Dave and Gail Liniger founded RE/MAX in Denver, Colo., in 1973, prompted by their dissatisfaction with the way real estate business was conducted at the time.
Regardless of an operation's size, most real estate offices used the commission-split system, requiring sales professionals to forfeit half of their commissions to their brokers in exchange for an office environment and company services. The top producers contributed the most to the operation's overhead, thus supporting the amateur, part-time and low-producing agents. Most salespeople left the business within two years, making residential real estate a high-turnover industry comprising in large part inexperienced and unprofessional staffs.
The Linigers wanted to change all that.
They believed that to attract and retain the best agents in the business, brokers must offer them maximum compensation, advanced support services and the freedom they need to succeed. Agents would share office overhead and pay management fees, and in return would receive a wide variety of traditional real estate franchise services and more control over their business.
The strategy worked.
Recognized by the homebuying and selling public for its red, white and blue hot air balloon logo, RE/MAX has been the No. 1 residential real estate network in Canada since 1987 and is a leading industry force in the United States and many other regions.
The most significant growth for RE/MAX in recent years has come from expansion into Africa, Asia, Australasia, the Caribbean, Central America, Europe and South America. RE/MAX takes proven techniques and adapts them to local markets, thereby developing a series of tools that real estate professionals find invaluable.
Some of the innovative services created by RE/MAX International to help its members become ever more professional and successful include commercial investment, an international referral network, advanced training courses, state-of-the-art technological tools, Internet and extranet Web sites, and national television advertising campaigns. It was the first - and remains the only - real estate network to invent and maintain a satellite television network (RE/MAX Satellite Network) dedicated to real estate professionals.
In an industry rife with frequent turnover in ownership and management of major real estate networks, RE/MAX remains owned and directed by its founders.