2017 RANKING & REVIEWS
TOP RANKING REAL ESTATE AGENTS IN THE USA
U.S. Housing Market Predictions and an Overview of Top Real Estate Agents in 2017
Before ranking the top real estate agents and creating a review list of real estate agents, having a general understanding of the market can be valuable.
Key trends likely to impact not just the top real estate agents in the USA but the entire market include:
- While many analysts thought 2016 would be a year when new home inventories finally rose, in reality, there remains a shortage of inventory, which might not necessarily be the best news for buyers, but it is good news for sellers, and also for the top real estate agents.
- Prices will likely keep rising in the real estate market, but the pace of those increases in pricing may slow somewhat. Despite the volatility and uncertainty that defined most of 2016, prices of real estate continued to rise rapidly.
According to Forbes, the biggest gains came at the later part of the year and showed a 5.61% increase in normal prices. This trend will probably remain because of high demand from homebuyers, but not as quickly.
- There is likely to be a continuation of the trends of very expensive real estate transactions, which are commonly brokered by the top real estate agents in the USA.
Prices in hot markets like New York and San Francisco will continue outpacing the rest of the country, and it will be difficult for low- and moderately-priced buyers to find available properties.
- Finally, another significant trend that is likely to affect the real estate market, as well as the best real estate agents, are interest rates.
The Federal Reserve already has announced the potential for several small rate increases throughout 2017, and this could affect the market as well.
These are just a few of the key trends that will affect not just home sellers and buyers, but the top real estate agents as well.
Award Emblem: Top 6 Best Real Estate Agents
The following is a list of the country’s best real estate agents right now, as well as real estate agent reviews that give an overview of how and why they’re faring well in the current market landscape.
This list of the best real estate agents and the top real estate agents in the USA is based on several factors including rankings from outlets like The Wall Street Journal, as well as annual transaction volume for the most recently recorded years, awards, high-profile status, and more.
AdvisoryHQ’s List of the Top 6 Best Real Estate Agents
List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the real estate agent names below to go directly to the detailed review section for that real estate agent):
Top 6 Best Real Estate Agents | Brief Comparison
Top Real Estate Agents
Serves as CEO of HomesUSA.com
Sotheby’s International Realty
New York, New York
International expertise and multi-lingual
New York, New York
Profiled on Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing New York”
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services (Lincoln Park Office)
Has a career spanning more than 25 years
Palo Alto, California
One of the top-ranked Silicon Valley real estate agents
Los Angeles, California
Has been involved in more than $2 billion in transactions
What Are Some of the Common Qualities of the Top Real Estate Agents?
Whether you’re searching for the top real estate agents and real estate agent reviews because you want to buy or sell a home and you want to know what to look for when choosing a professional, or you hope to become a successful real estate agent yourself, it’s important to know what makes a good real estate agent.
Of course, every one of the top real estate agents on this list of real estate agent reviews is going to have their own unique approach and style, but some of the key characteristics most of the best real estate agents have in common include:
- Communication skills are essential. When asked, one of the things clients find most frustrating when working with a real estate sales agent or a buyers agent is their lack of communication.
The best real estate agents know how to be clear and consistent in their communication, making for a smooth, comfortable overall experience.
- The top real estate agents tend to be very proactive. Rather than waiting to see what happens, top real estate agents are aggressive in their approach to things such as finding potential buyers or locating listings that will meet the needs of their client.
- Listening makes all the difference. One of the differentiating factors between the best real estate agents and less successful agents is often the ability to listen.
The key to understanding clients and their needs is listening rather than spending all of your time with a client talking.
Finally, the best real estate agents are those professionals who put the best interest of their clients above all else, including their own commission.
AdvisoryHQ’s Selection Methodology
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Detailed Review – Top Ranking Best Real Estate Agents
Below, please find the detailed review of each of the best real estate agents. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these top real estate agents in the USA to score so well in our selection ranking.
Ben Caballero Review
Ben Caballero is one of the top real estate agents in the USA, based in Texas. Caballero’s company is HomesUSA.com, he’s a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, and he has been ranked as the number one best real estate agent in the U.S. for the past six years in two main categories, which will be detailed below.
Caballero also served as the Chairman and President of the National Association of Real Estate Professionals in Addison, Texas for more than three years. NAREP is a non-profit trade association that works to maintain best practices for online real estate information publishers. Ben has been a realtor for his entire adult life, having become a broker at the age of 21, and he was also a former homebuilder.
Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This Real Estate Agent as One of the Top Real Estate Agents
Reasons Ben Caballero, a real estate agent based in Addison, Texas is included in this list of real estate agents are detailed below.
