In the world of real estate brokerage, Pam O'Connor is a quasi-civilian, a relatively neutral party who constantly finds herself talking tactics with the heads of some of the largest independents in the business. "That's always my first question with them -- how's business?" says O'Connor. "And they tell me a lot." O'Connor is president and chief executive of Leading Real Estate Cos. of the World, a Chicago-based network of 600 realty firms that in aggregate produced $300 billion in sales in 2008. Known largely for its longstanding relocation-management services (formerly RELO), the company renamed and rebranded itself about five years ago to reflect its goal of broadening its services to its members. Domestically, that means O'Connor spends a lot of time t...
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