26 REALTOR® SEP TEMBER/OCTOBER 2015 REALTORMAG.REALTOR.ORG
Fishing for Great Ideas
Tim Greene’s innovation initiative encourages his team to pitch
proposals to improve operations à la “Shark Tank.”
I grew up in the real estate business. My dad, John Greene,
founded the company in 1976. When I was growing up, we spent
Sundays going around and looking at every home for sale. At the
o;ce he always had some project for me to do. He loved everything about real estate, so he shared a lot of his knowledge. I was
never forced into real estate and wasn’t initially interested. After
high school, I went to Argentina and played polo for six months.
I came back to Chicago and enrolled in college, majoring in
international a;airs. My dad had opened a land brokerage, and I
started working there part-time in 2001 to get internship credits.
About that time the housing market really cranked up. Builders
and developers were looking for land like crazy. I was always
entrepreneurial—I started my own landscaping company when I
was 15—but didn’t think I was destined for sales. Once I started
working with farm families and helping them sell their land, I
realized how much I loved it. I got my license in 2002 and ran the
land brokerage until late 2007.
By then I had sold a ridiculous amount of land and planned to
take some time o;. That lasted 29 days. The recession had hit,
and the real estate brokerage was losing good talent looking for
Broker-owner, President, and CEO Tim Greene worked part-time as a college student at his father’s
brokerage to earn internship credits. He never left. In 2013, he bought the company.