American Real Estate Services

Dreams for sale

Cristal Robinson is already a broker-owner and mortgage purveyor—and now she’s aspiring to build homes. It’s hard to believe she’s only 24 years old. Robinson’s energy comes from her desire to help buyers, particularly first timers. “You get close to buyers,” says Robinson, who opened her real estate business at age 20. “Sellers just want results, and the quicker the better. But buyers are people you can help. And when you make their dream come true, they’re grateful.”

Last year Robinson sold 16 homes in her market—plus nine more in other parts of the Panhandle region—for a total volume of $2 million. Her Web site, www.surfinghomes.com, went up in 1996, making it one of the first in town. She estimates that nearly 25 percent of her business is Internet related. “We’ve had more than 30,000 hits,” she says. “It’s been a great investment.”

Robinson spent a lot of time last year learning the mortgage side of the business. “This year I expect our mortgage business to more than double because I now know how to match people up with the right products.”

She has also opened a home supply showroom and--with her husband, Matthew—a company that builds steel-frame houses.

“I have 80 buyers right now, but there are no houses,” she says. “So maybe the answer is to start building them.”