When Bruehl was a teenager, her family endured a foreclosure—but the experience didn't sour Bruehl on home ownership. In fact, as a college freshman she purchased a $64,000 condo, putting down $3,000 she'd earned as a swimming instructor. After college, she sold the condo and used the proceeds to purchase two investment properties, in the process realizing her professional calling. Bruehl focuses on downtown Austin, where she owns two condos. With the help of two assistants, last year she closed 80 transaction sides for about $16.5 million in volume. Her goal for 2006: 125 transaction sides and $25 million in sales.
The secrets of her success: Bruehl's edge comes from her boundless energy, keen listening skills, and ability to provide practical financial advice to clients. She's also a team player, she says, a skill she learned in competitive swimming. From her grandmother, Bruehl learned how to save money.
Networking queen: Bruehl started a business organization called Austin Wealth Builders, which now has 40 members from different industries, all trying to grow their businesses.