2018’s Most Powerful People in Residential Real Estate

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.

Dottie Herman: CEO, Douglas Elliman

Dubbed “the richest self-made woman in real estate” by Forbes this year, Dottie Herman began her story on Long Island, where she managed Merrill Lynch’s Northeast real estate division. There, a mentor said she was a “diamond in the rough,” and everything she’s touched since seems to have turned to gold. In 2003, she purchased Prudential Douglas Elliman with business partner Howard Lorber. The company, which dropped “Prudential” in 2012, is now the third-largest residential real estate brokerage in the U.S., according to REAL Trends, with a sales volume of $26.1 billion in 2017. Elliman continues to expand through acquisitions of independent brokerages in New York, California, Florida and Massachusetts, including in some of their wealthiest enclaves. On the agenda for this year: Work with StreetEasy and Bridge Interactive (subsidiaries of Zillow) to improve Elliman’s search and listings platform. The new system will be called, simply, “Douglas.”

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