Mantovani's real estate roots are deep. Her grandmother, who grew up on a farm with seven brothers, began developing Florida real estate in the late 1940s. Mantovani's father specialized in commercial land acquisition and development. "I enjoyed real estate from the start because it just came naturally," says Mantovani. She took over the business from her father in 2003 and transformed the company, which had essentially managed her father's properties, into a full-service real estate company. Today Mantovani's business is about 70 percent residential and 30 percent commercial -- with a strong focus on developer representation and workforce housing. Mantovani's strategy helped her close $97.8 million in individual sales in 2005.
Brand awareness: While in college Mantovani worked for a well-known political consultant and lobbyist in Florida. The experience taught her that image and presentation are important, so she hired a marketing firm to design her newsletters, postcards, and listing books.
Not politics as usual: Mantovani hosted an event entitled "Elephants and Donkeys, Oh my! Who do I choose?" to register voters and educate young professionals on what it means to be a Republican or Democrat.