People on the Move
Illustration by Lanette Behiry/Real Estate News

People on the move: Promotions, appointments and new hires 

The latest moves: NAR leadership team, Andrew Kazeniac, Kalani Reelitz, Katie Smithson, Rachel Scheid, Ravi Shankar

November 18, 2022
5 minutes

Editor's note: As an industry with millions of agents and over 100,000 brokerage companies, new leaders rise to the top every day. Here we highlight executives and other notable leaders who've recently taken on roles that influence the residential real estate landscape.

2023 leadership team installed at NAR

From left: Kenny Parcell, Tracy Kasper, Kevin Sears. (National Association of Realtors)

The 2023 NAR leadership team was announced at the association's annual conference this month in Orlando, Florida.

Kenny Parcell, a broker-owner of Equity Real Estate in Spanish Fork Utah, will serve as president after holding various leadership positions at NAR for more than a decade. 

Tracy Kasper, a real estate agent from Nampa, Idaho, is president-elect of the organization. She is the broker-owner of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Silverhawk Realty in Boise Valley and brings 30 years of experience to her role at NAR. 

Kevin Sears, a real estate agent from Springfield, Mass., is the new first vice president at NAR. Previously, he served as president of the Massachusetts Association of Realtors and was NAR's vice president of government affairs.

Andrew Kazeniac appointed COO at The Real Brokerage

An experienced leader in operations and customer service, Andrew Kazeniac was named chief operating officer at The Real Brokerage, where he will be responsible for driving operational efficiencies and ensuring agents benefit from a high level of service from Real's technology platform.

Andrew Kazeniac (Business Wire)

Kazeniac has held a variety of leadership roles across industries, most recently as vice president of retail operations at alcohol marketplace Drizly, and previously at TripAdvisor and FlipKey.

Real Chairman and CEO Tamir Poleg praised Kazeniac, stating that "Andy's operational experience and customer-first approach will be a valuable addition to our team as we set the stage for our continued growth."

Kazniac expressed enthusiasm about joining a tech-focused, growing public brokerage: "It's an exciting time to be joining Real. The introduction of technology to make processes more efficient and improve the experience for agents and their customers is long overdue for the industry, and 2022 is shaping up to be a pivotal year at Real." 

Compass taps Kalani Reelitz as CFO

Kalani Reelitz (Compass)

Kalani Reelitz joined Compass as chief financial officer on November 15. Kalani brings a 20-year background in finance, business and operations, most recently serving as CFO and COO at global real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield Americas. He previously held a variety of strategic leadership roles at Walgreens. 

In his new role at Compass, Reelitz will oversee all aspects of the company's financial operations and investor relations. A core focus of the CFO role is growing profitability and ensuring free cash flow.

"The combination of Kalani's operational excellence and financial discipline gained from many years of helping large public companies grow profitably will be an incredible asset as we accelerate our path to profitability," said Compass CEO Robert Reffkin.

Said Reelitz: "With its strong foundation and a loyal, high-performing agent team, Compass has accomplished amazing things in its first decade. … I am excited to be a part of the next chapter of growth and success with this team."

Katie Smithson appointed CRO at California Regional MLS

Katie Smithson (CRMLS)

Katie Smithson brings 14 years of industry experience to CRMLS, holding several director-level positions at real estate technology companies, and most recently was Zillow Group's director of MLS relations for Bridge Interactive. She has also contributed to the industry by serving as a NAR REACH mentor, board member for the Council of MLS and RESO Board Secretary.

In her new role at CRMLS, Smithson will direct revenue operations and facilitate communication and collaboration between all of the organization's revenue-generating departments. She will lead efforts to improve customer satisfaction, product strategy and sales performance.   

Smithson said she is "inspired by the vision CRMLS has and can't wait to help shape the future of our industry." CRMLS is the largest MLS in the U.S., serving more than 110,000 members.

Rachel Scheid named vice president of education at @properties

A former broker associate, branch manager, and most recently vice president of agent education at Coldwell Banker, Rachel Scheid brings over 10 years of hands-on experience to Chicago-area @properties Christie's International Real Estate. 

Rachel Scheid (@properties Christie's International)

In her new role, Scheid will help implement the company's agent development and training programs, providing coaching and marketing support, alongside the company's leaders overseeing culture and innovation and education.

In announcing her hiring, @properties co-founder and CEO Thad Wong said "Rachel is one of the most accomplished young leaders in Chicago's real estate industry. She has taken her experience as a successful agent and translated it into a career helping other agents achieve their professional goals. She's a perfect fit for the culture of learning and innovation that drives our company."

Wong and co-founder Michael Golden are ranked #22 on the SP 200, and @properties came in at #20 among top franchise brands by sales volume, pulling in $18.8 billion in 2021.

Ravi Shankar heads Freddie Mac's single-family portfolio and servicing division

Ravi Shankar

Mortgage and financial services veteran Ravi Shankar has joined Freddie Mac as senior vice president and head of single-family portfolio and servicing.

Shankar brings over three decades of experience managing multibillion-dollar finance, capital markets, portfolios, and mortgage trading operations. A former Freddie Mac executive, Shankar is a member of the company's senior operating committee, reporting to President Mike Hutchins.

"Ravi Shankar brings substantial experience to the company as a respected financial services leader, portfolio manager and Freddie Mac alum. I am pleased to welcome him back to the company," said Hutchins.

In his new role, Mr. Shankar will have responsibility over portfolio management, servicing and the operations and technology that support these activities.

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