Real Estate Almanac

Top Executives for 2022

Released annually in January, the first section of the Real Estate Almanac, Executives/Leaders (SP200), ranks the most powerful and influential executives in the residential real estate industry.
Executives Legend
The color legend to the right illustrates the various backgrounds for the top executives in the residential real estate industry.

The overall 2022 Leadership Rankings, the Power 200, ranks the most powerful leaders in the residential real estate brokerage industry as at December 31, 2021. To rank the leaders eight (8) different criteria were reviewed and can be seen here.

These rankings (SP200) are of the leaders in our industry and is not a company ranking. Size and sales volume listed are shared for framing of the person listed. Note that 2020 numbers are used as those are the only available across the board for all companies. Most companies have not completed their 2021 financials and our official company and brokerage rankings (MEGA 1000) will be published in May 2022 after financial and audits have been completed.

1

Co-Founder and Executive Chairman

kwx
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.

2

Founder and CEO

eXp World Holdings
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.

3

President and CEO

Realogy Holdings Corp.
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.

4

President and CEO

HomeServices of America
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.

5

Co-Founder and CEO

Compass
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.

6

Co-Founder and CEO

Zillow Group
Barton slides to just outside the top five this year with the announcement that Zillow Group quit its iBuying program, Zillow Offers, after losing a reported $420 million in the three months ending September 2021. Zillow is laying off a quarter of its 8,000 staff. Yet the company remains relatively healthy with its Premier Agent cash cow as it pursues other alternative financing avenues to streamline the transaction. Anyone counting Barton out, will most likely be proven wrong, as Barton has proven that he an exceptional entrepreneur, and, as leader of Zillow Group, he remains extremely powerful in the industry.

7

Co-Founder and CEO

Opendoor
Wu continues his steady climb in the top 10 as Opendoor (Nasdaq: OPEN) assumes national primacy in deploying the iBuying business model under Wu’s leadership. The company pioneered the model in 2014 and after Zillow Group’s high-profile 2021 exit from the practice, is the undisputed dominant player in the iBuying arena. The company has continued to innovate in the alternative real estate financing field and in 2021 acquired home improvement startups Skylight and Pro.com, debuted a service to provide cash-backed offers for buyers and launched real-time preliminary cash-offers in its 44 U.S. markets on realtor.com.

8

President and CEO

Redfin
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.

9

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.

10

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.

11

CEO

National Association of Realtors
Leading the largest trade association in the world is tough. NAR’s regulation challenges continued in 2021 with several high-profile commission-related lawsuits still underway as well as a renewed battle with the U.S. Department of Justice after the department withdrew from an antitrust settlement with NAR reached in 2020. In 2021, Goldberg oversaw the passing of a NAR policy that makes disclosures of buyer agent compensation more transparent to consumers, reinforces that buyer agents cannot market their services as free and prevents agents from having the ability to filter listing searches based on buyer agent compensation rates.

12

President and CEO

Coldwell Banker
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.

13

President and CEO

Bridgemarq Real Estate Services
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.

14

President and CEO

Realogy Franchise Group
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.

15

CoStar Group (Nasdaq: CSGP) entered the residential real estate brokerage industry with the late 2020 acquisition of Homesnap. Then in 2021 Florance stepped on the gas acquiring Homes.com, one of the largest portals in the residential brokerage arena. In May, it launched Your Listing, Your Lead national industry marketing campaign, and New York City real estate portal in CitySnap to rival Zillow Group’s StreetEasy. CoStar is rapidly becoming one of the most powerful players in the space and Florance is leading that charge.

16

Managing Partners

Windermere Real Estate
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.

17

Chief Operating Officer

Zillow Group
As chief operating officer, Wacksman leads Zillow Group’s business, product, operations, engineering, industry and brokerage licensing teams with Arik Prawler, Susan Daimler, David Beitel and Errol Samuelson reporting into him. Before joining Zillow in 2009, Jeremy led marketing and product management efforts at Microsoft in Xbox. Wacksman has a B.S. in Computer Engineering from Purdue University and a Master of Business Administration from Northwestern University.

18

Founder and CEO

Realty One Group
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.

19

Executive Chairman

Douglas Elliman
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.

20

Founder and Chairman

HomeSmart
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.