Building a Women-Centric Success Story


Above, Gail and Dave Liniger, Co-Founders of RE/MAX LLC

Coming out this month, “The Perfect 10: 10 Leadership Principles to Achieve True Independence, Extreme Wealth and Huge Success” is RE/MAX Co-Founder Dave Liniger’s latest book in which he shares more than 50 years of business insights to help future generations of entrepreneurs pursue their dreams and achieve success.

The nearly 500-page opus is part advice, part memoir, as it weaves back and forth between direct, practical knowledge and personal stories of Liniger’s journey to building the global real estate powerhouse, an endeavor he has pursued from the beginning with his wife and RE/MAX Co-Founder Gail Liniger.

In honor of Women’s History Month, the following excerpts recount Liniger’s early commitment to raising up women and breaking glass ceilings long before there was a groundswell of support for doing so. The real estate icon also shares his thoughts on the traits that make women leaders so successful:

Sometimes the best man for a job is a woman

Excerpted from “The Perfect 10” by Dave Liniger

The fact that women couldn’t break the glass ceiling at the top real estate companies back then seemed like a huge mistake to me. Women are perfectly suited for the job. Let’s be honest: It’s women who usually decide on the big family purchases, including homes. If the house wasn’t the right fit, especially in those days, there was a near zero chance that the husband would prevail and make the purchase. A woman looks at a house through a completely different lens from the one a man looks through. Men talk concrete, siding and windows; women look at the layout, the functionality, the number of stairs, or the benefit of having a washing machine on the same floor as the bedrooms. They understand the importance of good schools and access to daycare and parks. Women who started as part-time agents began making money and quickly wanted to work full-time. Women who didn’t need money but wanted independence also flooded the workforce, and by the time I founded RE/MAX, many talented and eager women were looking to join our team. And we were more than willing to welcome them with open arms. Besides, I’ve always believed that women have and show more empathy than men. They connect with their clients’ needs and readily close sales. So, yes, I was thrilled to add women to our sales team.

During our first year in business, we hired 21 new agents. We doubled that number to 42 the following year. By our third year in business, our agent count was up to 84. We had 134 in our fourth year, and 289 by the end of 1977. After five years in business, our agents were about 70 to 75% female, and we became the top real estate company in the entire state. Our women were damn serious about their business. They had to pay their bills just like everybody else.

By then, our sales records proved we were number one in income per agent, transaction size per agent, total transaction volume and total transaction size volume. After we’d beaten out the two top companies, two hundred men who had worked for exclusively male companies quit to join our merry band of ladies, who had easily kicked their butts.

We created a company of driven, hardworking producers who were committed to their business. They were all career-minded men and women seeking and achieving great success. Eventually, the novelty of women working in real estate faded as RE/MAX proved the value of how good women could be in the business. We gave women the opportunity and the forum to shatter that elusive glass ceiling in our industry by shepherding them from clerical positions to their rightful roles as agents. And, eventually, many became franchisees, owning their own businesses. That slow and steady growth eventually led us to expand our team worldwide. It wasn’t an accident—at least, I didn’t think so. But if it was, it was a happy one that paid off for everyone.

For years I’ve preached that the best man for the job is a woman, and I mean it. RE/MAX always kept women at the forefront of our business. In a world where women found it difficult to make as much money as men, real estate was a business in which women often made more.

10 traits that make women such strong leaders and entrepreneurs

Excerpted from “The Perfect 10” by Dave Liniger

While I contend that women are often better leaders and entrepreneurs than men, it’s important to note that the traits and capabilities that make a successful entrepreneur are not inherently tied to gender. Both men and women can excel in entrepreneurship, and success depends on individual skills, experiences and circumstances. However, it’s worth recognizing the unique strengths that women often bring to the entrepreneurial landscape. Here are 10 reasons why women can be exceptional entrepreneurs:

  1. Strong relationship building: Women tend to excel in relationship building and collaboration, which are vital for networking, team building and fostering partnerships. Their ability to connect and empathize with others allows them to develop and maintain strong professional relationships.
  2. Multitasking and time management: Women often possess strong multitasking and time management skills. They’re accustomed to juggling multiple responsibilities and can effectively prioritize tasks, making them adept at managing the various demands of running a business.
  3. Effective communication: Women are known for their strong communication skills, including active listening and empathy. These qualities enable them to understand customer needs, negotiate effectively and build strong relationships with stakeholders.
  4. Problem-solving and creativity: Women entrepreneurs bring unique perspectives and approaches to problem-solving. Their diverse experiences and perspectives can lead to innovative solutions and creative approaches.
  5. Perseverance and resilience: Women have shown resilience and perseverance in the face of adversity. These qualities are essential in entrepreneurship, in which setbacks and obstacles are common. Women often demonstrate the ability to bounce back, learn from failures and keep pushing forward.
  6. Customer focus: Women tend to have a customer-centric approach. They’re attentive to customer needs, preferences and feedback, which helps them develop products or services that resonate with their target market.
  7. Inclusive leadership: Women entrepreneurs often embrace inclusive leadership styles that value diverse perspectives and promote collaboration. They create environments in which team members feel valued and empowered, leading to increased employee satisfaction and productivity.
  8. Flexibility and adaptability: Women are often flexible in their approach to business. They can quickly adjust strategies, pivot when necessary and respond to changing market dynamics, which are crucial skills in today’s fast-paced and evolving business landscape.
  9. Emotional intelligence: Women often possess high emotional intelligence, which allows them to understand and manage their emotions and those of others. Emotional intelligence facilitates effective leadership, team building and conflict resolution.
  10. Social-impact orientation: Women entrepreneurs frequently have a strong sense of social responsibility and a desire to make a positive impact. They’re often motivated to address societal challenges and contribute to their communities, leading to socially conscious and sustainable business practices.

Emphasizing the unique qualities and perspectives that women entrepreneurs contribute can help foster a more inclusive and supportive business ecosystem, though it’s important to celebrate and recognize the diverse talents and strengths all individuals bring to entrepreneurship, regardless of gender. 

For more information on “The Perfect 10,” please visit https://www.amazon.com/Perfect-10-Leadership-Principles-Independence-ebook/dp/B0CM44XTS1.





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