CHICAGO – When Allen E. Snyder established a RE/MAX office in his hometown of Berwyn, Ill., almost 31 years ago, little did he suspect it would have to move three times during its first year in business. Despite those challenges, Snyder persevered to build a highly successful, enduring organization and recently received the Distinguished Service Award from RE/MAX Northern Illinois.
The award recognizes those who over the course of their careers have been outstanding supporters of and ambassadors for the RE/MAX brand.
Snyder was already an established agent in Berwyn in 1986 when he decided to open the first RE/MAX office in the community.
“I viewed RE/MAX as the wave of the future in real estate brokerage and was confident my office could attract the kinds of skilled, dedicated professionals that I would enjoy working with,” said Snyder. “And that’s really how it turned out. Over the years, we’ve probably helped train and worked with more than 100 top flight agents in this office.”
Snyder, however, had to navigate a rocky first year, opening in a temporary office in June, then moving to a newly completed permanent facility in October. Four months later, however, his office building was one of five structures destroyed in a fire set by an arsonist, a crime that was never solved. At that point, Snyder moved to yet another temporary facility before a second “permanent” office could be readied six months later.
Not surprisingly, overcoming all those hurdles helped him win the 1987 Broker/Owner of the Year Award from RE/MAX Northern Illinois.
Snyder has watched both Berwyn and the real estate business change in important ways since then.
“Berwyn has always been a city of immigrants,” points out Snyder, who now lives in neighboring Forest View, Ill. “Years ago, they were largely from central and southern Europe. Now, it’s the Hispanic community that is the most notable, and our office reflects that fact. A majority of our 30-plus brokers are bilingual.”
Keeping up with the changes in the industry has also been a challenge that Snyder has mastered.
“New technologies have really changed the way we do business on a day-to-day basis. Back in the 1980s, we had the first fax machine in the neighborhood. Now everything is done on smartphones. I just got a new one the other day, and I love the features it offers. When I want to schedule an appointment, I can just talk to the phone and it’s done. No need to write anything down.”