by Ron Neal
on Thursday, June 12th, 2014 at 2:28pm.
Many Extraordinary Successes Come From Painful Beginnings – Pulling Yourself Up By Your Bootstraps
Darren Hardy of Success Magazine recently shared a story of early struggles of RE/MAX co-founder and chairman Dave Liniger.
“Dave told me some of the wildest “bootstrap beginning” tales that I’d ever heard. And this one stood out:
Back in early days of RE/MAX, Dave was in mid-pitch of recruiting an agent for his team when there was a knock on the door. His secretary discreetly informed him that a man was trying to repossess the firm’s IBM Selectric typewriter. Liniger owed $142 on the $200 machine.
RE/MAX was on the ropes.
Hoping to bankrupt Dave and RE/MAX, his competitors—threatened by the company’s innovative and disruptive model (100 percent commission to agents)—made anonymous accusations to government agencies.
Investigations by the FBI, Internal Revenue Service, Securities and Exchange Commission, and Colorado Real Estate Commission ensued.
Dave won every battle, but now the typewriter salesman was pounding on his door!
Closing the deal with this agent was critical, so stepping away was the last thing Dave wanted to do. But he simply couldn’t afford to lose any more credibility with a creditor, either.
Dave looked at the agent and without a hint of concern said, “Excuse me for a moment.”
In the lobby, the irate salesman wanted the typewriter or $142, money Dave didn’t have. But he assured the salesman that he could get the money for him in five minutes.
Even in these darkest days of RE/MAX, and during the face-off with the typewriter salesman, Dave wasn’t thinking about survival; he was always thinking about winning.
Dave wasn’t thinking about survival; he was always thinking about winning.
He knew in his heart his company was the best place agents could hang their licenses, and he wasn’t going to let anyone—not the government, not the naysayers, not the man in the lobby, not anyone—stop him.
Back in his office, Dave had a choice: Be great or give up.
Dave finished his sales-presentation-turned-rally-cry, and when the agent nodded, Dave concluded with, “All we need now is a $500 deposit.” This was not the usual practice, but dazzled by Dave’s electrifying presentation, he handed over a couple of hundred dollars in cash, the rest in check.
With 27 seconds to spare, Dave excused himself, paid the typewriter salesman and returned to his office. There, he talked “the dream” with his newest believer, confident that, yes, against all odds, they would win!
That was 41 years ago.
RE/MAX now has 6,000-plus offices with over 90,000 agents in its network in 90 countries.
Just a few months ago RE/MAX went public, netting $225 million, and my friend Dave and his wife, Gail—who also helped found the company—still retain more than 60 percent ownership.
I’d share that call with Darren as winning.
The Neal Estate Team is your #1 source for all of your Victoria BC real estate needs. Get in touch with us online or by phone at (250) 386-8181 to speak with a Victoria real estate buying or selling expert today. With decades of experience as a top selling Victoria REALTOR® and ranked in top 1% globally with over 4,000 transactions and $1 Billion SOLD, Ron Neal & The Neal Estate Team have the industry experience and market knowledge to help you make smart and informed buying or selling decisions.