Real estate is Blumel's living; politics is her passion. In 2000 she and her husband rented out their home and moved to California to work on the 2000 presidential campaign and various congressional races in the Central Valley. Blumel, who holds a degree in environmental science from Virginia Tech, started in real estate part time just two years ago while working at a political technology firm.
Business equals pleasure: Today she's a full-time practitioner and closed 31 transactions totaling $13.7 million in 2005. "Everybody's a potential client," says Blumel, who hosts monthly parties and creates event schedules for her community. She has also run forums for her former employer on topics such as investment opportunities, loans, and 1031 exchanges. Staying in touch with former coworkers has helped her sell 14 homes.
Home schooling: "My mom, who has an appraising business, was a big influence. When I was 10, I helped her out on jobs by reading maps and giving directions. Later, she guided me through the business." Her husband, Rob, she says, taught her marketing skills.
Still campaigning: Blumel hasn't given up on politics. As a member of the government affairs committee for the Northern Virginia Association of REALTORS(R), she has lobbied for affordable healthcare and keeping banks out of real estate.