Notable Changes in 2018 since the Previous Rankings
Huge changes occurred in the rankings of the Most Powerful and Influential People in Residential Real Estate Brokerage industry principally due to the large number of CEO and C-suite executives retiring in 2017, the massive amount of investment flowing into the industry supporting various relatively new companies and the robust growth many of the new business models experienced.
The industry has a new No 1 with Gary Keller climbing two slots from No. 3 last year and No. 4 the year before to become our choice as the Most Powerful Person in Residential Real Estate. Keller is Co-founder and Chairman of Keller Williams Realty International (KW) and the strategic architect in the company’s enormous growth. Already the largest real estate brand real estate in the world based on agent count, Keller Williams according to our calculations in 2017 also became the largest brand in the U.S. based on sales volume.
New business model companies had a banner year in 2017 with many of the CEOs in this category validating their company’s direction. Some added over 2,000 agents and more than $2 billion in annual sales in one year. CEOs include Glenn Sanford, founder and CEO of EXP World Holdings who climbed to No. 88, Dan Duffy, CEO of United Real Estate who rose to No. 102, James Dwiggins, CEO of NextHome to jumps to No. 105 and Eric Wu, CEO of OpenDoor that to No.116.
The continued surge of KW also moves John Davis up from No. 12 to No. 7 as he became the sole CEO of the company (last year he was co-CEO with Chris Heller) and is credited for driving the growth of the company the past few years.
John Peyton, a transplant from the hospitality industry and the newly appointed president and chief operating officer of Realogy Franchise Group, leaps into the top 25.
Ryan Schneider who since October 2017 held the position of president and COO of Realogy Corp. took the helm on January 1, 2018 and is acknowledged at No. 5 for the power and influence associated with the position of CEO of Realogy Holdings. Time will show whether he is able to reach the heights of the Richard Smith, the former CEO who held the No. 1 or 2 position on the SP200 for the past 4 years.
Women are still underrepresented in CEO and very senior leadership positions in our industry while CEOs of color remain almost totally absent from the leadership ranks in the residential real estate brokerage industry. No significant changes are expected soon. Younger Gen X and Gen Y are however gain more acceptance and are this year better represented and especially made a strong showing on the Emerging Leaders, Trendsetters and Social Influencers lists.
A big move up to No. 8. for Bob Goldberg, a long-time NAR executive and Top 30 member of the SP200 the past three years, as he was appointed CEO of National Association of Realtors and filled the slots vacated by Dale Stinton who had been ranked between No. 7 and No. 5 for the past four years.
Adam Contos, who was appointed co-CEO of Re/Max with Dave Liniger, entered the list at No. 18. Re/Max is the largest real estate brand in the world base on global sales volume.
Glenn Kelman led Redfin to a successful IPO, building its coffers and legitimizing a brokerage that was by many until now considered an insignificant business model. With the market capitalization of Redfin surpassing Re/Max in 2017 Kelman soars 20 spots and into the Top 10.
Real estate upstart Compass had a big year in 2017. Its co-CEOs, Robert Reffkin and Rob Lehman, raised $550 million, helping it reach a valuation of $2.2 billion and has started to impact brokerage companies in many major cities across the nation and skyrocketed them to No. 27 on the SP200.
The longtime CREA CEO, Gary Simonsen, retired in 2017 and his successor Michael Bourque, is acknowledged at No. 101 as the new CEO of the Canadian Real Estate Association.
Nick Bailey joined the SP200 at No. 22 as the newly appointed CEO of Century 21. Bailey came from Zillow.