Joe Maez, of The Maez Group is a conqueror at heart. Whatever he’s doing, he isn’t satisfied until he’s reached the peak. He’d just finished a 13-month tour in Iraq when he was introduced to real estate by his wife, Rosie. After house hunting, she thought it would be a good fit for her returning veteran. “You like helping people,” she told him, explaining what a REALTOR® does and signing them up for a Coldwell Banker career night. Both Joe and Rosie got licensed.
But growing up, Joe had “a lot of limiting beliefs,” thinking ultimate success was getting your bachelor’s and a $55k a year job with a 401k. Joe wanted something more stable for his family than strictly commission-based pay, so he finished school and joined Pulte Homes. While the vision for success in his hometown was small, his mom, a teacher, always encouraged him to think big. Knowing his life would be what he made it, Joe adhered to the words of Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”
Starting as a sales and marketing intern, Joe learned a lot, finding a mentor in Brian Fink who offered daily sales training at 5 am. Joe showed up, gleaning all he could from a “master of sales training”. He soon gained recognition from corporate for his use of their new sales platform and followed that up as the #1 salesperson in the country for all of Pulte Homes.
In 2007, his first child, Timoteo was born—a “peak of the market” baby. Though layoffs began in the mid-2000’s, Joe’s success made him bulletproof. While his job remained secure, he saw that in Corporate America everyone is a number, even if your number is one, and he began considering an exit strategy.
Working with brokers, Joe was constantly told he was lucky, the sales came to him, where the REALTORS® had to work for every listing. But with nearly uncapped potential, Joe thought they were the lucky ones. Where he was limited by the number of homes his builders could build, there were 7500 homes on the market (at the time), 7500 opportunities to sell. It felt like a challenge and Joe Maez seldom says ‘no’ to a challenge.
When the time was right, Joe joined Coldwell Banker with his wife who was pregnant with their “bottom of the market baby,” a girl they’d name Mireya. Having watched Rosie deal with the harsh, sometimes hostile reality of real estate, he didn’t think it would be easy, but Joe was built to be pretty tough and after eight years in the Army, he could take a lot of punishment.
He was also prepared to be a leader and started looking for a team model shortly after achieving the #4 spot among 500 brokers. Starting his team at Keller Williams, they reached the top within a few years, and he became the first broker to sell over $100 million in a year. When his vision stopped aligning with the brokerage’s, Joe took on another steep climb, going out on his own with The Maez Group.
They’ve remained in the top spots, training up “some of the best producing agents on the board” thanks to Joe’s dedication to his team. Joe had a lot of great examples of teachers growing up and feels assigned to the post. Even his name, Maez, is an abbreviation of the Spanish maestro or ‘teacher.’
Joe views his group as a sort of military unit, where his systems and business model drive their success, excuses aren’t accepted, and the rank and file applies with people who have earned their stripes and some who are still working for it. Joe aspires to perform as well for his “unit” as his personal leaders did for him.
His father and grandfather, both combat veterans and family men, set the gold-standard, having served their country in war. Joe knew when joining the Army, combat was a possibility, but he was eager to walk in the footsteps of the men he loved and be forged in the same fire as them. General David Petraeus, whom he met on deployment, was another leader he admired. After leading their brigade run, Joe saw he was someone worth following—experienced and willing to work alongside his people.
Keeping to this philosophy, Joe never asks his team to do something he won’t do himself, including weekend open houses. Joe sees open houses as one of a REALTORS® “posts” and the first General Order of the Army says, “I will guard everything within the limits of my post and quit my post only when properly relieved.”
Being in the Army is similar to being a broker: It’s 24/7. There’s no time-out. There’s no ‘do not disturb’ or ‘I’ll call you back’. It’s now. Like being in a combat zone. With actual combat zone experience, Joe understands the importance of being ready, taking care of and preparing your people.
His military experience has been invaluable in cultivating a group who can handle anything, regardless of how hot situations get. Bringing a calm temperament to each transaction is key to ensuring you complete the mission while providing the best experience. Thanks to their commitment to the mission, The Maez Group celebrated a record-breaking month in August, closing over $20 million in one month—proof his systems are working to provide the best service in the area.
Part of his model includes everyone being licensed, even support staff, “So, people know when they’re working with The Maez Group, they’re getting the best of the best.” According to Joe Maez who only settles for the very top, that’s exactly as it should be.