As a novice real estate investor, Cristina Grossu, AHWD, MRP, bought her first property at 23 using her parents’ home equity line of credit. She’s since paid them back and added five more properties to her portfolio, all of which she manages herself. After earning a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Southern California, she worked in hotel management in Los Angeles. The hours were long and the commute was a headache. So after her family relocated to Charlotte, N.C., from Hawaii, she moved across the country to be near them. As an investor—bolstered by six NAR designations and certifications—Grossu, 29, can provide clients first-hand knowledge and credible insights. Not all of Grossu’s investments are in real estate. She has adopted five rescue dogs and is a fierce advocate for no-kill animal shelters.