Magazine cover 2015The most comprehensive list of the most powerful and influential people in the real estate industry has once again been released. Known as the SP200 (Swanepoel Power 200), this annual list is published by Stefan Swanepoel every January.

There have been numerous other lists from time to time, but the SP200 stands as a milestone in the comprehensiveness, detail and objectivity it strives to portray.

You can review the entire 2014/2015 list in detail at

Comparable to Forbes, Fortune, JD Powers and other outside the industry lists, the SP200 utilizes a large selection of criteria. It takes hundreds of hours to put something like this together and often the people on the list are gratified, but those who do not make the list are disappointed. I had a phone call Stefan Swanepoel to understand more about his list and why he does it.

“Our goal is to create an authoritative list by using information such as position held within a given company, size of company, tenure in the company, tenure in the industry, education, accomplishments, impact the person has had on the industry or is expected to have on the industry in the foreseeable future. We combine all of the stats, facts–as well as 26 years of research in the industry having personally met most of the people on the list–into our own unique SP200 algorithm. The list is as objective and real as we can make it. No pay-to-play, advertising or outside influencing is allowed.

“We call this the power list for a reason. It is not just the influence a person has but the impact and control each of these people can exercise. Many of these people command large budgets, multiple resources, buy and sell companies, and can effect significant change.

“We divide the SP200 into multiple categories for easier evaluation – Corporate Executives, Brokerage Executives, Technology Executives, Organized Real Estate, Outside Powers, Social Influencers, and Thought Leaders. My team and I, including my executive editor Rob Hahn, invested over 400 hours of specific SP200 research to provide this list as a service to the industry.”

A term like Power is pretty elusive to define. So, I asked Swanepoel to provide his definition as applies to the list. “Power is defined as the ability to control, direct or influence people, companies, events, and circumstances. Powerful people cause change. Powerful people make a difference.”

There is no doubt that people like Richard Smith, Spencer Rascoff, Ron Peltier, Gary Keller, Alex Perriello, Dave Liniger, Wes Foster, Jim Weichert and the tens of others on the SP200 have done exactly that. Our industry is better because of them and this annual recognition by the SP200 is well deserved.

The two co-founders of the WAV Group are on the list, somewhere deep down near the bottom. As consultants, we have never believed that we represent power in real estate, but we do provide advice and support to a number of industry-wide initiatives like the MLS Broker Portal along with our ongoing consulting with leading MLSs, Associations, technology firms, and enterprise brokerages. Acknowledging that we help shape the future of our industry is humbling. Thank you, Stefan.

Here is the press release, along with a link to the list. Be sure to congratulate those colleagues on the list by dropping them a note, a call, or a social greeting on LinkedIn or Facebook.

Swanepoel Power 200 Provides Extensive Rankings

New List of the 200 Most Powerful People in Residential Real Estate Just Released

January 13, 2015 – San Juan Capistrano, CA. The principal executives of the world’s largest real estate franchise companies, Realogy, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Keller Williams Realty, RE/MAX, and Coldwell Banker dominate the 2015 edition of the Swanepoel Power 200 (SP200), accounting for nearly 20 percent of the most powerful and most influential leaders in the residential real estate brokerage industry.

Holding the number one spot for the second consecutive year is Richard A. Smith. “Smith, the Chairman, CEO and President of Realogy, is our selection as the Most Powerful Person in residential real estate brokerage for 2014/15,” says Stefan Swanepoel, Editor-in-Chief of the SP200 list, and author of over 25 real estate books and reports. “While there are others who have higher personal profiles, within the industry there is no doubt that none have more power and influence in almost every aspect of the residential real estate brokerage industry than Smith,” he added. Realogy owns half of the top 10 brands in the industry: Coldwell Banker, Century 21, Sotheby’s International Realty, ERA, and Better Homes and Gardens. With approximately 13,600 franchised and company-owned offices, and over 240,000 brokers and agents worldwide, Realogy touches one out of every four home sales in America.

Moving up one spot to the second most powerful person in real estate, and top influencer in the Technology Executives category—which accounts for 15 percent of the list—is Spencer Rascoff, CEO of Zillow as he leads one of the biggest power moves that the real estate industry has ever seen by acquiring Trulia, its chief rival and the second largest real estate portal, for an eye-popping $3.5 billion. The joint company will top 140 million monthly unique users, nearly four and a half times its nearest competitor.

Other major power players list include Gary Keller, founder and Chairman of Keller Williams Realty International; Dave Liniger, founder and Chairman of RE/MAX; Wesley Foster, founder and Chairman of Long and Foster; Jim Weichert, founder and President of Weichert Realtors; and Dale Stinton, CEO of the National Association of REALTORS®.

Climbing in the rankings from last year, and making it into the top 10 this year, are the leaders of the two largest brokerage companies in the country, Bruce Zipf, President and CEO of NRT LLC (the largest owner and operator of residential real estate brokerages in the U.S. with over 720 offices and 45,000 agents generating over $150 billion in annual sales), and Robert Moline, President and COO of HomeServices of America, the wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, the second largest brokerage company in the U.S.

Helen Hanna-Casey, President of Hanna Holdings, joins the top 20 as the highest-ranking woman in 2014/15, taking the top women’s spot on the SP200 from Margaret Kelly, the former CEO of RE/MAX who retired in 2014. Three noteworthy newcomers to the SP200 are Ryan O’Hara, the newly appointed CEO of Move, Inc. after the company was acquired by Rupert Murdoch of News Corp.; Former PayPal, LinkedIn, Yelp, YouTube, and AirBnB entrepreneur and now founder of Opendoor, Keith Rabois; and Kevin J Kelleher, CEO and President of Cartus Corporation, a global relocation subsidiary of Realogy that serves 50 percent of the Fortune 50 with corporate group moves, international assignments, and government/military programs.

The SP200 ranks the “Power Players” in five categories, including Corporate Executives, Brokerage Executives, Technology Executives, Executives in Organized Real Estate, and Thought Leaders (Economists, Coaches, Consultants, and Media Executives). The power and influence of powerful people in Government, Banking, and Social Media, as well as Canadians and Women, all feature in separate lists.

“The SP200 serves to identify those leaders that impact and lead the residential real estate brokerage industry,” Rob Hahn, Executive Editor of the Swanepoel Power 200 said. “We acknowledge their enormous influence and contribution to our industry by detailing their role in improving the overall home buying transaction and the real estate business in particular.”


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