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This article was published on: 07/01/2002

COVER FEATURE: TOP 100 COMPANIES
Big brokers ride sales wave

BY SARA PULLAN GEIMER

To view the main index page for this feature and its online exclusives, click here.

Does it get any better than this? Even as the country was riding out a recession, sales of existing single-family homes set a new record of 5.25 million in 2001, up 2.7 percent from 2000, and edging past the previous record of 5.21 million set in 1999.

The country’s biggest residential brokerages are benefiting from the continued health and stability of the real estate market, REALTOR® Magazine’s third annual “Top 100 Companies” survey shows.

More than 70 percent of the Top 100 reported increases in their transaction sides from 2000 to 2001. Nearly 90 percent reported an increase in sales volume—a testament to enduring high appreciation rates in many parts of the country. Fully two-thirds of the 28 companies that closed fewer sides in 2001 increased their volume anyway.

Scan the list and you’ll see that more than half of the companies are operating as major franchise brands, up slightly from last year. Prudential claims the most Top 100 companies with 16; Coldwell Banker follows closely with 13. RE/MAX has nine; Century 21 has five; and Keller Williams, Realty Executives, and GMAC each have three. Many of the largest franchise offices around the country are part of the family of No. 1 NRT Inc., of Parsippany, N.J., and most of NRT’s offices operate under the Coldwell Banker brand.

This year’s list proves that the big get bigger. The two top companies, NRT and HomeServices of America Inc. (formerly HomeServices.com), of Edina, Minn., grew 13 percent and 22 percent respectively, based on their transaction sides closed. Not surprisingly, much of the growth among this year’s Top 100 resulted from acquisitions. Behemoth NRT Inc. added 87 offices, buying high-profile companies such as Gundaker, REALTOR®, in St. Louis, which was No. 14 last year.

Of course, the list represents a snapshot in time. Since the information was reported, consolidation has continued apace. Post-2001 mergers—most notably NRT’s purchase of No. 5 Arvida and HomeServices’ buyout of No. 6 Prudential California Realty—are noted in small type within the list.

HomeServices President and CEO Ronald J. Peltier and Prudential California Realty CEO Stephen Games (page 34) talk about what it’s like to complete one of the largest mergers in industry history—and where HomeServices goes from here. In addition, we’ll take you inside the fastest-growing company on the list, Coldwell Banker Legacy of Albuquerque, N.M. (page 38), and the most productive per sales associate, The Group Inc. Real Estate in Ft. Collins, Colo. (page 40).

Read on to see what these top brokers are doing to stay profitable and keep the real estate industry soaring over the bumpy economy.

—Sara Pullan Geimer

Methodology: In January, REALTOR® Magazine mailed questionnaires to approximately 300 real estate companies whose past records had established them as high-production companies. We followed up with phone calls and faxes to achieve a response rate of more than 70 percent. To help confirm the accuracy of the information the companies supplied, we required third parties, such as auditors, to verify key data. Those companies that didn’t respond or comply with our requirements weren’t considered for this report.

realtormag online
To see a ranking of all survey respondents, visit the Current Links at our Web site, REALTOR.org/realtormag.

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TOP 100 COMPANIES: ranked by transaction sides
Rank
Company Location
Top officer(s)
Founded
No. of salespeople
Transaction sides closed

Sales volume
(in millions)

Per salesperson (2001)
2001
% change from 2000
2001
% change from 2000
Transaction
sides closed

Sales Volume
(in millions)

