A pair of Georgia agents have nabbed the top spots in new rankings of high-performing industry pros released Monday by the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals (NAGLREP), showing that the Peach State continues to be a powerhouse in the home-selling business.
The Top LGBT+ Agent List was announced Monday and showed that Warner Robins-based Better Homes and Garden agent Blair Myers did 308.6 individual sides in 2018, cinching him first place in the sides rankings. Shirley Gary, of Engel & Völkers in Atlanta, landed in second place with 266.2 sides.
Zar Zangeneh of Las Vegas, Cathy Hoppough of Ionia, Michigan, and Alison Elder of Truckee, California, all round out the top five.
However, by individual sales volume, Gary actually took the number one spot, with $125.1 million in 2018. Elder — who is also with Engel & Völkers — came in second place by volume, followed by Mark Lowham in Washington, D.C., Wendy Storch in San Francisco and Daniel Casabonne in Sonoma, California.
The EZ Referral Network was the top team by both sides and volume. Michael Zinicola leads the Westlake, Ohio, team, which did 1,081 sides and $208.9 million in volume. The Stephen Cooly Real Estate Group scored the second place spot by both transaction volume and sides.
In total, the rankings — which are now in their second year — included a total of 119 agents and teams.
Jeff Berger, NAGLREP’s founder, told Inman that his organization uses real estate ranking firm Real Trends to come up with its lists; agents who appear on the firm’s America’s Best list are also eligible for NAGLREP’s rankings.
In a statement, Real Trends president Steve Murray praised the agents on NAGLREP’s list, saying that they are part of an “esteemed group” that is “in the top 1.5 percent of all 1.4 million Realtors in the United States.”
Berger founded NAGLREP 12 years ago, and today the organization touts more than 2,500 members across 37 chapters. It describes itself as one of the country’s largest LGBT+ trade organizations.” Membership is open to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender agents, as well as straight allies, and any member regardless of orientation was eligible to appear in the newly announced rankings.
Asked about the significance of the rankings in the industry, Berger pointed to the fact that the NAGLREP members on this year’s lists did a total of $3.7 billion in volume and nearly 8,000 sides.
“That’s a lot,” he continued. “It shows how significant the LGBT community is in the brokerage and real estate sales community.”
Berger also argued that LGBT agents may in some cases have come to real estate after facing adversity. The industry consequently offers them a place where they can “excel in their own world on their own terms,” meaning there are a lot of highly driven LGBT agents.
“I think the LGBT community at large has very often had to rise above some complicated times in life,” Berger told Inman. “And I think it’s made them strong. I think it’s made them persevere and I think it’s made them want to be winners. It’s made them very competitive.”
The fact that both the top agents by transaction sides hail from Georgia is also significant. Though Berger acknowledged that there may have been some coincidence involved in those results, he also observed that Atlanta is “one of the top growing, price-increasing markets in the country.”
“With Atlanta being one of the top growing markets, it’s no surprise,” he added, referring to agents’ success in area.
Atlanta in particular has also become an epicenter for iBuyers in recent years, helping make the region one of the front lines in the ongoing battle to disrupt and dominate a rapidly changing real estate industry.
But regardless of what is happening in Georgia, Berger, in a statement, praised the agents and teams that made NAGLREP’s new rankings as leaders in the industry.
“Shirley and Blair, along with Michael and his team,” Berger said, “produced at such high levels and are setting an incredible standard.”
NAGLREP’s top 10 agents by individual sides:
1. Blair Myers, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Success
Warner Robins, Georgia
2. Shirley Gary, Engel & Vӧlkers Buckhead Atlanta
3. Zar Zanganeh, Luxe Estates & Lifestyles
Las Vegas, Nevada
4. Cathy Hoppough, Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel
5. Alison Elder, Engel & Vӧlkers Truckee Donner
6. Roman Novian, Coldwell Banker Apex Realtors
7. David Dorman, CENTURY 21 Professional Group, Inc.
8. Paul Bryant, Prime Real Estate Group
Hoboken, New Jersey
9. Melinda Elmer, CENTURY 21 Masters
Long Beach, California
10. Daniel Casabonne, Sotheby’s International Realty
NAGLREP’s top 10 agents by volume:
1. Shirley Gary, Engel & Vӧlkers Buckhead Atlanta
2. Alison Elder, Engel & Vӧlkers Truckee Donner
3. Mark Lowham, TTR Sotheby’s International Realty
4. Wendy Storch, Sotheby’s International Realty
San Francisco, California
5. Daniel Casabonne, Sotheby’s International Realty
6. Zar Zanganeh, Luxe Estates & Lifestyles
Las Vegas, Nevada
7. Scott Stewart, The Corcoran Group
New York, New York
8. Chris Benfante, Compass
Brooklyn, New York
9. Stan Ponte, Sotheby’s International Realty
New York, New York
10. Herman Chan, Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty