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The life and legacy of Mr. P: How Frank Polzler changed lives and inspired success

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I always knew my grandfather was loved, but I’ll admit that I was taken aback by the sheer amount of outreach my family received when Frank Polzler, or “Mr. P,” as he was affectionately known, passed away on December 23, 2022, at the age of 89, with his daughter Pamela and son Michael by his side.

Most REM readers will have heard the name “Frank Polzler” and are likely familiar with the “maximum commissions” model and “independent contractor” status in the Canadian real estate industry. These are just a small part of Frank’s legacy and the impact he’s had on the residential real estate industry.

Frank, an Austrian-born immigrant who came to Canada in 1953, brought with him visionary leadership and brave innovation, blazing a trail for tens of thousands of real estate professionals worldwide. 

 

By the age of 65, when most people think about retirement, Frank was busy taking the Re/Max brand global.”

 

When Frank co-founded the first Re/Max region in Canada with his business partner Walter Schneider in 1980, little did he know that he was creating a real estate empire of about 47,000 brokers and agents at its peak in more than 40 countries worldwide. 

By the age of 65, when most people think about retirement, Frank was busy taking the Re/Max brand global, shaping how real estate happens and raising the bar for professionalism in the industry.

Frank is largely responsible for the brokerage model that we know and operate by today. Before this, the real estate world was mostly owned by banks, with smaller brokerages operating independently. Frank’s vision united the industry with a model that allowed brokers to be “in business for yourself, but not by yourself.”

Frank created countless opportunities that changed lives, thanks to his sheer determination to succeed and uplift those around him. Frank would also be the first to credit much of his business success to his strong family bond, with Re/Max as the common thread running through them—myself included.

Perhaps some of the most memorable and, arguably, best professional advice I ever received came from Mr. P. 

He was a humble and modest man who loved to tell bad jokes and great stories and was famous for his one-liners: “The sale begins when the customer says ‘no.’ Have fun and make money. Keep selling, never give up,” and “All my success went to the bank, not to my head.”

Words to live by, in my book.

 

“He was humble but always loved to brag about his cheap clothes and what he considered to be his biggest achievement—his family.”

 

Mr. P will always be remembered for his leadership and business acumen, but those who really knew him will remember him as a beloved father, grandfather and great-grandfather, a community builder and cherished friend. 

Despite his big achievements, Frank never cared about being in the spotlight. He was humble but always loved to brag about his cheap clothes and what he considered to be his biggest achievement—his family.

One thing that was consistent in the outreach my family received after Frank passed was how he inspired so many. 

“He changed my life.” 

“He inspired me to achieve success.” 

“He was a true gentleman.”

Frank’s impact on those around him, near and far, was overwhelming, to put it mildly.

No one is ever truly gone until the ripples they have created in their lifetime disappear—and in this spirit, Frank will never fade away.

 


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