1
NRT Inc., Parsippany, N.J. Robert M. Becker
1997
41,500
$397,049
12.94
$117,119.00
10.81
9.57
$2.82
2
HomeServices of America Inc., Edina, Minn.
Formerly HomeServices.com
Ronald J. Peltier
1998
8,724
106,740
22.14
18,379.79
28.85
12.24
2.11
3
Weichert, REALTORS®, Morris Plains, N.J. James M. Weichert
1969
8,000
85,500
6.18
19,500.00
5.98
10.69
2.44
4
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc., Fairfax, Va. P. Wesley Foster Jr.
1968
7,997
83,747
13.20
18,496.52
30.07
10.47
2.31
5
Arvida Realty Services, Clearwater, Fla.
Purchased by NRT, April 2002
Richard W. Cope
1990
3,766
40,377
4.05
8,595.00
4.47
10.72
2.28
6
Prudential California Realty/Americana Realty,
San Diego
Purchased by HomeServices,
March 2002
Stephen C. Games
1985
 3,500
37,413
-2.83
13,385.32
4.31
10.69
3.82
7
Realty Executives, Phoenix Richard A. Rector
1965
 1,200
30,000
5.26
4,600.00
6.98
25.00
3.83
8
GMAC HomeServices Inc., Warren, N.J.
dba GMAC RealEstate
John Bearden
1998
 2,971
29,148
-8.11
11,246.00
-9.61
9.81
3.79
9
Prudential Fox & Roach, REALTORS®, Devon, Penn. Lawrence F. Flick IV
1886
 2,583
 27,863
-2.64
6,492.15
4.31
10.79
2.51
10
The DeWolfe Companies Inc., Lexington, Mass. Richard B. DeWolfe
1949
 2,524
25,898
-0.09
6,629.77
8.88
10.26
2.63
11
John L. Scott Real Estate, Bellevue, Wash. J. Lennox Scott
1931
 1,421
22,832
0.88
$5,052.71
1.97
16.07
$3.56
12
Crye-Leike Inc., Memphis, Tenn. Harold Crye
1977
 2,124
20,631
1.10
2,950.00
0.79
9.71
1.39
13
Realty One, Cleveland
Formed Real Living Inc. in merger with HER,
REALTORS®, and Huff Realty, February 2002
Barbara A. Reynolds
1953
 1,484
 8,933
-0.01
3,017.75
1.78
12.76
2.03
14
Greater Atlanta Brokerage Solutions LLC,
dba RE/MAX Greater Atlanta
Lee A. Finch
1979
 1,000
 8,897
4.95
4,199.43
12.59
18.90
4.20
15
West USA Realty Inc., Phoenix Clay Fouts
1986
 1,321
 7,909
10.25
2,500.00
12.87
13.56
1.89
16
Coldwell Banker
Richard Smith Co.,
Bryan, Texas
Richard Smith
1970
 1,259
 7,707
37.48
2,924.89
51.67
14.06
2.32
17
Ebby Halliday, REALTORS®, Dallas Mary Frances Burleson
1945
 1,228
 7,251
-3.30
3,557.18
-4.57
14.05
2.90
18
Coldwell Banker Success Realty, Scottsdale, Ariz. Robert McCord
1992
 2,000
 15,781
19.55
3,200.00
18.52
7.89
1.60
19
Real Estate One Inc., Farmington Hills, Mich. Richard S. Elsea
1929
 1,525
 15,049
1.58
2,842.22
5.12
9.87
1.86
20
Baird & Warner, Chicago Stephen W. Baird
1855
 1,200
 14,931
-8.38
4,100.00
0.00
12.44
3.42
21
Coldwell Banker Bain Associates/Barbara
Sue Seal Properties, Bellevue, Wash.
William Riss
1973
 1,200
 14,796
10.44
4,102.50
1.55
12.33
3.42
22
Allen Tate Co., Charlotte, N.C. Allen Tate, Pat Riley
1957
 795
 14,420
1.39
3,167.44
6.62
18.14
3.98
23
Realty USA, Orchard Park, N.Y. Merle L. Whitehead
1962
 1,095
 14,381
16.00
1,566.56
19.49
13.13
1.43
24
Watson Realty Corp., Jacksonville, Fla. William A. Watson Jr.
1965
1,111
14,107
-8.77
1,959.51
7.40
12.70
1.76
25
Smythe, Cramer Co., Cleveland Lucius B. McKelvey
1903
976
13,334
0.15
2,438.24
1.28
13.66
2.50
26
RE/MAX Equity Group Inc., Portland, Ore. James C. Homolka
1984
785
13,233
24.56
2,721.04
20.79
16.86
3.47
27
Howard Hanna Co., Pittsburgh Howard W. Hanna III
1957
1,242
13,144
4.97
1,974.86
5.99
10.58
1.59
28
RE/MAX Alliance, Arvada, Colo. Chuck Ochsner
1978
625
12,998
-1.53
2,998.09
-0.06
20.80
4.80
29
JRHBW Inc., Birmingham, Ala.
dba RealtySouth
Robert E. Reed
1955
1,090
12,930
17.24
2,004.38
13.04
11.86
1.84
30
The Keyes Co., REALTORS®, Miami Michael L. Pappas
1926
1,150
11,272
1.31
1,526.80
8.67
9.80
1.33
31
Prudential Carolinas Realty, Winston-Salem, N.C. Robert E. Helms
1980
706
11,105
-2.43
2,144.68
1.27
15.73
3.04
32
Coldwell Banker HomeSale Services Group,
Lancaster, Penn.
Chris Poole/Doug Rebert
/Pete Slaugh
1964
605
11,041
10.17
1,408.57
14.10
18.25
2.33
33
HER, REALTORS®, Columbus, Ohio
Formed Real Living Inc. in merger with
Realty One and Huff Realty, February 2002
Harley E. Rouda Jr.
1956
473
11,035
8.05
1,881.85
15.93
23.33
3.98
34
Mason-McDuffie Real Estate Inc., Pleasanton, Calif.
dba Prudential California, Nevada, Texas
A. David Cobo
1887
1,885
10,640
-12.33
3,719.04
-7.94
5.64
1.97
35
Prudential Connecticut Realty, Rocky Hill, Conn. Peter G. Helie
1989
1,032
10,621
1.67
3,045.00
3.66
10.29
2.95
36
Shorewest Inc., REALTORS®, Brookfield, Wis. John E. Horning
1946
589
10,317
6.47
1,644.51
10.09
17.52
2.79
37
Coldwell Banker Stevens, REALTORS®,
Vienna, Va. Purchased by NRT, March 2002
Thomas M. Stevens
1993
1,533
10,262
9.59
2,510.65
24.93
6.69
1.64
38
Sibcy Cline Inc., Cincinnati Robert N. Sibcy
1956
1,001
10,257
8.37
1,771.08
9.27
10.25
1.77
39
Latter & Blum Inc., REALTOR®, New Orleans Robert W. Merrick
1916
922
9,573
-1.50
1,369.88
3.58
10.38
1.49
40
First Team Real Estate, Costa Mesa, Calif. Cameron Merage
1975
1,219
9,545
3.85
3,300.60
10.02
7.83
2.71
41
Metro Brokers/GMAC Real Estate, Atlanta Kevin Levent
1979
1,100
9,445
10.79
$1,527.21
17.24
8.59
$1.39
42
G.B.S. Properties, Metairie, La.
dba Prudential Gardner, REALTORS®
Glenn Gardner/ Barbara Blades
/Norris J. Songe Jr.
1943
1,260
8,962
-3.27
1,236.00
-2.43
7.11
0.98
43
Harry Norman, REALTORS®, Atlanta J. Lewis Glenn
1930
920
8,947
2.93
2,860.34
3.77
9.73
3.11
44
William E. Wood & Assoc., Virginia Beach, Va. Richard B. Thurmond
1972
485
8,897
16.41
1,405.42
29.89
18.34
2.90
45
Century 21 Town & Country, Sterling Heights, Mich. John R. Kersten
1980
700
8,807
-4.42
1,695.84
3.03
12.58
2.42
46
F.C. Tucker Co. Inc., Indianapolis H. James Litten
1918
512
8,758
6.49
1,592.82
7.14
17.11
3.11
47
Coldwell Banker Legacy, Albuquerque, N.M. Joe E. Gilmore/Peter Parnegg/
Michael Carter
1955
444
8,670
43.00
1,311.77
36.35
19.53
2.95
48
William Raveis Real Estate Inc., Shelton, Conn. William M. Raveis Jr.
1974
1,111
8,500
-6.59
2,800.00
7.69
7.65
2.52
49
RE/MAX Results, Eden Prairie, Minn. Bill Saunders,  John Collopy
1986
281
8,452
6.50
1,792.46
19.19
30.08
6.38
50
Fonville Morisey Realty Inc., Raleigh, N.C. John C. Morisey Jr.
1973
520
8,330
9.23
1,754.64
11.95
16.02
3.37
51
John Hall & Associates Inc., Phoenix James J. Sexton
1974
728
8,237
6.39
1,395.00
9.24
11.31
1.92
52
Nothnagle, REALTORS®, Rochester, N.Y. Philip R. Nothnagle
1948
440
8,019
-2.33
826.38
5.07
18.23
1.88
53
Prudential Gary Greene, RealtorS®, Houston Marilyn Eiland
2000
707
7,910
-0.40
1,329.56
1.90
11.19
1.88
54
Prudential Atlanta/Georgia Realty, Roswell, Ga. Daniel T. Forsman
1964
857
7,859
1.12
1,603.69
4.21
9.17
1.87
55
Prudential Carolina Real Estate, Charleston, S.C. Michael O’Shaughnessy
1965
554
7,781
-3.22
1,273.24
1.35
14.05
2.30
56
William L. Lyon & Associates Inc., Sacramento, Calif. Michael P. Lyon
1946
528
7,716
-9.00
1,900.06
3.03
14.61
3.60
57
Prudential Northwest Properties, Beaverton, Ore. Bert Waugh Jr.
1955
530
7,500
4.18
1,388.60
8.00
14.15
2.62
58
Keller Williams Realty North Texas/New Mexico, Dallas David Osborn
1992
651
7,360
25.30
1,400.60
24.30
11.31
2.15
59
Coldwell Banker Howard Perry &
Walston Realty Inc., Raleigh, N.C.
Donald Walston
1973
491
7,311
-10.36
1,494.59
-0.68
14.89
3.04
60
Carpenter GMAC Real Estate, Indianapolis Thomas G. Prall
1970
628
7,092
12.64
830.00
13.91
11.29
1.32
61
Alain Pinel Inc., REALTORS®, Saratoga, Calif. Paul L. Hulme
1990
853
6,924
-10.43
5,300.00
-29.33
8.12
6.21
62
Hunt Real Estate Corp., Williamsville, N.Y. Peter F. Hunt
1911
500
6,828
8.02
751.23
19.86
13.66
1.50
63
Prudential Florida WCI Realty, Plantation, Fla. Roger A. Herman
1999
1,067
6,552
30.15
1,570.00
48.53
6.14
1.47
64
Counselor Realty Inc., Spring Lake Park, Minn. Ken Kunzman
1964
412
6,473
35.99
1,208.27
41.48
15.7
2.93
65
Keller Williams Inc., Austin, Texasdba Keller Williams Realty Mo Anderson
1983
11,600
6,396
5.37
1,116.29
10.47
10.42
1.82
66
Century 21 Award (Award Inc.), San Diego Rick Jorgensen
1969
712
6,372
-17.15
1,572.89
-3.72
8.95
2.21
67
Coldwell Banker Devonshire Realty, Champaign, Ill. Tom Harrington
1977
370
 6,363
33.51
681.40
15.49
17.20
1.84
68
