Monday, March 10, 2008

The RE/MAX International Convention

Back to the convention....

The opening session told the story of the RE/MAX co-founders. I knew it, of course, but just hearing it again and seeing them out there on the stage reminded me of what an incredible accomplishment and organization RE/MAX truly is. It was started in 1973 - the year I graduated - and has grown to be THE largest real estate company in the world.

From the ideas of four people working together to improve the lives of agents and give them more control over their businesses, there are now offices in 68 countries around the world. Fifty-five of those countries - over 2,000 agents or brokers from outside the United States - were represented. Awards went to Canadians and Texans, Austrians and South Africans. And those four people were still involved in the company.

The session also had plenty of Vegas glitz with dancers and costumes and sets depicting the different decades. Commercials were shown from the eras. One showed Prudential and Coldwell Banker buried in the graveyard. Another brought me to tears with a simple contemporary commercial of a young woman with a baby saying that when her husband came home they would buy their first house. The scene changes to him in Iraq, checking for listings.

There was entertainment, too. Last summer we happened to catch one episode of America's Got Talent, a summer American Idol knock-off. I only remembered the ventriloquist - and by golly he apparently won the million dollar prize and was now appearing at the RE/MAX opening session!

He was incredible - last summer and in person. His singing was amazing, and added to that he was also a ventriloquist...?! The most fun was when he dressed up one of the higher-ups, a very tall man, as Cher and then with a mask manipulated the mouth. Then he became Sonny and I swear he produced chords at the close of their duet - How did he do that?

His name is Terry Fator and if you check his website - - you will see he is much in demand. (There's a link there to YouTube, also.) And well worth it - I haven't laughed so hard in a long, long time!

He ended his spot singing with his turtle imitating Ray Charles' "What a Wonderful World." It was a reflective moment, and as silence fell I could tell the audience in the MGM Grand Arena felt it also.