The Elsea brothers, Stuart and Dan, serve as co-presidents of the Real Estate One Family of Companies, the largest real estate company in Michigan and ranked Top 10 in the nation. The company was founded by the pair’s grandfather in 1929 in Detroit as Elsea Realty & Investment Co. The Real Estate One Family of Companies includes four brokerages: Real Estate One, Max Broock REALTORS®, Johnstone & Johnstone and Charles Reinhart Company.
“We skipped the whole CEO, COO, chairmen stuff,” says Dan of his partnership with his brother. Stuart and Dan currently lead more than 2,200 sales associates and 300 employees across 70 offices throughout the state.
Following in their grandfather’s and father’s footsteps, Dan and Stuart joined the family business after graduating from Michigan State University. Nicknamed “The Boys,” they started at the bottom of the ladder, earning and learning their way to the top.
Over the past 35 years, Dan has worked in a number of roles within the family of companies from commercial and residential sales to branch and division management. He stepped into his current role as president of brokerage services in 1998. Stuart worked as a sales associate, branch manager and vice president. He became the president of financial services for the family of companies in 1998 and oversees Real Estate One’s affiliated businesses, including mortgage, title insurance, property and casualty insurance, relocation, franchising and business development.
As for Real Estate One’s most recent accomplishments, the Elseas point to three highlights: 1) ranking in The Detroit Free Press’ Top Workplaces in Michigan for the eighth year in a row, 2) moving the company’s sales team to a paperless transaction platform, and 3) receiving the best-ever NPS scores for its affiliated businesses.
The pair predicts rapid change ahead for the real estate business…and they’re up for the challenge. “There will be more change in the next five years than the last 50 combined,” says Dan. “So you need to manage your current model as a way of embracing change, using it as a transition to the next step–not in defense of the status quo.”
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