When many 18-year-olds are relishing their first taste of grown-up freedom, Ye, then straight out of high school and newly married with a baby on the way, decided that real estate investing would help fill her free time. She and her husband bought their first home in Malden, Mass., in 1997 at a foreclosure auction for $82,500 and flipped it three months later for a $30,000 profit. She has yet to slow down. After investing in 10 other properties during the next three years while earning a college degree in business management, she decided that getting a real estate license made sense. “The salespeople were having all the fun,” she quips. Her background as an investor and developer gave her terrific experience when she decided to open a Keller Williams franchise in 2006. She now manages more than 30 associates, but “my passion remains in sales,” she says, noting her sales volume of $12 million last year.
EFFECTIVE MARKETING: To spread the word about open houses, she’s more likely to call 200 neighbors than send 200 postcards. “Everyone does postcards. I believe in the personal touch,” she says.
IN THE COMMUNITY: Ye is fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese, having emigrated to the United States from China at age 7. Her language skills have enabled her to win many Chinese clients. She advertises her business on the cover of a local Chinese real estate publication. She’s laying the groundwork for her own real estate development company in Macau, China. “After that, I want to create an MLS for all of China.” ”