"I had worked for three real estate companies. In the early '70s most companies split commissions fifty-fifty with agents and paid for overhead. Others kept most of the commissions, paid for overhead and charged agents -- usually hungry and less-experienced ones -- for desks and support services," Dave Liniger remembers. "Under our plan, agents would keep 100% of their commissions and pay a management fee to the organization."
Re/Max shattered other barriers.
"The two largest companies in town hired women, but only as bookkeepers, secretaries and paralegals. All of their agents were men. I just wanted to build a company with anyone who wanted to work. Approximately 75% of my sales force was female," Dave says. "After we became the top seller in Colorado in 1978, 200 male agents left those companies to join us."
Gail and Dave started off as business partners -- but a crisis brought their relationship closer.
NEXT: Surviving real estate (and other) crashes