Realty Executives Miami International

Tip: Avoid negative people who say you won’t make it in the business.

“You’re only 21. Will you even be around in six months?” It’s the question Yoel Damas faced continually when he was recruiting salespeople for his new company. Five years later, the broker-owner of Realty Executives Miami International has more than 100 salespeople, who together brought in $130 million in sales last year.

After selling for a couple companies, Damas was itching for a challenge and bought the Realty Executives franchise. Creativity and hard work have fueled his success. One source of business stems from marketing and selling foreclosed homes. He established relationships with institutions selling REO properties and with investment companies interested in buying them. Playing matchmaker on REO deals nets him about $10 million of his annual sales.

An early marketing success—one that his salespeople still use—involved finding names of everyone getting married in Miami-Dade county and sending letters outlining the benefits of homeownership. He’s already sold some of those couples their third home. “It built a clientele, a lifetime source of business, that was on the way up the financial ladder.”