Inside the SP 200

The SP 200 ranks the industry’s most powerful leaders each year. The 2021 list, just released this month, helps showcase where the industry is, where it’s going and who’s leading it there. Read on for some more insight into this year’s list.
Authored by:
Paul Hagey
Published:
January 2021

Effective leadership is the No. 1 reason real estate companies succeed and thrive, and they push our industry into even greater heights. Each year, T3 Sixty dives into this concept and works to identify the industry’s most powerful and influential leaders and executives in the Swanepoel Power 200 (SP 200). These men and women represent consistent, remarkable leadership – see who’s on the 2021 SP 200 here.

The exercise of identifying the industry’s most powerful individuals provides valuable insights into the ways the industry is evolving. The process of studying hundreds of leaders forces T3 Sixty and the SP 200 selection committee to think deeply about the people most responsible for leading the industry into its future. Companies, of course, execute and do big things, but the people behind them, leading them are responsible for making the key decisions that largely shape the industry. Little happens without their determination, smarts, commitment and leadership.

When put into the context of how and where the industry is headed, personal power reveals much more about the state of real estate. This is one of the major reasons T3 Sixty spends hundreds of hours researching, analyzing, debating and ultimately attempting to determine the industry’s top executives.

To get the most accurate list possible, the T3 Sixty analyzes over 3,000 leaders based on eight criteria in three rounds of review over the course of approximately three months; throughout the year, the team tracks leadership and company developments. Read the full process here.

Inside the 2021 SP 200

For the second year in a row, Zillow Group Co-Founder and CEO Richard Barton stands as the industry’s most powerful leader on the back of his company’s continued strong financial and stock market performance during 2020, continued innovation with its new business model and resilient Covid-19 response.

Richard Barton

Rich Barton

The 10 most powerful people in real estate in 2021 (along with their 2020 ranking) are:

  1. Richard Barton, Zillow Group co-founder and CEO (No. 1 in 2020)
  2. Gary Keller, Keller Williams Realty co-founder and KWx executive chairman (No. 2 in 2020)
  3. Ryan Schneider, Realogy Holdings Corp. president and CEO (No. 4 in 2020)
  4. Gino Blefari, HomeServices of America CEO and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices chairman (No. 12 in 2020)
  5. Glenn Sanford, eXp World Holdings founder and CEO (No. 15 in 2020)
  6. Glenn Kelman, Redfin president and CEO (No. 5 in 2020)
  7. Robert Reffkin/Ori Allen, Compass co-founders (No. 8 in 2020)
  8. Bob Goldberg, NAR CEO (No. 7 in 2020)
  9. Adam Contos, RE/MAX CEO (No. 6 in 2020)
  10. Eric Wu, Opendoor co-founder and CEO (No. 14 in 2020)

Sanford makes his debut in the top 10 after guiding eXp Realty to phenomenal growth on all levels during 2020 while Opendoor Co-Founder and CEO Eric Wu also makes his first placement in the top 10 at No. 10 after orchestrating a merger between his firm and a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) to create a $18 billion publicly traded company in late 2020.

Eric Wu

As with every year, the SP 200 ranks the industry’s 200 most powerful leaders (including some pairs and triples in a few positions); for 2021, a total of 211 leaders from brokerage, MLSs and associations, technology companies and real estate brands made the 2021 list. The full list of 2011 leaders and executives and their bios can be reviewed here.

To build the SP 200 each year, T3 Sixty extensively analyzes executives and C-suite leaders of all significant, large and strategically important companies in the residential real estate brokerage industry. The SP 200 presents a reflection of the industry’s leadership landscape, who and from what brand are prominent and ascending, whose fortunes may be changing.

The process starts involves a mix of quantitative and qualitative assessments to review leaders, including recent developments at their company, their tenure, their role in their organization and its production, and vigorous evaluation and debate about each person’s relative power and influence in his or her own company as well as the in the industry in general.

Helen Hanna Casey

As with every year, the SP 200 ranks the industry’s 200 most powerful leaders (including some pairs and triples in a few positions); for 2021, a total of 211 leaders from brokerage, MLSs and associations, technology companies and real estate brands made the 2021 list. The full list of 2011 leaders and executives and their bios can be reviewed here.

To build the SP 200 each year, T3 Sixty extensively analyzes executives and C-suite leaders of all significant, large and strategically important companies in the residential real estate brokerage industry. The SP 200 presents a reflection of the industry’s leadership landscape, who and from what brand are prominent and ascending, whose fortunes may be changing.

The process starts involves a mix of quantitative and qualitative assessments to review leaders, including recent developments at their company, their tenure, their role in their organization and its production, and vigorous evaluation and debate about each person’s relative power and influence in his or her own company as well as the in the industry in general.

Sue Yannacone

In the world of organized real estate, which includes Realtor associations and MLS organizations – NAR CEO Bob Goldberg retains his top position for the third successive year. Houston Association of Realtors CEO Bob Hale and California Regional MLS CEO Art Carter round out the top three in that category.

Leaders making their SP 200 debut in 2021: Latter & Blum CEO Lacey Merrick Conway; National Association of Real Estate Brokers Presidents Donnell Williams and Lydia Pope; CoStar Founder and CEO Andrew Florance.

Notable changes to the SP 200 this year include:

  • David Doctorow, who took the helm of realtor.com operator Move Inc. in 2020 as CEO, debuts at No. 62.
  • Long-term eXp Realty executive, Jason Gesing, in his newer role as CEO jumps from No. 170 to No. 43 to reflect the huge growth of eXp Realty the past two years.
  • Lacey Merrick Conway, who settles into her role as president and CEO of Latter & Blum Realtors, the firm her father purchased in 1986, debuts at No. 78.
  • Bess Freedman moves into the top 50 to No. 45 from No. 123 with her appointment as CEO of the new Brown Harris Stevens after the merger with sister company Halstead Properties.
  • Andrew Florance, CEO and founder of CoStar Group, which acquired Homesnap, a highly trafficked consumer real estate portal and operator of the Broker Public Portal in 2020, debuts at No. 100.
  • Former Zillow Group CEO Spencer Rascoff, returns to the list in 2021 at No. 113 as chairman of Pacaso, a startup that helps homeowners invest in second homes. He reached as high as No. 2 on the list in 2018.
  • New president and CEO of Ebby Halliday Realtors, Chris Kelly, debuts on the SP 200 at No. 132 as a promising executive within Berkshire Hathaway to watch.
  • Clayton Collins, founder and CEO of media company HousingWire, enters the top 200 for the first time, with the acquisition of Steven Murray’s Real Trends and Gathering of Eagles publications and events.
  • Various newly elected presidents of various powerful associations, including NAR, NAREB, NAHREP and AREAA are acknowledged throughout the list.

Takeaway

Explore the 2021 SP 200 to discover who ranks where and to read bios of each leader at sp200.com.

T3 Sixty – Trusted business advisors and management consultants.

Part of the T3 Sixty family of companies.

© T3 Sixty 2020. Enabling Intelligent Change.

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