Keller Williams - Silicon Valey

Chilson entered the business in 2004 determined to stand out from the crowded field in pricey Silicon Valley. Working under the Keller Williams umbrella, she started "Girl Powered Real Estate." Her mission: to empower single, divorced, and widowed women to build financial security through real estate.

Designing woman: Women represent one of the fastest-growing segments of buyers. Chilson markets to them with how-to seminars and an anti-fairy-tale Web site and ad campaign that she designed. The ads encourage women to rescue themselves. "My goal in life is to awaken a new breed of women," says Chilson, who closed $7 million in sales volume and 18 transaction sides last year.

Practicing what she preaches: Chilson owns a home and an investment property and wants to add two rental properties a year.