It all began on Fort Street, Detroit in 1929. Rumor has it that Staunton Elsea already had his master plan at work a year before then, but our official records read 1929. A man with a mission, Staunton Elsea steadily grew Elsea Realty and opened up a second office location. Staunton also set the tone for the company’s innovative ways by making Elsea Realty one of the first brokerages to hire women in the 1930’s.
Staunton’s son, Richard “Dick” Elsea entered into the business after serving in the Korean War and attending Michigan State University. Dick had a gift for networking and played an integral role in why Real Estate One is here today. In 1969, Dick negotiated a major deal, merging three well-established firms (Mathers, Stevens and Martin Inc. Realtors, Deremo and Sons Realtors and Gordon Williamson Co.) with Elsea Realty to create the Real Estate One brand.
Following in their grandfather and father’s footsteps, Dick’s sons, Stuart and Dan Elsea joined the family business after both graduating from Michigan State University. Nicknamed “The Boys,” they started at the bottom of the ladder, earning and learning their way to the top. Like Dick, Stuart and Dan knew the best way to scale the company was to acquire other brokerages and make them family instead of competition.
In 1995, Johnstone & Johnstone, a well-respected firm in Grosse Pointe, MI, was added to the Real Estate One Family. Seven years later, Dick, Dan and Stuart acquired the boutique firm Max Broock Realtors, which focused on luxury properties in northern Oakland County. Next came the addition of the Charles Reinhart Company in 2013, which carries most of the market in Washtenaw County. A very bittersweet time, Dick passed away a few days after the Reinhart acquisition closed.
“The Family of Companies are entering into the fourth generation of leadership. Despite how big our companies have grown, we make it a priority to create a culture that feels like home for our employees and sales people.” - Stuart Elsea
Along with growing its network of brokerages, Real Estate One has also been cultivating a one-stop-shop real estate experience for over the past 45 years.
Known as HomeSuite, our one-stop shop includes every real estate service under one roof. Our first three affiliated companies were acquired in the 70s; Insurance One jumped on board in 1971 with our mortgage company, John Adams Mortgage, quickly following in 1972. Three years later Capital Title Insurance Agency joined in 1975. Our family network continued to grow in 1985 with the addition of Relocation American International. And finally, our HomeSuite was completed in 2013 when Rental Management One was founded to serve the rental property market.
Staying true to founder Staunton Elsea’s ways, the Real Estate One family continues to innovate and push the industry’s boundaries. Believe it or not, many of the modern marketing tools that are used across the country were started right here at REO.
Thanks to Dick’s visionary mindset, Real Estate One was the first company to have multiple offices, to create homes books, to initiate a computerized MLS, and to host Open Houses. Stuart and Dan then evolved the marketing tools to compliment the tech era. This website you’re on now gets over 2 million unique views per year, which is great for our sellers. We also offer a better search experience for buyers with our highly rated Michigan Real Estate Search app. Dan and Stuart have been acknowledged on the national real estate circuit as leaders who report and educate the experts on today’s housing market.
“The reason our companies have survived economic downturns and market crashes is due to our constant will to innovate and adopt new strategies and technologies.” - Dan Elsea
Yes, the Real Estate One Family of Companies is the largest brokerage in Michigan. Yes, Real Estate One continuously ranks Top 20 in the nation. Yes, over $5 billion in real estate was sold through our companies last year. But what does it all amount to?
For us, it’s about family, community and customers. It’s important for us to make our employees feel like they are a part of our family, which could be why we were voted as one of the Top Workplaces since 2011 and Best & Brightest of Detroit since 2014.
It’s a priority for us to influence our network to make a big impact in the communities that we serve. The Real Estate One Charitable Foundation was launched in 2004 and has since raised almost $5.4 million dollars for local and national charities.
And lastly, it’s all thanks to YOU, our customer. Your belief and support in our companies, services and associates is the reason why we can do all that we do. THANK YOU for being a part of our family.
The fourth generation of Elseas are making their debut within the family of companies. Just as Dan and Stuart learned the business from the ground up, their kids are doing the same in order to learn the ins and outs of the companies. You can find Stuart’s son, Evan Elsea as a Loan Consultant at John Adams Mortgage, and Erik Elsea as a sales associate at Real Estate One - Troy. Dan’s daughter, Camille Peterek, is currently a Buyer’s Agent at Max Broock - Birmingham and her sister, Caroline, brings her strong marketing background to the companies.
The family of companies will continue to thrive and build success from the core values of Excellence, Caring, Integrity, Teamwork and Empowerment.