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Sharon Dover: Broker, owner RE/MAX Around Atlanta

Each week the Gwinnett Daily Post profiles the business men and women who help drive the success of local companies and small businesses alike. Interested in a profile? Call Doug Sams, business reporter, at 770 963-9205, ext. 1321, or e-mail him at doug.sams@gwinnettdailypost.com.

Name: Sharon Dover, Broker, owner, RE/MAX Around Atlanta Partners

Age: 55

Tenure: "I began as a sales agent at Northside Realty 33 years ago, and I started a RE/MAX affiliate in 1994. We are now the Atlanta area's seventh-largest real estate firm. I run the entire company, soup to nuts. I manage the office day to day. I recruit and train, including coordinating our own unique training school that supports our new and experienced agents through free accredited continuing education. I'm responsible for retention. I'm also the visionary for the company."

On the nightstand: "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen

Rooting interest: Braves, Falcons.

Mentor: "I worked with Northside Realty for 22 years. Before the concept became a popular buzzword, my broker told me that I had great character. I told him I didn't want good character; I wanted money. Fortunately, I eventually acquired both, but it was important that the good character came first."

Top Trend: "It's not necessarily new, but the Internet is our number one focal point. It is the present and the future. Everything to do with real estate revolves around the Internet these days.

"We're also focusing on our complete menu of services. It's not just about buying and selling - it's about being proactive in meeting the needs of the buyer and seller. Our agents must listen to our clients and make sure we give them what they need as opposed to presenting them what we think they should have.

Risk/Reward: "My greatest risk was going from being an agent for 15 years into management with Northside Realty. I owe a lot to Johnny Isakson and the people at Northside. As vice president and managing broker, my office went from being No. 26 in the company to number two in just five years. That opened the door for me to eventually leave Northside and start my own business. Obviously, it worked out very well."

Recipe for success: "It's overused, but obviously great character. Integrity is essential, and so is being a good visionary. No matter what business you're in, you have to know how to react and make changes without wasting time."