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RE/MAX Leadership Honored as Real Estate’s ‘Most Influential’

Movers & Shakers, people

The co-founder/chairman and the CEO of RE/MAX [1] were named among the most influential real estate industry executives of 2013 on two prestigious lists released last week.

Dave Liniger, who founded the Denver-based real estate franchisor with his wife, Gail, in 1973, and Margaret Kelly, who became the company's president and CEO in 2005, were named to the Inman 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders [2] and the Swanepoel Power 200 [3]. Both lists recognize leaders who influence and advance the real estate industry with their ideas, entrepreneurship, originality, and principles.

The unranked Inman 100 honors those "who have made extraordinary contributions that change the way homes are bought and sold." Inman recognized Liniger for building a small, husband-and wife operation into a 9,000-employee powerhouse that operates 6,300 offices in more than 90 countries. It recognized Kelly for helping to guide RE/MAX to a successful $225 million initial public offering in 2013 and for growing its overseas footprint in Japan and South Korea. Under Kelly's direction, RE/MAX maintained its place as the world's top real estate franchise brand by global sales volume.

The Swanepoel Power 200 ranked Liniger at No. 5 and Kelly at No. 11, making Kelly the top woman on the list. Publisher Stefan Swanepoel said that Liniger revolutionized the real estate industry when he and his wife founded a 100-percent commission-based brokerage. Swanepoel also named Liniger "The Most Interesting Man in Real Estate." Liniger is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force; a multi-engine, instrument-rated, commercial pilot; a one-time NASCAR driver and owner; co-founder of the Denver-area Wildlife Experience conservation center; co-owner of the Sanctuary Golf Course near Sedalia, Colorado; and competed against Richard Branson in an around-the-world stratospheric helium balloon expedition, Swanepoel recited as his “interesting” feats.

Swanepoel recognized Kelly for her contributions to taking RE/MAX public for its 40th birthday and for her ubiquitous—and typically candid—discussions of the real estate market on CNBC, CNN, and Bloomberg.

In addition to Liniger and Kelly, Inman recognized RE/MAX agent Michael Thorne for his involvement with an online show that shares agent insights about real estate technology, and Swanepoel recognized nine RE/MAX affiliates for their contributions to the industry: Frank Polzler, Walter Schneider, Marshall Saunders, Pierre Titley, Chad Ochsner, Charlie Bengel, Sandra Sanders, Pamela Alexander, and James O’Bryon.

“There are so many talented and dedicated individuals in real estate today, so it’s truly an honor to be included among such an exclusive group,” Liniger [4] said. “Our industry has faced numerous challenges in recent years, and leaders who advocated for homebuying and selling consumers and real estate professionals made a real difference in turning this market around.”

“RE/MAX embraces entrepreneurial leadership and encourages all our affiliates to be engaged and help buyers and sellers make the American dream of homeownership a reality,” Kelly [5] added.