Mike Opyd and Rafay Qamar
Rafay Qamar remembers going door-to-door as an 11-year-old selling handwritten news stories in order to fund his next entrepreneurial project. Mike Opyd recalls the anxious feeling he experienced while working in a cubicle before he got into real estate. It’s fitting that the two met and created RE/MAX NEXT, their own RE/MAX brokerage, where they are constantly inspiring one another to push their limits. “I have always been an entrepreneur at heart,” Qamar says. “I have always felt the need to create a movement of my own and grow it by disrupting the industry and constantly thinking outside the box.”
Qamar and Opyd met the day after the Chicago Cubs won the World Series. Even though they talked mostly about their lives and how they worked to get to where they are today, both knew that they needed to meet again. “We got together a few days later, and after about 11 hours at a Starbucks, we decided to pursue opening our own franchise, one that made agents the priority.” Opyd says. “Our tagline, ‘An agent-centric real estate company with full marketing and commission autonomy,’ is what we believe a brokerage should be.” The company opened in April and Opyd refers to it as his proudest accomplishment of his career.
Before entering real estate, Opyd worked in tax accounting at State Street Corporation, which helped him develop organizational skills and a high degree of precision that he still employs for the benefit of his clients. Qamar served as a senior banker for BMO Harris Bank, which taught him essential financial skills that he uses every day in his roles as broker-owner with both RE/MAX NEXT and RE/MAX Northern Shores in Skokie. “I was quickly and easily able to translate my personal commitment to excellence into the real estate industry after six years of a finance and banking background,” he says.
Together the team serves clients ranging from first-time homebuyers looking to settle down throughout Chicagoland, to investors outside of the U.S. searching for property in downtown Chicago. With lofty goals of growing their brand and opening many offices in the coming years, the duo isn’t showing signs of slowing down anytime soon. “Now we have the ability to give an agent the opportunity to truly be the face of their business and excel in the greatest industry in the world,” Opyd says. “Real estate truly is a passion of mine, or even an obsession and I want to share that obsession with all of our agents.”