Keller, the most consistent leader the industry has seen over the past decade, returns to the top slot as the most powerful person in residential real estate. He created kwx, a holding company to oversee Keller Williams Realty and the company’s mortgage, insurance and alternative financing services in preparation for a widely anticipated public offering. Keller Williams continues as the nation’s largest franchise brand based on agent count (160,717), transaction sides (1.2 million) and sales volume ($338 billion), and also late last year introduced a national brokerage in the KW Expansion Network, and a national expansion team in Livian.
Sanford’s steady climb over the past five years moves him into the second slot this year, thanks to his company’s continued rocketing growth. EXp Realty, the flagship company under eXp World Holdings (Nasdaq: EXPI), has grown to 70,000 agents, representing over 80 percent growth from 2020, which itself saw 50 percent agent growth from the year before. EXp Realty is now the nation’s fourth largest brokerage by 2020 sales volume and will likely surpass $100 billion in sales volume in 2021 and will most likely be the largest brokerage by U.S. agent count when the 2021 numbers are audited in spring 2022.
Schneider continues to lead Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY) with a steady, competent hand. In 2021, the company generated $458 million in free cash flow through the first three quarters. With more agents working for Realogy that any other enterprise and the same amount as competitors ranking fourth through 10th combined, the influence and reach Realogy has in the industry remains wide. In 2021, Realogy and Sotheby’s formed a strategic partnership to acquire real estate auction company Concierge Auctions. The company was also named to the Forbes list of the World’s Top Female Friendly companies in 2021.
In 2021, Blefari solidified his position atop one of the nation’s two largest and most powerful real estate enterprises by implementing further management changes such as bringing in Christy Budnick as CEO of HSF Affiliates, the company that operates the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brokerage franchise network. In his role, he oversees over 77,000 agents who do over $238 billion in annual sales. He also shuttered the Real Living network and focused attention on strengthening the BHHS brand by acquiring Americana Holdings, the operator of BHHS Arizona Properties, BHHS California Properties and BHHS Nevada Properties.
Reffkin breaks into the top five for the first time with the successful and anticipated IPO of Compass on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: COMP) in April 2021. The added public scrutiny of the company’s financials reflect some mixed results as they continue to streamline earlier acquisitions, flesh out new ancillary services offering and continue to build their tech offering. That said, the company is in position to overtake HomeServices of America as the nation’s second largest brokerage by annual sales volume when numbers are audited this spring.
Redfin’s CEO since 2005, Kelman has led Redfin (Nasdaq: RDFN) into years of consistent, albeit marginal, growth. In 2021, the company expanded past 100 U.S. markets reported that it grew existing home sales market share (by sales volume) to nearly 1.2 percent, expanded its iBuying service RedfinNow to new markets and acquired the large rental network RentPath for $608 million. Redfin agents do over $37 billion in annual sales, making Redfin the nation’s fifth largest brokerage based on 2020 sales volume, a position it is expected to retain once 2021 numbers are audited.
In 2021, RE/MAX (NYSE: RMAX) under Contos completed the acquisition of the independent regional owner and largest real estate brokerage franchisee in the world when it purchased RE/MAX Integra (19,000 agents in nine U.S. states and five Canadian provinces). RE/MAX is the nation’s third largest brand in the U.S. with over 62,000 agents as well as one the largest real estate brands in the world with operations in more than 115 countries. The company also saw steady growth in its mortgage franchise Motto Mortgage growing in 2021 to 176 offices.
The nation’s largest family-owned and -managed brokerage company had a steady 2021 under the collective leadership of second-generation siblings Hoddy Hanna and Helen Hanna Casey and third-generation leader Hoby Hanna. The company continues to increase its power through meaningful, regular and strategic acquisitions that grows the Hanna reach and influence. In 2021, it folded Indiana-based brokerage F.C. Tucker into the Hanna family. Howard Hanna is the nation’s seventh-largest brokerage based on a 2020 sales volume of over $27 billion.
Gorman manages Realogy’s company-owned and franchised offices under the Coldwell Banker brand. In this capacity, he is responsible for the day-to-day management of Realogy’s brokerage wing, Realogy Brokerage Group, which has over 53,000 agents who do over $184 billion in annual sales as the nation’s largest brokerage. He also oversees the daily operation of the Coldwell Banker brand whose over 90,000 U.S. agents do over $265 billion in annual sales.
