Re/Max determined to survive “fifth recession”

August 21, 2009 12:10PM

When Re/Max opened its doors in 1973, it did so amid a recession,
and, according to Re/Max Founder Dave Liniger, the current financial
downturn is the fifth his company has weathered in its 36-year
history. He and his wife, Gail, the first hire, developed a
revenue-sharing model in which agents kept their entire commissions
and paid a management fee to the company. The method was, at the time,
unheard of — as was his policy of hiring women for the sales staff,
Liniger said; other large companies hired women primarily as
paralegals and secretaries. His willingness to hire female staffers
led to a sales team that was nearly three-quarters female. Within five
years Re/Max was the top seller in Colorado. Although he admits that
the current recession is “the hardest yet” for his company, he said
that it’s changed its business tactics and is weathering the storm.
“Half of all home buyers are inexperienced, so we’ve adapted and
changed our agent training programs,” Liniger said. “You succeed by
working the foreclosed and distressed properties until the higher-end
market returns.”