Felicia Mares, 28, earned her high school diploma and two associate’s degrees simultaneously, then went on to be the first in her family to earn a bachelor’s degree. Her mother’s drive to be a homeowner, combined with her late father’s unrealized dream to be in real estate, led her to “a career I love,” she says. Mares has another love: french fries. In one day last year, she taste-tested fries in eight Bay Area restaurants, posting reviews on Instagram. Her fry fancy helps her stand out on social media, where she also shares video home tours. But it’s open houses that provide her greatest source of leads; she sets the mood with Motown or instrumental rock music. Mares’ father died in 2018 after a five-year battle with cancer, but not before planting the seeds for her career. “He encouraged me to go for the things I want in life,” she says.