Ben Caballero is unique from many of the other successful real estate agents included in this ranking of the top real estate agents in the USA because the company he works for is an online-based platform called HomesUSA.com. Caballero also serves as the CEO of HomesUSA.com.
HomesUSA.com is an online platform that brings together what they call technology processes and expertise to save time and money for homebuilders. This company is designed to be more than just an MLS listing service for builders. Instead, it includes professional photography as well as lead delivery from sites like Zillow and Homes.com.
HomesUSA.com serves Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, and Abilene.
Wall Street Journal Rankings
Important in the consideration of the top real estate agents to be included on this list of real estate agents were rankings from media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal.
Ben Caballero was ranked as the number one real estate agent in the U.S. in 2016 for the following categories:
- Number of real estate transactions
- Cumulative dollar transaction volume
He has also been the number one real estate agent in the country for the past six years in these categories.
Ben Caballero also holds the distinction of being the first and only real estate agent in the U.S. to exceed $1 billion in residential sales transaction volume in a year.
Other rankings include being named by Inman News as the “Most Innovative Real Estate Agent” in 2013, and he received the 2014 Pinnacle Award for Real Estate Entrepreneurship given by Keller Williams Realty.
Along with rankings, also important when naming the top real estate agents in the USA for this list of real estate agent reviews was sales volume.
Ben reports he had more than 3,500 home sales in 2016, amounting to more than $1.4 billion in volume, which exceeded his 2015 record. Between 2010 and 2015, Caballero had more than 13,000 home sales, totaling more than $4.3 billion in volume.
Brenda Powers Review
Brenda Powers is one of the top real estate agents in New York City, as well as one of the top real estate agents in the USA. She works for Sotheby’s International Realty-Upper East Side Brokerage. She is business partners with Elizabeth Sample, and these two good real estate agents are often named on top-ranking lists. One of the biggest projects Powers is working on right now is the sale of the Residences at Mandarin Oriental, as well as many other projects throughout not only New York but the country and the world.
Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This Real Estate Agent as One of 2017’s Top Real Estate Agents
Below are some specifics of why Brenda Powers is included in this ranking of the top real estate agents in the USA.
REAL Trends and Wall Street Journal Ranking
As has been mentioned throughout this review of successful real estate agents, one of the most important factors use to compare real estate agents was whether or not they were included in rankings. Perhaps the most visible and prestigious of rankings of successful real estate agents is done by REAL Trends Inc., in conjunction with The Wall Street Journal. They publish an annual list called “The Thousand,” which names 1,000 of the top real estate agents in the USA.
The successful real estate agents included are recognized as the top ½ of 1% of more than 1.1 million licensed Realtors nationwide.
Brenda Powers was named on this list under the category of “Individual Agent—Average Sales Price.”
In addition to this year’s inclusion on The Thousand list, the following are some other rankings and recognitions that have included Powers:
- Sotheby’s International Realty-Upper East Side Brokerage’s #4 broker for 2015 and top five brokers for 2012
- Listed among the NRT’s top 1% in sales in 2015
- Identified by The Real Deal as the fifth-highest listing brokers in 2010 and 2011 and sixth-highest in 2012 and 2013
- Included on Forbes’s “Top 10 Most Expensive Properties For Sales” list in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2013
- The Samples Powers Team was included on Gotham’s “New York Billion Dollar Brokers” list in 2013
In today’s real estate market, particularly when it comes to the high-end properties in places like NYC, there is an influx of international buyers. That’s one of the reasons Powers has likely been so successful in her market. She attributes her success to her “global perspective.” She traveled the world with her father as a child, who was a diplomat for the Swiss government.
She is fluent in four languages, which she says has allowed her to bring cultural sensitivity and an understanding of different cultures to her work.
Powers has her Bachelor’s degree from the Academy of Bordeaux in France, and she also graduated with a hospitality degree from the Center International de Glion in Switzerland.
Image Source: Sotheby's International Realty
Fredrik Eklund Review
Fredrik Eklund is part of a team of realtors called The Eklund-Gomes Team. This team consists of Eklund, as well as John Gomes, Jordan Shea, Sang Kwon, Suzanne Koxvold, Raymond Dillulio, Stuart Sussman, Lisa Interdonato, Clea Kornel and Clayton Orrigo. This team works for Douglas Elliman and is based in New York. This team has been ranked as the #1 Douglas Elliman team nationwide in 2013, 2014, and 2015.
Image Source: Douglas Elliman
Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This Real Estate Agent as One of 2017’s Best Real Estate Agents
Key reasons Fredrik Eklund and his team are included on this list of the top real estate agents in the USA are cited below.
