After high school, Tongg and his older brother did a little of this and a little of that. They played professional polo. Attended bible college. Waited tables. Together, they pursued real estate as a source of income while serving as part-time associate pastors in the nondenominational New Life Bible Church. But Tongg says they found that "real estate sales is like life itself. You can't give up." After just three years in the business, the brothers formed their own agency, Hawaii Realty Associates LLC, which now has more than 50 associates. Tongg says he routinely works 14-16 hour days and personally closed about $13 million in sales last year.
Selfless motives: "My brother and I want to create opportunities for other people," says Tongg, whose company "provides better office conditions and higher commission [splits] than we experienced elsewhere."
Reaching out: Tongg has traveled overseas to feed the poor and preach in remote villages in the Philippines and Haiti.