Surf or Sound Realty

If there's such thing as a real estate blue blood, Buckner is it. He grew up around mortgage brokers, real estate salespeople, and contractors. But when Hurricane Isabel swept through North Carolina's Outer Banks in September 2003, it threatened to take his real estate career with it. Buckner, then 21 and a rookie, saw business slow to a crawl. With no business, Buckner earned his GRI designation and studied the market. It didn't take long for his work to pay off; one early client bought a $700,000 home from him sight unseen. In 2005, Buckner closed more than $11 million in sales on 28 transaction sides.

Resorts business: In addition to selling, Buckner started Island Time Builder in 2005, building high-end custom homes, and recently purchased a shutter company. "I've always enjoyed the business and I have a strong work ethic," he says.

Giving back: Buckner is a volunteer firefighter and EMT and was cochair with his mother of the Hatteras Island Rescue Squad Hurricane Isabel Relief Fund.