New Development Projects
One of the areas of specialization for Eklund is with new development projects. In fact, his Douglas Elliman team has more new development projects sold than any other New York-based team. High-profile new development projects sold by Eklund and his team include:
- The Onyx Chelsea
- The Emory
- William Beaver House
- 52 East 4th Street
- 53 Warren Street
- The Cammeyer at 650 Sixth Avenue
- 36 Bleecker Street
- 391 Broadway
- Bridgehampton Barn & Vine
Current new development projects being sold by this best real estate agent and his team include 1 Great Jones Alley, 1 Seaport, 11 Beach, 11 North Moore and 25 Mercer.
Eklund, a best real estate agent, along with specializing in the sale of high-end and luxury Manhattan new developments and developments in surrounding areas such as Bridgehampton, is also known as a celebrity broker. This property agent has sold penthouse apartments and mansions to leading names in Hollywood, and in January 2016 alone, Eklund secured more than $200 million in sales to New York buyers.
During his career, Eklund has secured $5 billion in residential sales transactions since he came to New York from Stockholm, Sweden in 2003.
Fredrik Eklund has been so successful that he has become part of television shows like Bravo’s Emmy-winning Million Dollar Listing New York show, which follows Eklund and several other leading successful real estate agents in the city as they live their daily lives and broker some of the world’s biggest real estate transactions and deals.
Eklund, a premier real estate sales agent, has also been featured on media outlets such as CNBC and GQ for his expertise in the luxury real estate market, and he does speaking tours around the world.
Eklund also wrote the 2015 book “The Sell: The Secrets of Selling Anything to Anyone,” which went on to become a New York Times bestseller.
Popular Article: How to Become a Real Estate Investor (Real Estate Investing 101)
Joanne Nemervoski Review
Joanne Nemerovski is a best real estate agent who works in the city of Chicago with Berkshire Hathaway’s Lincoln Park office. She has been selling residential real estate for 25 years and has a long-standing reputation for being one of the top real estate agents not only in Chicago but also one of the top real estate agents in the USA. Some of the neighborhoods this property agent specializes in include Lincoln Park, Gold Coast, Old Town, River North, and Lakeview.
Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This Real Estate Agent as One of the Best Real Estate Agents
Details of why Joanne Nemerovski is included on this list of the most successful real estate agents are below.
One of the most important things a good property agent brings to the table is a deep understanding and knowledge of the area where they’re selling homes. As you compare real estate agents, you’ll often find that the good real estate agents are not only experts in the areas where they work, but they also often live in these areas.
Joanne Nemerovski is likely one of the most successful real estate agents on this list of real estate agent reviews because she’s a native of Chicago where she works, and she also has a finely honed knowledge and expertise of the specific areas where she works within the city, including the desirable Lincoln Park and Gold Coast neighborhoods.
Joanne Nemerovski has one of the longest histories of being a top property agent on this list of real estate agent reviews. With 25 years of experience in Chicago, she has helped more than 900 families buy or sell their homes.
That amounts to more than $1 billion in real estate sold, and Nemerovski has consistently been recognized as one of the top-producing good real estate agents in Chicago throughout her career.
Within the first five years of being a real estate agent in Chicago, Nemerovski was also awarded the “Founders Award” for selling more than $100 million in real estate.
Awards and Recognitions
Like the other top real estate agents on this list of real estate agent reviews, Nemerovski has been given many awards and recognitions throughout her career.
Some of these include:
- Named one of the “Megabrokers of the Midwest” by luxury real estate publication Unique Homes
- Numerous awards from The Chicago Association of Realtors
- Consistently named one of Chicago’s elite top luxury producers
- Has consistently sold more than $50 million in real estate
- Named as one of Chicago’s top real estate brokers by the Chicago Association of Realtors in 2013
- Recognized as a Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ Top Individual Agent in the 12-state Midwest region for 2014 and 2015
- Ranked in the Top 1% by the Chicago Association of Realtors
- She scores a 5 out of 5 ranking on Zillow.com
Ken DeLeon Review
Ken DeLeon is the founder of the Palo Alto-based DeLeon Realty company. Palo Alto and all of Silicon Valley have been one of the hottest real estate markets in the world, and DeLeon has risen to become the area’s premier real estate agent. In June 2012, The Wall Street Journal called DeLeon the top real estate agent in the country out of more than 1.2 million professionals, and he was the only agent in Silicon Valley at the time to be named as the best real estate agent in the country.
Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This Real Estate Agent as One of the Top Real Estate Agents in the USA
Reasons DeLeon is included on this list of the top real estate agents and real estate agent reviews are detailed below.
