Nearly 8,000 RE/MAX agents from 58 countries are attending the annual R4 Convention this week to celebrate the global real estate franchisor’s 40th anniversary, the company has announced. At last week’s Opening General Session held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, they heard co-founders Dave and Gail Liniger reminisce about the last 40 years and offer motivation for the future as the U.S. housing industry is in the midst of a recovery from the worst downturn in recent history.
From its earliest days in the 1970s, RE/MAX success has been based on a reputation for attracting the industry’s top performers with a business model that provides high commissions and valuable resources and training.
The R4 kick-off event will long be remembered for the emotional presentation by Dave Liniger, who was hospitalized for several months in 2012 with a severe MRSA bacterial infection. As he came on stage in a motorized wheel chair, he was greeted with a standing ovation and spontaneous cheers of “Dave, Dave, Dave.” After sharing the inspirational story of his challenging illness and physical rehabilitation, he then shocked the audience by standing up and walking across the stage, saying his goal had been to just walk 10 steps.
“I hope my story provides motivation to anyone facing a seemingly insurmountable problem,” said Liniger. “If you set achievable goals and stay focused, you can do anything, but never, never, ever give up!”
Liniger closed his presentation by recognizing the achievements of the RE/MAX Affiliates in 2012 and challenging them to reach for even greater goals in 2013. “Congratulations on succeeding in the most difficult housing market we’ve ever seen, but this is no time to slow down, it’s full speed ahead to help your customers achieve their dreams.”
Also speaking to the energized audience was Co-Founder and Vice Chair Gail Liniger and RE/MAX CEO Margaret Kelly who provided a nostalgic look back and an encouraging look forward.
“In 2012, you were the most productive sales force in real estate with over 1.3 million transaction sides worldwide and an 18 percent increase in U.S. sales volume, proving once again that nobody sells more real estate than RE/MAX,” said Kelly.
Significant 2012 company successes celebrated at the RE/MAX R4 Opening General Session included:
• Worldwide, RE/MAX agents sold real estate valued at nearly $300 billion, and since 1997, when RE/MAX agents were involved with more than 1 million transactions sides, no competitor has sold more.
• In the U.S., RE/MAX agents improved their productivity to an average of 16.3 transaction sides, more than any national franchise’s agents.
• Dave Liniger being named by Inman News as the “People’s Choice” Most Influential Real Estate Leader, with a record number of votes.
• RE/MAX was awarded the #1 spot among real estate franchises in the two leading industry surveys: Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500 and the Franchise Times Top 200.
• RE/MAX agents continued to be the most productive in two national brokerage reports. Both the 2012 REAL Trends 500 and the RIS Media Power Broker reports showed RE/MAX agents the clear leaders with respect to agent productivity among the national franchise companies.
• RE/MAX launched the new remax.com, becoming the first real estate franchisor to provide consumers with a personal, consistent web experience across desktops, tablets, and smartphones.
• The 24/7, on-demand RE/MAX University launched a revolutionary learning platform that promises to set the standard for the real estate industry. The full-fledged, interactive learning experience offers HD quality video and allows associates to create their own curriculum.
It was also announced that Dave Liniger’s new book, “My Next Step: An Extraordinary Journey of Healing and Hope,” is now available for preorder on the website www.mynextstepbook.com. All proceeds are being donated to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals®, Komen for the Cure®, and the United States Olympic Committee’s Paralympic Military and Veteran Program.
The R4 Opening General Session closed on a very high note with Natalie Cole joining RE/MAX Co-Founders Dave and Gail Liniger on stage and honoring them with a special song, “Unforgettable.” She was accompanied by her father, the late Nat King Cole, in a special timeless, high-tech-duet via video.