• HomeServices of America, Zillow, Keller Williams and NAR were all represented in the top five "power players" ranked in the latest Swanepoel Power 200.
  • Women and minorities rarely occupy top leadership positions in real estate, the rankings found.

Almost 300 of real estate’s biggest movers and shakers have been recognized in the latest rankings of real estate bigwigs released by real estate research firm The Swanepoel T3 Group.

The Swanepoel Power 200 annually ranks the 200 most powerful people in real estate, and also publishes eight other lists of industry influencers that cover corporate executives, power brokers, technology executives, women leaders, association/MLS executives, “outsider powers,” trendsetters, social influencers. 

Between the “overall” Swanepoel Power 200 and the eight other lists, a total of 270 people were honored in the latest Swanepoel Power 200 rankings.

Top dog(s)

Richard A. Smith, the CEO and chairman of Realogy, won the top spot of the overall Swanepoel Power 200 list.

Leaders from Zillow, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Keller Williams Realty, Re/Max, realtor.com operator Move Inc., Coldwell Banker and NAR (National Association of Realtors) followed closely after Smith.

Smith ranked as the no. 1 power player for the third year in a row, overseeing a real estate giant that owns franchisors including Coldwell Banker, Century 21, Sotheby’s International Realty, ERA Franchise Systems, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, and ZipRealty

Realogy’s family of companies — which cover 13,600 franchised and company-owned offices with over 250,000 agents and brokers worldwide — “touches one out of every four home sales in America,” according toThe Swanepoel T3 Group.

Stefan J. M. Swanepoel

Stefan J. M. Swanepoel

Coming in at no. 2 was Ron Peltier, chairman and CEO of HomeServices of America, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway. The Swanepoel T3 Group reported that HomeServices of America has 70,000 agents and generates 550,000 transactions annually.

Zillow Group CEO Spencer Rascoff, Keller Williams Realty chairman and co-founder Gary Keller and NAR CEO Dale Stinton placed third, fourth and fifth on the Swanepoel Power 200, respectively.

Moves and shifts

The Swanepoel T3 Group noted that Stinton had moved from the no. 5 position to no. 6, and said he is “credited for his guidance that enabled NAR to make a number of key strategic moves in 2015 that are expected to impact all 1.17 million Realtors” — likely a reference to Upstream.

Two other notables named by The Swanepoel T3 Group to land in its top 20 were Keller Williams Realty CEO Chris Heller and Keller Williams Realty President John Davis, who The Swanepoel T3 Group said took office a year ago and oversee 131,000 agents worldwide.

The research firm also mentioned Geoff Lewis as a member of the top 20 club, the newly appointed president of Re/Max. Re/Max is the world’s largest real estate group based on transaction count, according to The Swanepoel T3 Group.

The Swanepoel T3 Group CEO Stefan Swanepoel noted that women and minorities rarely helm leading real estate firms.

“In the highest places of leadership diversity is lacking (only 5.5 percent) as are the number of females (only 20 percent),” Swanepoel said in a statement. “Even Generation X has not yet really stepped up to the plate.”

Helen Hanna Casey, “managing the $12 billion, third-generation conglomerate Hanna Holdings alongside her brother,” was ranked the “Most Powerful Woman in Real Estate” in the Swanepoel Power 200.

Inman also releases an annual list of real estate heavy hitters: the Inman 101.

Email Teke Wiggin.