2018’s Most Powerful People in Residential Real Estate

Observer, September 28, 2018

If a person’s home is their castle, then the 59 people we chose to profile for our 2018 Residential Real Estate Power List are the castle-builders, the castle-keepers, the castle-owners—in short, the most influential and powerful people currently shaping the U.S. residential real estate industry.

Of course we looked to hard numbers to identify the biggest, the most prolific, and the richest. But while diving into this sprawling industry worth some $31.8 trillion, some themes emerged. A crucial issue of the day is the affordable housing crisis, and some of our power players are working tirelessly to address it. Sustainability has also become an, um…evergreen issue, and plenty of our subjects spend their days in that arena.

We included some who consider themselves disrupters, and those who are funding them, as well as researchers and academics, media who stoke our collective interest in homes and what we do with them, and people introducing new brokerage models, or taking brokers’ multiple listings services platforms to a whole new level. Pull them altogether and you get a true power list—the people (listed in alphabetical order) most defiantly driving the industry forward in 2018.

Caballero certainly has very little familiarity with moving backward. Before becoming the certified “most productive real estate agent in the world,” he was a real estate broker by 21 and a home builder for 18 years. Furthermore, that $1 billion benchmark he hit for the 2017 world record was not his first billion-dollar milestone. He exceeded $1 billion in 2015 for the first time and has repeated the achievement every year since. However, he is quite adamant that “the point,” as he refers to it, is not the numbers but the overall growth for his clients and his real estate business.

“I’ve always changed as the market changed and grown in my real estate business as the market has grown. To me the key is to always have focus. Specializing is key to real estate success,” Caballero said. “I’ve never said, ‘I’m a real estate broker and I’ll do whatever you need,’ to my clients. The most important thing is to focus and be willing to refine what you do to meet your clients’ needs and your business’ needs.”

Caballero’s intense focus created his incredibly wide present-day reach. In 2003, Caballero already had plenty of experience with the unique needs of home builders, but he realized something more was needed to facilitate the sales process between builder and the owner-occupant buyer. That realization led to the multiyear development process that ultimately yielded the HomesUSA.com platform, which serves as an interface between realtors and builders and streamlines the listing process for both…more