RE/MAX 2000

“If you want to work with investors, you’d better be an investor.”

Paradise moved from Connecticut to Phoenix—with no professional contacts there—to get in on the Arizona capital’s booming real estate market. His fiancé built him a top-notch Web site with a catchy name. And he began building business by calling FSBOs in the evening and offering to list their homes on the site at no fee unless a sale resulted. In his first month, he listed $1 million worth of properties (one listing was $500,000). Many FSBO owners turned out to be investors, so Paradise began to focus on that niche. At the end of last year, his closed sales volume was $9.5 million.

Good attitude: Paradise was concerned about the high attrition rate for new recruits but was determined to survive. “I was going to be the one who made it,” he says. His ammunition? Self-motivation, independence, and hard work, he says.

Dressing professionally: In a region where businesspeople dress down—often wearing shorts and golf shirts—Paradise dresses up to stand out. He wears pants and a button-down, collared shirt with a tie most days. If the temperature soars above 105, he says, “I lose the tie.”