With a focus on bank-owned properties, Kansas City, Mo.-based Century 21 broker-owner Mike Phillips was the nation’s busiest real estate agent in 2008, completing 1,148 transaction sides, according to a survey of more than 7,000 real estate brokerages by Real Trends.

With a focus on bank-owned properties, Kansas City, Mo.-based Century 21 broker-owner Mike Phillips was the nation’s busiest real estate agent in 2008, completing 1,148 transaction sides, according to a survey of more than 7,000 real estate brokerages by Real Trends.

Phillips employs "a cadre of administrative assistants" who perform chores like writing property descriptions and taking pictures for as many as 40 new listings a day from banks, Real Trends said in releasing the results of the survey in an advertising section on the Wall Street Journal’s Web site.

In terms of dollar volume, a Sotheby’s International broker specializing in Manhattan townhouses, condos and co-ops, Serena Boardman, took the top spot on a list of 100 agents by dollar volume, with $255.2 million in sales.

Staging three-hour foreclosure bus tours on Sundays, Tuesdays and Saturdays helped John and Ruth Ahlbrand, co-owners of RE/MAX Central in Las Vegas, Nev., complete the most transaction sides of any team — 1,008. The tours continue, and the Ahlbrands told Real Trends that transaction sides were up 60 percent in the first quarter of 2009 from a year ago.

Carrie Chiang and a team of six agents at The Corcoran Group in New York City led all teams in total dollar volume, selling $505.9 million in property in 2008. Chiang said related deals primarily involving apartments and houses on Manhattan’s Upper East Side totaled $100 million.

Real Trends has also released lists of the 500 largest brokerages by transaction sides and by closed sales volume.

The top 10 brokerages by transaction sides were NRT LLC, Parsippany, N.J.; HomeServices of America Inc., Minneapolis, Minn.; The Long & Foster Companies Inc., Chantilly, Va.; Hanna Holdings Inc., Pittsburgh, Pa.; Coldwell Banker United Realtors, Bryan, Texas; Crye-Leike Realtors, Memphis, Tenn.; Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors, Devon, Pa.; RealtyUSA, Orchard Park, N.Y.; ZipRealty Inc., Emeryville, Calif.; and Ebby Halliday Realtors, Dallas, Texas (see related article).

The top 10 brokerages by dollar volume were NRT LLC, Parsippany, N.J.; HomeServices of America Inc., Minneapolis, Minn.; The Long & Foster Companies Inc., Chantilly, Va.; Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate, South Huntington, N.Y.; GMAC Real Estate (company-owned operations) Oak Brook, Ill.; Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors, Devon, Pa.; Hanna Holdings Inc., Pittsburgh, Pa.; Alain Pinel Realtors Inc., Saratoga, Calif.; Coldwell Banker United Realtors, Bryan, Texas; and ZipRealty Inc., Emeryville, Calif.

While none of its franchisees made the top 10 on either list, RE/MAX International Inc. issued a press release boasting that its agents conducted an average of 13.2 transactions each in 2008, which the company said was 36 percent higher than the next closest competitor.

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