From college drop-out to real estate tycoon: RE/MAX cofounder shares his secrets

Dave Liniger says he forged his “own path.”

Rather than attend university lecture halls, Liniger says his path “led through the College of Hard Knocks.”

At 75, Liniger is now the co-founder and non-exec. chairman at RE/MAX Inc., the internationally recognized real estate company he started with his wife, Gail, in 1973.

According to its website, RE/MAX is “backed by a robust network of over 140,000 agents in more than 9,000 offices worldwide.”

In an op-ed for Fox News Digital, Liniger shared some of the secrets to his success — secrets that are the subject of his new book, “The Perfect 10.”

“In the book, I delve into the essence of leadership and entrepreneurial spirit, drawing from my own journey as the co-founder of RE/MAX, among other ventures,” he writes. “It’s not just about real estate; it’s about resilience, adaptability and the relentless pursuit of excellence in any field.”

“Like the elusive perfect score in gymnastics,” Liniger explains, achieving a “Perfect 10” requires “dedication, perseverance and a commitment to continuous improvement.”

“But beyond metrics,” he states, “true success hinges on leadership and adaptability.”

“In business, as in life, you will face setbacks and challenges,” Liniger tells readers. “The key is not to avoid them but to confront them head-on, learning and growing from each experience.”

“Surrounding yourself with the right people,” he advises, is “critical.”

“Whether it’s hiring top talent or building a strong support network, success is rarely achieved in isolation,” Liniger writes. “As I reflect on my own journey, I attribute much of my success to the dedicated individuals who have stood by me through thick and thin.”

You don’t need a college degree to achieve your dreams.

“As a college dropout, I found success not through degrees and diplomas but through grit, determination and a willingness to learn from every experience,” Liniger notes.

“Through sheer grit and perseverance, we turned RE/MAX into a global powerhouse, with thousands of offices and agents worldwide,” he writes.

The entrepreneur finds valuable lessons in all that life throws at him.

From Gail, who was college-educated, he learned “the importance of balance and mutual respect in both business and personal relationships.”

When their marriage “ended in failure,” he realized it was “a casualty of my relentless pursuit of success and the demands of building a business empire.”

“It was a painful lesson in the importance of time management and prioritizing what truly matters,” he reveals.

“As I poured myself into growing RE/MAX, I realized I was neglecting the most important aspects of my life – my family,” he explains. “My children were growing up without me, and my marriage was crumbling under the weight of my ambitions. It was a wake-up call that forced me to reassess my priorities and make some difficult decisions.”

Moving forward, he strived for balance, admitting that it “required a significant shift in mindset and behavior.”

“I learned the invaluable lesson that true success encompasses not only professional achievements but also personal fulfillment and happiness,” he writes.

Today, he tells readers, the ability to adapt “is more critical than ever.”

“As I look to the future of the real estate industry, I see immense opportunities for those who are willing to embrace change and innovation,” Liniger predicts. “Technology continues to reshape the way we buy and sell homes, presenting new challenges and possibilities for agents and brokers alike. Those who can harness the power of AI, data analytics and digital marketing will undoubtedly have a competitive edge.”

“However, amid all the technological advancements,” he writes, “I believe that the human element remains paramount.”

“In reflecting on my journey through the real estate industry and entrepreneurship, I’m reminded that success isn’t defined by the conventional markers of education or pedigree but by the strength of character, resilience and adaptability,” the seasoned businessman tells readers. “From founding RE/MAX to navigating personal challenges, each experience has reinforced the importance of forging one’s own path, embracing failure as a teacher and prioritizing the human element in every endeavor.”

Melissa Fine

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