Rose and Womble Realty Co. LLC, Virginia Beach, Va. Jimmy V. Rose Sr.
1963
400
 6,345
14.74
1,030.61
35.57
15.86
2.58
69
Century 21 Alliance, Havertown, Penn. Paul J. Gallagher
1998
610
 6,340
8.25
944.68
19.00
10.39
1.55
70
Century 21 Realty Group Cos., Indianapolis Kevin K. Kirkpatrick
1980
411
 6,339
2.94
918.14
8.02
15.42
2.23
71
Coldwell Banker Flouhouse/
Tom Jenkins Realty, Charlotte, N.C.
C. Keith Flouhouse
1984
624
6,247
1.20
$1,048.97
3.45
10.01
$1.68
72
Keller Williams Realty, Englewood, Colo. Richard M. McCarthy
1993
879
6,232
11.41
1,223.16
14.11
7.09
1.39
73
The Group Inc., Real Estate, Fort Collins, Colo. Sharianne Daily
1976
187
6,230
16.06
1,313.42
25.33
33.32
7.02
74
Coldwell Banker Roth Wehrly Graber, Fort Wayne, Ind. John Bellio
1971
370
6,196
-6.01
606.00
-6.05
16.75
1.64
75
Bob Parks Realty, Murfreesboro, Tenn. Bob Parks
1975
425
6,149
19.51
915.08
19.55
14.47
2.15
76
Schweitzer Real Estate Inc., Sterling Heights, Mich.
dba Coldwell Banker Schweitzer Real Estate
Paul R. Schweitzer
1962
593
5,878
0.38
1,247.23
4.87
9.91
2.10
77
Huff Realty Inc., Florence, Ky.
Formed Real Living Inc. in merger with Realty One and HER, RealtorS®, February 2002
Scott Schilling
1975
575
5,795
16.48
790.00
17.91
10.08
1.37
78
RE/MAX Partners, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Larry Revier
1991
311
5,774
11.70
1,004.25
18.24
18.57
3.23
79
Prudential Preferred Realty, Pittsburgh Ronald F. Croushore
1990
520
5,770
-8.12
911.39
-6.09
11.10
1.75
80
Tomlinson Black Group of Cos., Coeur d’Alene, Idaho Robert Tomlinson
1948
325
5,744
19.00
668.95
19.11
17.67
2.06
81
Century 21 Judge Fite Co., Dallas James R. Fite
1937
442
5,732
24.91
674.97
35.06
12.97
1.53
82
Beazley Co., New Haven, Conn. Gregory O. Scott
1931
425
5,716
-4.11
929.43
21.87
13.45
2.19
83
B&H Associates, South Huntington, N.Y.
dba Prudential Long Island Realty
Dorothy Herman
1990
1,085
5,639
0.95
1,621.03
11.26
5.20
1.49
84
Prudential Jack White/Vista Real Estate,  Anchorage, Alaska Richard Fuller/Barbara Huntley
1977
366
5,564
32.07
967.02
41.16
15.20
2.64
85
Jack Conway & Co. Inc., Norwell, Mass. John E. "Jack" Conway
1957
589
5,540
15.15
1,166.17
30.23
9.41
1.98
86
Prudential New Jersey Properties, East Brunswick, N.J. William O. Keleher Jr.
1990
535
5,533
-1.06
1,571.33
7.76
10.34
2.94
87
First Weber Group, Madison, Wis. James R. Imhoff Jr.
1971
320
5,518
13.59
875.50
22.02
17.24
2.74
88
Mel Foster Co. Inc., Davenport, Iowa Robert C. Fick
1921
360
5,490
1.61
593.90
4.25
15.25
1.65
89
Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate, Hockessin, Del. Richard T. Christopher
1961
261
5,467
-4.14
1,108.96
4.84
20.95
4.25
90
Realty Executives of Nevada, Las Vegas Frances E. Moore
1989
317
5,453
21.56
1,007.25
23.52
17.20
3.18
91
RE/MAX Beach Cities/Westside Properties,
Manhattan Beach, Calif.
Kelli Amundson
1982
530
5,402
-0.07
2,088.44
1.86
10.19
3.94
92
Greenridge Realty Inc., Grand Rapids, Mich. Thomas P. Paarlberg
1980
404
5,330
4.72
727.92
7.17
13.19
1.80
93
Home Real Estate, Lincoln, Neb. Thomas Schleich
1938
300
5,307
12.84
612.93
15.18
17.69
2.04
94
Real Estate United LLC, Raleigh, N.C.
dba RE/MAX United
Hal Perry/Bill Owens/ Lynn Britt/Kathy Baker
2001
 253
5,249
NA
918.21
NA
20.75
3.63
95
Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Group Inc., Appleton, Wis. Joyce Bytof
1960
249
5,172
4.70
629.45
9.30
20.77
2.53
96
RE/MAX Suburban, Mt. Prospect, Ill. James R. Nelsen, Robert Baker
1978
227
5,162
8.79
1,195.16
20.13
22.74
5.27
97
Prudential Carruthers, Realtors®, Severna Park, Md. J. Thomas Carruthers Jr.
1995
523
5,115
4.20
1,121.68
11.91
9.78
2.14
98
Norcal Gold Inc., Sacramento, Calif.
dba RE/MAX Gold Real Estate
James O’Bryon
1994
 350
5,077
18.90
1,081.86
37.48
14.51
3.09
99
Realty Executives Associates, Realtors®, Knoxville, Tenn. R. Vance Burkey
1962
210
5,019
9.54
724.65
8.15
23.90
3.45
100
Coldwell Banker Prime Properties Inc., Albany, N.Y. Kenneth M. Raymond Jr.
1986
268
5,018
10.99
611.06
11.24
18.72
2.28

