wounded Warrior Project.