Maria Patterson: When did you first get involved in real estate?
Dennis Steed: My real estate career began in the early 1980s when a mentor encouraged me to obtain a real estate license. I succeeded in carving out my niche in the real estate industry by 1990, at which point I was hired to manage an office for a large, regional company. I opened the first RE/MAX Crossroads franchise in 1993, making this year our 20th anniversary. Once the growth began, my wife Mary Lou joined our company. Her support, commitment, enthusiasm and positive approach are vital components in the success of Crossroads.
MP: How many offices and agents do you currently have and what regions does your firm serve?
DS: RE/MAX Crossroads currently has 120 sales partners and seven locations throughout the Cleveland and Akron/Canton region, with offices in Canton, Fairlawn, Medina, New Philadelphia, Rocky River, Stow and Strongsville.
MP: How would you characterize the firm’s positioning in the marketplace?
DS: RE/MAX Crossroads is the largest RE/MAX company in Ohio. We are also the second largest company with closed transactions in our MLS, the Northern Ohio Regional Multiple Listing Service (NORMLS). Crossroads sales partners average more than twice as many transactions than our average competitor, closing nearly 3,000 transactions in 2012.
MP: What specific strategies did you utilize during the downturn that allowed the firm to survive and thrive?
DS: We focused on two things: Keeping our sales partners positive, productive, profitable and professional; and we invested in and realigned our staff to be totally in line with our sales partners.