TOP COMPANIES RANKED BY...
(Number in parentheses indicates rank by transaction sides.)

FASTEST GROWING*
1
Coldwell Banker Legacy (47) 43.00
2
Coldwell Banker Richard Smith Co. (16) 37.48
3
Counselor Realty Inc. (64) 35.99
4
Coldwell Banker Devonshire Realty (67) 33.51
5
Prudential Jack White/Vista Real Estate (84) 32.07
6
Prudential Florida WCI Realty (63) 30.15
7
Keller Williams Realty North Texas/New Mexico (58) 25.30
8
Century 21 Judge Fite Co. (81) 24.91
9
RE/MAX Equity Group Inc. (26) 24.56
10
HomeServices of America Inc. (2) 22.14
*Percent change in transaction sides closed between 2000 and 2001.


SALES VOLUME (in millions)
1
NRT Inc. (1) $117,119.00
2
Weichert, Realtors® (3) 19,500.00
3
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc. (4) 18,496.52
4
HomeServices of America Inc. (2) 18,379.79
5
Prudential California Realty/Americana Realty (6)
Purchased by HomeServices.com, March 2002
13,385.32
6
GMAC HomeServices Inc. (8)
dba GMAC RealEstate
11,245.99
7
Arvida Realty Services (5)
Purchased by NRT, April 2002
8,595.00
8
The DeWolfe Companies Inc. (10) 6,629.77
9
Prudential Fox & Roach, Realtors® (9) 6,492.15
10
Alain Pinel Inc., Realtors® (61) 5,300.00


