The Story of Realty ONE Group Choice


I became licensed in Real Estate in 2006. The driving force was to own my own business. I was able to run my business my way. My own branding, marketing, budgeting, processes, systems, etc. Based on my past experiences in the auto and motorsports industry, I dove in head first. Little did I know what the future would bring in 2007.

Everything started crashing around me. Companies were closing their doors, employees laid off, homes going into foreclosure, commercial mortgages were impossible to get. Realtors were exiting the industry faster than they were joining. I had no idea what tomorrow would look like.

My choices were to quit or roll up my sleeves and work my way through it. I had a young family at home, and I was the major breadwinner. I knew no other way. I decided to embrace the chaos and work harder than any of my competing agents. I saw my business increase annually by 300-400%. I continued to leverage myself and I developed a team that consistently was one of the top performing Real Estate teams in the north metro. We closed annually 135-175 transactions for $30-45M in volume. I led 12 agents and a staff of 6 utilizing the same principals that were founded and formulated many years earlier in the auto business. I think it was for these production levels that I was approached by Realty ONE Group (ROG).

In the fall of 2017, I was approached by ROG to see if I would be interested in purchasing my own brokerage. I never entertained the thought of owning my own brokerage but after careful consideration, I realized I was the size of a small brokerage with my team. ROG flew me to California to meet the founder, Kuba Jewgieniew and the leadership team at ROG.

ROG was everything I was looking for in a brokerage. They are built on the 6 C’s: Care, Connect, Commission, Coolture, Community and Coaching. I applied in December 2017 and was awarded the franchise on 12/23/2017.

We officially opened our doors to our Andover office on May 3rd, 2018. We started with a staff of 3 and 6 agents. Today we have 80+ agents at the Andover office and a staff of 6. In September 2022, we opened an office in Alexandria, MN! My family and I spend most of our summer weekends in Alex, so having an office there was convenient for our family on top of bringing our brand to a new market.

Andover, MN
Alexandria, MN

My Big Why is to help my agents and staff achieve their dreams. If we are successful doing this, then my dreams are realized along the way. The word I live by is Kaizen. It is Japanese for “Constant Improvement”. My employees are probably tired of my daily drive for constant improvement but I feel this is the #ONE reason our company has grown to the level we have with the efficiency and productivity level we enjoy today.

Paul Ekstrom

Principal Broker and Owner

  1. Josh Wilson says:

    Love the story!

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