Silicon Valley broker Ken DeLeon is killing it with an agent employee model

Ex-tech lawyer gobbling up market share with agents on payroll, including health and retirement benefits
  • DeLeon hires agents (not independent contractors) from good schools, including law programs and MBAs.
  • He offers agents full benefits including health insurance, retirement savings and vacation pay. Agents are given bonuses based on customer satisfaction.
  • Riding a crazy market, he provides full service to agents: marketing, design and advertising.
Ken DeLeon

Ken DeLeon

Ken DeLeon is the founder of Silicon Valley firm DeLeon Realty. With a degree in mathematics and economics, he graduated from the University of California-Berkeley Law School. He practiced law at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, one of the nation’s most prestigious law firms in the Silicon Valley.

In 2012, REAL Trends announced that DeLeon was the nation’s no. 1 real estate agent out of more than 1.2 million agents. He and his team sold over $330 million in 2013 and over $550 million in 2014.

His agents are employees. Many have graduate degrees (law degrees, MBAs or other master’s degrees) and attended some of the nation’s best schools (University of California-Berkeley, University of California-Hastings, New York University, University of California-Los Angeles, University of California-Davis).

His only sister died in his arms when they were both teenagers; a drugged-up driver going 45 miles per hour plowed into him, leaving him nearly dead on the side of the road; he was diagnosed with and overcame cancer. These challenges taught him to live each day to its max.

He talks with publisher Brad Inman. Listen to their conversation: