People on the Move: Longtime HAR CEO Bob Hale to retire in 2026
Hale announces his retirement after more than 50 years with the organization. Plus, Scott Mitchelson joins Corcoran as growth leader; Josh Team joins SERHANT.
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, or stepped away from, roles that influence the residential real estate landscape.
HAR icon will pass the reins to organization's EVP
Industry icon Bob Hale today announced that he will be stepping down in early 2026 as CEO of the Houston Association of Realtors, a role he has held since 1988.
Current HAR Executive Vice President René Galvan will take over as CEO on Jan. 31, 2026.
Last year, in celebrating his 50th anniversary with HAR, Hale told Real Estate News: "My main goal has been to make HAR the most innovative and member-valued association. I want the members to see HAR as the greatest thing that ever happened to them. The best value, the best price and the best services. In my opinion, that's what makes us stand out."
Hale, who joined HAR in 1973 as legal counsel, has earned many accolades — most recently being named the 29th most powerful person in real estate. However, his signature accomplishment is the way he handled the rise of the internet.
In 1996, after hearing a prediction about how one's digital presence would become more important than their physical presence, Hale was inspired: first, to understand what that even meant, and second, to establish HAR online.
Hale gathered some HAR staffers at their favorite Mexican restaurant and sketched out their vision for HAR.com on a napkin. HAR.com launched in 1997 and remains a powerhouse, drawing an estimated 6 million visitors a month and keeping Houston as "the only major city in the country where a national portal is not the most visited real estate site," the association said.
Galvan, the incoming CEO, first joined HAR in 1996. After a two-year stint as CEO of the Realtor Association of Greater Fort Lauderdale, he returned to the HAR EVP role, which he has held since. Galvan also currently serves on NAR's Finance Committee. He is a CPA with a degree in accounting, and his first job was as an operations auditor with Kraft USA. "I have always focused on improving/innovating operations with technology and strategy," Galvan said.
"This journey has been one that I will cherish for the rest of my life," said Hale. "I could not think of anyone more qualified and driven than René Galvan to lead HAR through the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the real estate industry."
Corcoran hires global development leader
New York-based Corcoran Group has announced the appointment of Scott Mitchelson as SVP of Global Development as the brokerage doubles down on growth.
Mitchelson will work with the Corcoran Affiliate Network to drive domestic and international growth.
The firm launched its affiliate program in 2020 and has since expanded its reach to dozens of markets. In 2023, Corcoran opened its first office in Europe and added franchises across the U.S. in California, New Jersey and Texas, as well as an office in Ontario, Canada.
Mitchelson will report to Corcoran Affiliates President Stephanie Anton, who told Real Estate News last year that the network's growth is "just the beginning of the story for Corcoran."
A 25-year industry veteran, Mitchelson has held executive positions at top brokerage and resort companies. He was most recently regional president at Windermere Real Estate, the largest franchise brand in the Northwest, and previously held a number of leadership roles at Realogy (now Anywhere), including VP of national franchise sales. Corcoran is part of Anywhere's portfolio of brokerage brands.
In a news release, Anton touted Mitchelson's "extensive sales experience and immense industry knowledge," adding that it will "provide an immediate impact for Corcoran."
Former KW President Josh Team joins SERHANT.
After a three-year break from real estate, Josh Team is returning to the industry as SERHANT.'s first president of brokerage operations.
Team had been with Keller Williams for nearly six years — two of them as president. He left in 2021, a few months after Gary Keller left the CEO role to become executive chairman of the board, created KWx and put Team in charge of "all duties and responsibilities previously held by Keller." Mark Willis became CEO in 2023.
Team also served as KW's digital innovation officer, a role he previously held with RAPP, a tech- and data-forward creative marketing agency. "I have a passion for building new technologies for consumers," Team said. "Let's revisit these fundamental things we've just accepted as true and find new ways to create value for consumers."
His focus at SERHANT. will be on supporting the company's ongoing national expansion and the rollout of its new AI-powered assistant/"productivity service," S.MPLE.