SALES VOLUME PER SALESPERSON
(in millions)
1
The Group Inc., Real Estate (73) $7.02
2
RE/MAX Results (49)   6.38
3
Alain Pinel Inc., Realtors® (61)   6.21
4
RE/MAX Suburban (96)   5.27
5
RE/MAX Alliance (28)   4.80
6
Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate (89)   4.25
7
Greater Atlanta Brokerage Solutions LLC (14)
dba RE/MAX Greater Atlanta
  4.20
8
Allen Tate Co. (22)*   3.98
9
HER, Realtors® (33)*
Formed Real Living Inc. in merger with Realty One and Huff Realty, February 2002
  3.98
10
RE/MAX Beach Cities/Westside Properties (91)
*Allen Tate edged out HER, but the numbers look equal due to rounding.
  3.94


AVERAGE SIDES CLOSED PER SALESPERSON
1
The Group Inc., Real Estate (73) 33.32
2
RE/MAX Results (49) 30.08
3
Realty Executives (7) 25.00
4
Realty Executives Associates, Realtors® (99) 23.90
5
HER, Realtors® (33)Formed Real Living Inc. in merger with Realty One and Huff Realty, February 2002 23.33
6
RE/MAX Suburban (96) 22.74
7
Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate (89) 20.95
8
RE/MAX Alliance (28) 20.80
9
Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Group Inc. (95) 20.77
10
Real Estate United, LLC (94)dba RE/MAX United 20.75

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