Summary of Everybody Wins

The Story and Lessons Behind RE/MAX

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Everybody Wins book summary
Committed, visionary leadership built RE/MAX into an internally loyal, agent-focused global real estate sales network.


6 Overall

5 Applicability

7 Innovation

7 Style


The title of this 30-year history of the RE/MAX real estate firm is founder Dave Liniger’s corporate philosophy: "Everybody wins." Liniger is a maverick, so even this authorized history is exciting and instructive. Authors Phil Harkins and Keith Hollihan assert that RE/MAX, "never experienced a month of negative growth," although they include sagas of near bankruptcies and other crises. The book focuses on absorbing storytelling, not statistics or metrics. It is organized mostly by theme, which blurs the chronology. The authors spin or dismiss any Liniger missteps, such as his "naïve" failure to keep up with payroll taxes. They praise him as bold and risk-taking, including the quixotic year he devoted to trying to fly a hot air balloon - the RE/MAX symbol - into the stratosphere. The book is readable, although sometimes a bit sweet and simple. And, the authors love clichés ("He put his head down and threw himself into the job" - ouch). Nevertheless, cheerfully recommends this peppy saga. Managers will find it refreshing and instructive to read about people who attribute their success to loyalty, collegiality, hands-on leadership, and the ability to work and play hard, from each agent’s office to the golf course and the boardroom.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How RE/MAX differed from other real estate companies from the beginning;
  • How it became the world’s largest real estate company; and
  • How founder Dave Liniger’s unique leadership style shaped the RE/MAX corporate culture.


Dave Liniger: Roots in the Midwest
Dave Liniger, the founder of RE/MAX real estate, was born in 1945 in the farming community of Marion, Indiana. His family valued physical labor, and he mowed their 10 acres every summer. Although clearly intelligent, he drifted through school, more interested...
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About the Authors

Phil Harkins is CEO of Linkage, Inc., an executive coaching and consulting company. A frequent speaker and article writer, he is also the author of Powerful Conversations, Click! and The Art and Practice of Leadership Coaching. Keith Hollihan co-edited The Art and Practice of Leadership Coaching and Enlightened Power.

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