The DeLeon Approach
Ken DeLeon and his Silicon Valley real estate agency are unique because they work hard to create their own approach to helping buyers and sellers. First, their team of real estate professionals is salaried, rather than being commissioned.
This ensures that clients receive unbiased, objective advice that’s going to help them find the best possible property for them.
Other unique features buyers get when they work with DeLeon include being matched with a buyer consultant who’s a specialist in their city, assistance from in-house design and construction teams, and access to enhanced market insight and connections.
Ken DeLeon is frequently recognized as one of the top real estate agents not only in Silicon Valley but also one of the top real estate agents in the USA. He is the leader in the sale of homes in Silicon Valley under $8 million, and a general top seller.
Because of this, DeLeon gains access to some of the best off-market properties and opportunities, which is one of the many reasons he’s considered a best real estate agent by many of his clients.
DeLeon has a large pool of buyers, and he is also known for having extensive information related to the real estate industry in the area, including a library of marketing, negotiation, legal and tax books and references. He uniquely brings an academic approach to the buying and selling of real estate.
As mentioned, Silicon Valley is one of the top real estate markets in the world right now, and with the influx of tech giants into the area and new startups constantly popping up, it’s likely to stay the center of the real estate world for years to come. Working in Palo Alto and Silicon Valley real estate is a unique situation, and it requires the expertise of a best real estate agent that understands the complexities of this highly distinctive and expensive market.
That’s one of the big reasons Ken DeLeon is part of this ranking of the successful real estate agents on this list of real estate agent reviews. It was critical to include at least one agent who’s an expert in Silicon Valley.
Some of the specific communities covered by DeLeon and his agency include:
- Los Altos and Los Altos Hills
- Menlo Park
- Redwood City
Mauricio Umansky Review
Mauricio Umansky is one of the most well-known names in global real estate because he’s not only one of the world’s top-selling names even on this list of real estate agents, but this real estate sales agent is also a reality television star on Bravo’s Real Housewives franchise. Umansky, as a leading property agent on this list of real estate agents, started The Agency, which is his own firm, in 2011. Since starting The Agency, Umansky has grown to be incredibly successful and is often named a best real estate agent.
Image Source: The Agency
Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This Real Estate Agent as One of the Best Real Estate Agents
Key reasons Mauricio Umansky is named not just as one of the world’s good real estate agents, but as one of the best real estate agents on this list of real estate agent reviews, are detailed below.
Umansky and his firm lead the way in terms of being top marketers of luxury properties, but you’ll see as you compare real estate agents that they are also top-sellers. The Agency itself has grown from four founding partners to include more than 150 active agents, and they have closed more than $8.5 billion in real estate transactions, which is a staggering amount for their relatively short history.
The Agency is number one in the city of Los Angeles in per agent production, and it controls about 17% of market share in the city.
Umansky and The Agency are also often in the global news for high-profile sales, such as the recent Playboy Mansion sale, which was the highest sale ever recorded in L.A. County.
In addition to forming one of the world’s leading real estate agencies, Umansky himself is also a top producer among successful real estate agents, which is an important consideration as you compare real estate agents.
Umansky has been recognized as a top 10 producer on the REAL Trends’ annual list for seven consecutive years, and he was recently named as the number one top-producing property agent in California and number five in the U.S.
Throughout his career, Umansky has been involved in more than $2 billion in transactions.
Unique Brokerage Model
Along with record-breaking sales numbers, also important when you compare real estate agents and rank the top real estate agents in the USA is their approach to clients and the industry.
Umansky and The Agency strive to break the mold of the traditional brokerage. This team of top real estate agents tries to avoid the cutthroat mentality prevalent in real estate and instead focuses on a culture of collaboration.
There is a quest to build a network of talent and resources that serves the needs of clients in a way that other real estate agents aren’t able to do.
Conclusion—Top 6 Best Real Estate Agents
The above ranking of top real estate agents and real estate agent reviews are focused primarily on luxury market realtors because these are the successful real estate agents that tend to have the highest transaction volume, which is a key criteria for ranking the best real estate agents.
While you may want to compare real estate agents who are in your local area and don’t just serve metros such as Los Angeles, New York, and Silicon Valley, the above ranking of the best real estate agents and real estate agent reviews can give you a good idea of the factors to think about.
For example, as you compare real estate agents, consider their transaction volume relative to your local area, their neighborhood expertise, the years of experience, and any local or national awards or recognitions they may have received. These can all be reliable indicators of good real estate agents, as can working for a reputable agency or firm and having excellent references from past clients.
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