Ben Caballero, the super agent and CEO of HomesUSA.com, has smashed his own sales record, recording 5,793 homes sold in 2018, an increase of 1,000 from the year before.

Ben Caballero’s reign at the top continues. The Addison, Texas-based super agent and founder/CEO of HomesUSA.com is once again atop the rankings of the Real Trends Thousand, the real estate consulting and analytics firm’s annual ranking of the most productive agents in the country.

Caballero leads the rankings for the 14th straight year, crushing his previous Guinness World Record-setting year, selling 5,793 homes – 1,093 more homes than last year and 4,224 more homes than second place on the list. Caballero averages nearly 16 home sales per day.

Caballero only works directly with builders that construct several hundred homes a year to sell newly constructed homes, which gives him a leg up on traditional real estate agents.

He’s the only licensed agent at his company HomesUSA.com, where he provides multiple listing service listings for the new homes and marketing, then charges a flat closing fee for every new home the builders sell, according to Steve Murray, the president of Real Trends.

“He does a great job for those builders,” Murray said. “I talked to a couple in years past and they said ‘it’s the easiest thing for us to do. We don’t have to worry about anything.'”

Caballero was also the top-ranked agent in sale volume, closing a mammoth $2.2 billion in sales last year.

Caballero’s sales volume alone would have placed him 100th on the separate annual Real Trends 500 list of top real estate brokerages.

The next four agents on Real Trends Thousand transaction sides list, to round out the top five, all work with flat-fee MLS listing services, which ask sellers to do some of the tasks traditional agents usually do alone.

Despite agents from flat-fee, limited service brokerages commanding a high presence on the list, Murray said he doesn’t believe, anecdotally, that there’s a trend of more sellers opting for that kind of service, over a traditional listing agent.

“Overall, we don’t think so, we don’t have any evidence, but what we’re seeing is certain agents and teams are getting good at it,” Murray said. “For those things, you have to get pretty good scale to make any money.”

“We’re starting to see more and more of them pop up on our rankings because they’re doing a ton of volume,” Murray added.

Murray has admitted that readers have given him a hard time for years over Caballero’s high placement on the list, as a limited service agent. But he said it’s difficult to differentiate by the services someone provides.

He did admit, however, that Real Trends is considering changing the format up slightly for next year’s list, due to the ever-evolving roles of agents, brokerages and teams. One consideration is to make a category for teams or individuals that own their own brokerage company, but nothing is set in stone yet, Murray said.

“The challenge we face every year is every time we define an individual and a team, both individuals and teams go out and they build different kinds of business models for themselves that never seem to fit into our definitions,” Murray said. “We keep refining them each year and people design new models.”

See the top five in each category below:

Individual agent: transaction sides

  • Ben Caballero; HomesUSA.com, Inc.; Addison, Texas
  • Ryan Gehris; USREALTY.com; Womelsdorf, Pennslyvania
  • Ralph Harvey III; ListWithFreedom.com; Boynton Beach, Florida
  • Qizhan Yao; Realmart Realty; Millburn, New Jersey
  • Jason Saphire; EntryOnly.com; Boston, Massachusetts

Individual agent: sales volume

  • Ben Caballero; HomesUSA.com, Inc.; Addison, Texas
  • Christian Angle; Christian Angle Real Estate; Palm Beach, Florida
  • Chris Cortazzo; Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Southern California; Malibu, California
  • Tracy Campion; Campion and Company Fine Homes Real Estate; Boston, Massachusetts
  • Ralph Harvey III; ListWithFreedom.com; Boynton Beach, Florida

Agent team: transaction sides

  • Mark Spain Real Estate; Mark Spain Real Estate; Alpharetta, Georgia
  • Robert Slack; Robert Slack, LLC; Ocala, Florida
  • Ben Kinney Team; Keller Williams Realty; Bellingham, Washington
  • Hergenrother Realty Group; Keller Williams Realty; Burlington, Vermont
  • The Loken Group; Keller Williams Realty; Houston, Texas

Agent team: sales volume

  • The DeLeon Team; DeLeon Realty, Inc.; Palo Alto, California
  • Lucido Agency; Keller Williams Realty; Ellicott City, Maryland
  • The Serhant Team; Nest Seekers International; New York, New York
  • Ben Kinney Team; Keller Williams Realty; Bellingham, Washington
  • Mark Spain Real Estate; Mark Spain Real Estate; Alpharetta, Georgia

Keller Williams was once again the most well-represented brand on the list, with 153 total agents and teams.

Although, if you combine brands, Realogy was the most represented company on the list, with its Coldwell Banker Real Estate, Century 21 Real Estate, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, Sotheby’s International Realty, ERA, Corcoran and NRT having 207 agents and teams on the list.

RE/MAX had more agents place in the top 1,000 in individual sides than any other brand, with 61.

“RE/MAX is built on a foundation of productive agents and the tremendous value they provide to buyers and sellers every day,” RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos said in a statement. “Leading all brands in the transaction-side rankings says a lot about the quality of RE/MAX agents – and their drive to be the best at what they do. It reflects the culture of agent productivity RE/MAX is built on.”

After the Real Trends 500 was released earlier this year, it was immediately taken down by what Murray said was a distributed denial of service attack.

Murray said that he worked with experts to trace that attack source to computers offshore, but that it would be too costly to try and uncover the originator of the attack or whoever hired them. He also said Real Trends is more prepared for that type of cyberattack if it were to occur again.

“I’d be a fool to not have considered it,” Murray said. “We started planning after that happened and spent a fair amount of money to build as best we can, a system [where that kind of attack] won’t trouble it.”

“If somebody does it to us again, I’m going to hunt them down no matter what it costs this time,” Murray added.

Email Patrick Kearns

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