Real Estate Almanac

Richard Barton edges out Gary Keller, Ryan Schneider and Gino Blefari as real estate’s most powerful executive for 2021

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, CALIF. (PRWEB) JANUARY 12, 2021T3 Sixty, the residential real estate brokerage industry’s leading management consulting and research firm, today released its annual list of real estate’s most powerful and influential leaders and executives. The SP 200, now in its eighth year, ranks the leaders, executives and entrepreneurs from all sectors of the residential real estate brokerage industry based on three months of intensive research, debate and over 400 hours of analysis.

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.

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 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.

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 with over 3,000 executives and 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.

The SP 200 includes 45 powerful and influential female leaders, the same percentage as 2020, but slight up from 2019. The four highest ranked women are:

  1. Helen Hanna Casey, Hanna Holdings CEO
  2. Sue Yannaccone, the new Realogy Franchise Group President and CEO
  3. Jill Wood, one of the managing principals of Windermere Real Estate
  4. Sherry Chris, CEO of Realogy Expansion Brands (includes ERA Real Estate and Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate)

For the full list of the 44 most powerful women in real estate, click here.

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.

Notable newcomers/returnees to the SP 200 this year include:

  • David Doctorow, who took the helm of 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.

“Many executives work hard every day to manage their companies,” said T3 Sixty Chairman and CEO Stefan Swanepoel. “The ones included in the annual SP 200 this year are the leaders that stood out during 2020 as the most influential and impactful in the industry. While we honor them with their inclusion on the SP 200 for 2021 we also acknowledge the tens of thousands of other leaders that also stood up and made a difference when the industry needed them. We salute you all.”

The extensive annual research and complete rankings can be found at The rankings are also organized into subcategories, including the top brokers, top association and MLS executives, leading women and leading technologists.

The SP 200 is the first of five monthly Real Estate Almanac annual installments – executives (SP 200, January); organized real estate organizations (ORE 200, February); technology providers (Tech 500, March); holding companies, franchise brands and public companies (Enterprise, April); and the nation’s largest brokerage companies (Mega 1000, May). All research , analysis and rankings are compiled every year by the team at T3 Sixty.

About T3 Sixty

T3 Sixty is a trusted advisor and management consultancy in the residential real estate brokerage industry. T3 Sixty also provides extensive data services and research to effect intelligent change and growth. For more, visit