Soper runs Canada’s largest real estate brokerage enterprise, Bridgemarq Real Estate Services (OTCMKTS: BREUF). The group owns and operates the brands Royal LePage, Via Capitale and Johnston & Daniel, collectively consisting of nearly 19,000 agents in approximately 670 company-owned and franchised offices. He has run the company with consistency and balance since assuming the CEO role in 2003.
As president and CEO of Realogy Franchise Group, Yannaccone oversees the largest cadre of real estate brokerage brands in the world, including Sotheby’s International Realty, Century 21, ERA, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate and Corcoran Group. She also manages both Corcoran Group and Sotheby’s International Realty company-owned businesses. Since joining Realogy in 2015, she has held a variety of leadership positions within the company and is the first women to hold the title of president of Realogy Franchise Group.
Siblings OB Jacobi and Jill Jacobi Wood and Wood’s husband Geoff run this nearly five-decade-old, family-owned company. Based in Seattle, the company operates brokerages and a franchise brand in 10 western U.S. states. In 2021, Windermere acquired large Sacramento, California-based brokerage Lyon Real Estate, which brought over 800 agents and nearly $2.9 billion in annual sales to the company’s 2020 volume of nearly $41 billion in annual sales.
Jewgieniew founded and leads Realty One Group, one of the nation’s 10 largest real estate brokerage franchise brands. Founded in 2005, this agent flat-fee brokerage model has sold over 400 franchises, 70 in 2021. The UNBrokerage, as it promotes itself, was recently recognized as a Franchise Times Top 400 as the highest ranking agent flat-fee real estate company and one of the fastest growing real estate franchises.
The long-time chairman and largest shareholder of Douglas Elliman, Lorber set the stage to spin off Douglas Elliman from its public parent Vector Group to its own standalone public company on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: DOUG) in 2021. The move would give the nation’s sixth largest brokerage more direct access to the public markets and gives it a competitive boost as it joins other standalone public brokerage companies at the top of the leaderboard. Douglas Elliman has nearly 6,700 agents who do over $29 billion in annual sales.
Widdows runs HomeSmart, which operates an agent flat-fee brokerage model. He launched the company in 2000 and has built into the nation’s 13th largest real estate enterprise. The company has operations in 34 states with, in its franchise and brokerage wings, approximately 20,000 agents who do $27 billion in annual sales. In 2021, the company launched a revenue-sharing program and a health benefits program for its agents.
In 2021, Budnick became president and CEO of HFS Affiliates, the franchise wing of HomeServices of America that runs the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices real estate brand. In this role, she leads a brand with over 50,000 affiliated agents who do over $139 billion in annual sales. She came to the position from her role as president and CEO of BHHS Florida Network Realty, which she assumed in 2018.
Golden and Wong have expanded their large Chicago-based brokerage @properties into the At World holding company with the help of a controlling stake taken by private equity firm Quad-C in 2018. At World now includes a brokerage wing and national franchise brands @properties, Nest Realty and Ansley Real Estate. In 2021, the company acquired the Christie’s International Real Estate network and a long-term license of the brand name from Christie’s auction house.
In 2021, Bailey transitioned from the chief customer officer role he held since joining RE/MAX in 2019 to its president. Bailey spearheads the company’s recruiting and broker- and agent-relation efforts for this massive brand, whose over U.S. 62,000 agents do over $294 billion in annual sales. Bailey, previously, worked through the ranks in RE/MAX between 2001 and 2012 before working at Market Leader and Zillow as an executive and Century 21 as CEO.
White Jr. oversees the day-to-day operation of the almost 1,000 company-owned and franchised offices within Realogy’s highly regarded luxury brand Sotheby’s International Realty, which ranks as the nation’s fifth largest residential real estate brokerage brand by 2020 sales volume. White became chief operating officer in 2004, CEO of the affiliate network in 2013 and added the company-owned stores under his wing in 2019.
Liebman leads Realogy’s newest franchise brand Corcoran Group as president and CEO. The brand, designed to serve megacities and leisure markets in the U.S. and around the world, sold its first franchise in 2020 and now has, within less than two years, grown into a network of over 4,000 agents who do over $18 billion in annuals sales. Liebman previously managed the day-to-day operations of the New York City-based offices of this powerhouse for two decades.
Real Estate Almanac – The residential real estate brokerage industry’s 360-degree compendium and analysis of leaders, organized real estate, technology, franchise brands, enterprises, and brokerages. Researched, analyzed and produced by T3 Sixty.