Swanepoel Power 200 2024 and headshots of the top 25 leaders on the list.
Illustration by Lanette Behiry/Real Estate News

SP 200: Real estate’s top leader, and a demographic shift 

Anywhere’s Ryan Schneider has been named the most powerful person in this year’s rankings of residential real estate’s movers and shakers.

January 9, 2024
5 minutes

Key points:

  • Schneider’s decision to settle the landmark commission lawsuits in September helped elevate him to the No. 1 spot.
  • 53 women earned a place on this year’s list, up from 47 last year.
  • There are also 45 newcomers, reflecting a shift in power from baby boomers to younger generations of leaders.

Despite hopes of a turnaround in 2023, the real estate market continued to struggle, and many firms saw their revenue plummet. Against that backdrop, another threat loomed: lawsuits that could impact agent commissions and financially cripple the nation's largest brokerage companies.

But real estate is a resilient industry, and the 11th edition of T3 Sixty's Swanepoel Power 200 — a ranking of the industry's most powerful and influential leaders — highlights individuals who have "really showed what it takes to be a strong and dynamic leader in 2023," said Jack Miller, president and CEO of T3 Sixty. "Despite facing some of the toughest challenges in their careers, they refused to pull back or back down. Instead, they embraced action, laying the foundation for innovation, expansion and growth."

Decisive leadership pushes Ryan Schneider to the top of the pack

One of those leaders who embraced action was Anywhere President and CEO Ryan Schneider, the new No. 1 on this year's SP 200. Instead of digging in and spending years entangled in litigation, Anywhere, with Schneider at the helm, took a big risk by being the first major brokerage to settle in the Sitzer/Burnett case and other class action commission lawsuits.

While Anywhere's $83.5 million payout was substantial, Schneider said settling was "the right course of action" and in "the best interests of the company," freeing Anywhere from the distraction of court battles and instead allowing the company to focus on strategic initiatives. And Schneider's bold move was rewarded — with a $5 million bonus.  

Getting through a challenging year was a group effort, Schneider told Real Estate News: "I am inspired by the dedication and resiliency of our agents and franchisees in a tough housing market, and the Anywhere team's commitment to supporting them helped us all navigate a very dynamic year as, together, we continue to lead the industry to the future."

While Anywhere was the first to settle, RE/MAX was quick to follow, and RE/MAX President and CEO Nick Bailey's position in the SP 200 seems to reflect that. Bailey made the top ten for the first time, moving up one rank from 11 to 10.

Mark Willis, CEO of Keller Williams Realty, returned to the SP 200 for the first time since 2015, ranking 11th. Willis took on the top role at KW in November — a position he previously held from 2005-2015.

Other big movers include Chris Kelly, EVP at HomeServices of America, who rose from 44th to 20th, and United Real Estate CEO Dan Duffy, who broke into the top 20 this year, landing at No. 19, up from No. 25 in 2023. 

Women, MLS leaders move up

There was a noticeable uptick in women leaders, with 53 women earning a spot on the 2024 SP 200, an increase from 47 last year. And several of those women leaders saw some of the biggest surges in rankings: Carrie Wheeler, who took over as CEO of Opendoor at the end of 2022, climbed 107 spots to No. 85, and Stephanie Anton, president of Corcoran Affiliates, moved from No. 151 to No. 76.

The CEOs of the two largest MLSs — Art Carter of CRMLS and Brian Donnellan of Bright MLS — moved into the top 25 this year, each rising seven spots to claim the 21st and 22nd positions, respectively. The MLS leaders have both been involved in noteworthy initiatives over the past year.

Additionally, there are several fresh faces on the list, with 45 newcomers making it into the latest edition of the SP 200. This change reflects the shift in power from the baby boomer generation to Gen Xers, T3 Sixty researchers said. 

The top 25 leaders in real estate for 2024

1. Ryan Schneider, President and CEO, Anywhere Real Estate

2. Gary Keller, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, Keller Williams Realty

3. Gino Blefari, President and CEO, HomeServices of America

4. Glenn Sanford, Founder and CEO, eXp World Holdings

5. Richard "Rich" Barton, Co-Founder and CEO, Zillow Group

6. Robert Reffkin, Co-Founder and CEO, Compass

7. Susan "Sue" Yannaccone, President and CEO, Anywhere Brands

8. Andy Florance, Founder and CEO, CoStar Group

9. Helen Hanna Casey & Howard "Hoby" Hanna IV, Company Leaders, Hanna Holdings

10. Nick Bailey, President and CEO, RE/MAX

11. Mark Willis, CEO, Keller Williams Realty

12. Glenn Kelman, President and CEO, Redfin

13. Philip "Phil" Soper, President and CEO, Bridgemarq Real Estate Services

14. OB Jacobi, Jill & Geoff Wood, Co-Presidents, Windermere Real Estate

15. Michael Golden & Thaddeus "Thad" Wong, Co-Founders and Co-CEOs, At World Properties

16. Matt Widdows, Founder and CEO, HomeSmart

17. Kuba Jewgieniew, Founder and CEO, Realty One Group

18. Philip White, Jr., President and CEO, Sotheby's International Realty

19. Dan Duffy, CEO, United Real Estate

20. Chris Kelly, EVP, HomeServices of America

21. Art Carter, CEO, California Regional MLS

22. Brian Donnellan, CEO, Bright MLS

23. Pamela Liebman, President and CEO, Corcoran Group

24. Susan Daimler, President, Zillow Group

25. Christy Budnick, CEO, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices

See the full list here.

Note: Stefan Swanepoel is the founder of both Real Estate News and T3 Sixty, but Real Estate News has no involvement or influence in creating the SP 200.

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