Paul Mydelski has been in the real estate business since 1991, but before that, he found success in two completely different industries. He started his career working in operations for the airline industry, and then transitioned into a career in food and beverage, even owning a nightclub on Nantucket.
“We had an unusually bad season because of weather one year, and I had learned that a neighbor of mine had made the switch to real estate and was making $100,000, so on my way to the bank one day in Cambridge, I stopped at the local real estate office and asked if they would hire me if I got my license.”
The rest is history.
After finding success as a REALTOR®, Mydelski founded RE/MAX Leading Edge in 2001, and has grown the firm to 220 agents and soon-to-be 14 offices.
“We’ve grown in two ways: one by focusing on bringing in high-performing and talented agents and bringing them on board, and the other is by acquisitions,” says the founder and chairman. “We just acquired two Hammond Real Estate offices in Cambridge and Belmont, making us the fourth largest real estate company in Massachusetts.”
Still, the Boston area is a highly competitive market that’s full of challenges. New competitors have entered the market and more legacy competitors are growing, as well. That’s why attracting agents is so important to the firm, and their philosophy is to go young.
“We’re very focused on the millennial workforce. The industry average for agents is 57 years of age, and we’re at 49. We’re looking to retool with younger agents, especially in the city and urban markets,” Mydelski says. “We look for talented people who may be coming out of college—something we never did 10 years ago.”
The firm has a pretty substantial program to find out if young agent wannabes are serious, with a process designed to scare off anyone who isn’t going to fully commit.
“We do an interview and a real estate assessment and we give them homework,” Mydelski says. “Once they do a challenging assignment, if they’re still in it with eyes wide open, we look at them as a candidate, and maybe offer them a position to associate with the firm.”
Another exciting area for the firm concerns teams, with more than 40 percent of the company now made up of them.
“It’s a model that not only works well for us, but one that’s been a big part of us,” Mydelski says. “New agents fit really well under the guidance of a successful team leader in stepping into the business.”
RE/MAX Leading Edge also offers its agents live training, with more than 180 events a year on everything from improving a skillset to development of the agent. These aren’t just webinars or courses offered at a hotel, either. They’re substantial classes offered at local offices, by a core development department comprised of five people with a combined 100 years of experience.
“The competition will continue to be very challenging, and you’ll have to set yourself apart in some way, shape or form from other brands or companies,” Mydelski says. “By working with younger agents and the next generation of consumers, we’re setting ourselves up for the future.”
Vitals: RE/MAX Leading Edge
Years in Business: 15
Size: 13 offices, 220 agents
Region Served: Greater Boston Area
2015 Sales Volume: $1.16 billion
2015 Transactions: 2,180
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