The following are powerful and fascinating people that are not in the residential real estate brokerage industry but through their holdings, investments or the elected office they hold have immense influence on the industry or matters pertaining to housing, finance and real estate professionals. They are listed in alphabetical order.
The color legend to the right illustrates the various backgrounds for the top executives in the residential real estate industry.
Gregory Edward Abel is a Canadian businessman, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Energy, and vice-chairman of non-insurance operations of Berkshire Hathaway since January 2018. He is widely considered as the most likely successor to Warren Buffet and Berkshire’s vast residential real estate brokerage portfolio reports directly into him.
In his first year as President of the United States of America, Joseph “Joe” Robinette Biden, Jr., and his administration have supported a variety of policies that affect the housing market. Among the housing-related policies President Biden’s administration has focused on include boosting the supply of manufactured housing and facilitating more multi-unit parcels, limit purchases by large investors of single-family homes and to work with local governments to support zoning and other policies that will increase housing supply.
As CEO of private equity firm Stone Point Capital, Davis’s real estate role has magnified in recent years with his company’s acquisition, with Insight Partners, of CoreLogic in 2021 and of Lone Wolf Technologies in 2020. These significant acquisitions affect products that hundreds of thousands of real estate brokers and agents use on a daily basis and is playing a role in the increased consolidation and development of the industry’s technology environment.
Jay Farner leads Rocket Companies as CEO. In this role, he oversees the nation’s largest mortgage lender in Rocket Mortgage, a raft of other insurance and financial services subsidiaries, and Rocket Homes, which is building a national brokerage and jumping into the iBuying business. Before becoming CEO of Rocket Companies in 2017, he served as president of Quicken Loans (which has rebranded to Rocket Mortgage) for eight years.
Bruce Flatt is a Canadian businessman and the CEO of Brookfield Asset Management. He joined Brookfield in 1990 and became CEO in 2002. He has been referred to as “Canada’s Warren Buffett” due to his value investment style, extended tenure as CEO, and large investment in Brookfield. Canada’s largest residential real estate franchisor and brokerage CEO reports directly into Flatt.
As Secretary of U.S. Housing and Urban Development, Marcia Fudge oversees a key federal department focused on policies related to housing with a focus on supporting lower-income residents, housing rights and more. She has been the U.S. Representative for Ohio’s 11th congressional district since 2008 and is current chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Jerome Powell serves as the chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed), a role he has held since 2018. President Joe Biden nominated him for another four-year term as chair in 2021. In this position, he oversees an organization responsible for maintaining financial stability and conducting monetary policy. By setting the interest rates at which banks lend money to each other, the Fed has a direct impact on mortgage interest rates and, thus, plays a big role in the real estate sales environment.
As Secretary of the U.S. Treasury, Janet Yellen is responsible for maintaining a strong U.S. economy by supporting an environment good for business and workers. This role’s importance has become even more critical as the country battles the significant impact of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and its sustained and unpredictable impact on the economy, industries and workers. Yellen served as chair of the Federal Reserve from 2014 to 2018.
Eric Yuan, Chinese-born American billionaire businessman, and founder and CEO of Zoom Video Communications has seen his company’s role in all areas of business skyrocket as the world increasingly goes remote. Many real estate companies, agents and consumers rely on Zoom to meet, tour homes, business plan and more. The company is a key part of the remote business engine powering the industry to become ever more digital.
Examples of some PropTech Investors influencing the Residential Real Estate Brokerage Industry.
Aarons has led MetaProp as a partner since co-founding it in 2015. The investment group has invested in over 75 property technology companies since launch, including new-model brokerage startup Side and earnest money startup Eave. The company raised a $100 million fund in 2021.
Chawla leads the real estate technology investment team at real estate investment group Fifth Wall. Founded in 2016, Fifth Wall has investments in over 40 real estate companies, including alternative finance startup Flyhomes, mortgage startup Hippo, iBuyer giant Opendoor, e-notary company Notarize and luxury second home market startup Pacaso.
Rascoff, who led Zillow Group as CEO from 2010 to 2019, now is an influential real estate industry investor through his special purpose acquisition company Supernova Partners Acquisition Partners. Supernova took alternative finance firm Offerpad public in 2021 and is currently looking for other companies to take public.
Warburg Peters, who has significant experience as a real estate brokerage leader, joined Bain Capital Ventures as a venture partner in 2020. She ran New York City-based brokerage Warburg Realty as president from 2014-2021 and is a co-founder and former partner of MetaProp.
Yip serves as managing director of real estate venture capital firm RET Ventures. The company, which has over 137,000 single-family rental properties in its portfolio, has invested in two dozen real estate technology firms.
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.