Powell's dream of owning his own business was realized when the office where he worked, Windermere/Jean Tate Real Estate, was put up for sale in 2003. He and wife Tonya bought 53 percent of the company, purchasing the remaining 47 percent two years later. They turned around the flagging company by defining core values -- exceptional service, integrity, positive attitude, professionalism, and cooperation -- and recruiting salespeople who embody those values. The company, with offices in Eugene, Springfield, and Creswell, has 112 salespeople, compared with 69 in April 2003, and closed $333.4 million in sales last year compared with $148.7 million in 2002.
A little advice, please? Powell talked a former colleague, Gordon Boltz, into coming out of retirement to help manage the company. "My aim was to glean every bit of knowledge I could from him," Powell says. "He taught me to be proactive -- figuring out solutions to every problem before it becomes a crisis."
Let's talk: To encourage communication with and among the staff and salespeople, Powell maintains an open-door policy and hosts a weekly "Mocha with Matt" gathering at a nearby coffee shop.