Kendall Riggins back on top of NWABJ Top 100 list

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 4,573 views 

Northwest Arkansas’ residential real estate market topped the $2 billion mark in 2017, and the region’s most sought-after Realtors are reaping the benefits. At the top of the list is Kendall Riggins, a longtime agent with Lindsey & Associates of Fayetteville.

Historically among the industry’s top producers each year, Riggins closed 2017 with a sales volume of $36.14 million, a 29% increase from 2016, to rank No. 1 on the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal’s list for the fifth time overall, but first time since 2014.

Nicky Dou, a Bentonville-based agent with Keller Williams Market Pro Realty, who topped the list each of the past three years, ranked No. 2 this year with a sales volume of $32.24 million in 2017.

Linda Marquess ($30.35 million, Riverwood Homes Real Estate), Meza Harris ($29.41 million, Lindsey & Associates) and Heather Campbell ($24.91 million, Weichert, Realtors—The Griffin Co.) round out the top five.

For the second consecutive year, the Business Journal put a ceiling on its annual ranking of area Realtors with a Top 100 list. The data is provided by the Northwest Arkansas Board of Realtors.

In the past, the Business Journal ranked every local Realtor who exceeded a minimum dollar amount in sales volume. As the number of Realtors grew and the area’s population boomed, the list became unwieldy. The 2016 agent ranking, for example, ranked every Realtor who had a total volume in 2015 of at least $3.5 million — all 192 of them.

“The Business Journal has been doing this list every year since we started publishing in 1997, long before I was here, and like the real estate industry itself, it has evolved,” Editor Paul Gatling said. “Before we enlisted the help of the Board of Realtors, the Business Journal used to ask firms to supply their own sales figures. We moved away from that because we felt like a third-party supplier would add a higher degree of validity. And, frankly, it has.

“With this latest progression of the list, we feel like [the Top 100] gives us more of a consistency in showcasing the highest producers in Northwest Arkansas’ real estate industry.”

The data is based on the sales prices of existing residential properties, but because of the way the industry calculates its numbers, the figures do not actually reflect the value of properties sold. For example, when a home is sold for $200,000, the listing agent and the selling agent both get to include the full price — $200,000 — in their totals.
For lists ranking the largest real estate firms ($25 million) and team sales ($10 million), the Business Journal continued to use a qualifying minimum dollar amount.

The Northwest Arkansas Board of Realtors has 2,389 licensed Realtors, according to executive director Rhonda Sims. That’s a lot of competition in one of the country’s fastest-growing metros, but the Top 100 identifies the best of the best.

The agents in this year’s Top 100 list — including every agent with at least $6.3 million in sales volume, according to the Board of Realtors — combined for a sales volume of $1.15 billion in 2017. That’s down slightly from $1.17 billion in 2016, but each of the past two years are still the highest annual marks since a collective total of $1.29 billion in 2006. (Link here for the online digital edition of the recent Northwest Arkansas Business Journal. The list is on page 19.)

In a more defined apples-to-apples comparison, the 10 highest-producing Realtors on the Top 100 list this year combined for a sales volume of $261.18 million in 2017, representing 22.6% of the Top 100 total. That’s down 4.1% from a cumulative total of $272.55 million in 2016, representing 24% of the Top 100 total.

In this year’s Top 100 list, 64 of the agents showed a positive increase in year-over-year comparison with their totals from 2016. There were 21 agents with a yearly improvement of more than 50%, and 10 agents who showed an annual improvement of more than 100%. Using $10 million as a benchmark, there were 40 agents who had at least that amount in sales volume in 2017. That compares to 48 in 2016, 32 in 2015, 29 in 2014 and 33 in 2013.

Among the top 20 Realtors on this year’s list, Dale Carlton Jr., owner and broker of Carlton Realty in Fayetteville, enjoyed the biggest year-over-year increase. He finished 2017 with a total volume of $17.12 million, an increase of 89% from the previous year. In the team sales category, Limbird Real Estate Group of Rogers — which records its residential sales volume as one collective team — topped the list with $111.59 million in 2017, up 3.4% from 2016.

The next three spots — and five of the top 10 — were claimed by teams working for Keller Williams Market Pro Realty, which has one office in both Benton and Washington counties. The Curtis Realty Group, led by Brian Curtis, finished second on the list with 2017 sales of $50.72 million, a 30% jump from 2016. Joseph Hayes & Associates topped the $40 million mark for the third straight year, finishing 2017 with a sales volume of $42.17 million. Team Taylor, led by Blair Taylor, was fourth on the list with $38.21 million last year, up 22.5% from 2016.

RE/MAX Real Estate Results in Bentonville had three teams in the top eight — Koenigseder Realty Group ($36.12 million), Annette Gore Team ($34.99 million) and The Hammond Group ($31.50 million).

Like the ranking for the top agents, there was also a change at the top in the ranking for largest real estate firms. For the first time, Keller Williams Market Pro Realty moved into the No. 1 spot on the list, according to the data. The company had a sales volume of $642.85 million last year, a 5% jump over its 2016 totals.

Fayetteville-based Coldwell Banker Harris McHaney Faucette, with branch offices in Rogers, Siloam Springs and Bentonville, topped the rankings for the previous six years. It ended 2017 with residential sales of $561.56 million, down 8% from 2016 and No. 2 on the list. Lindsey & Associates, with offices in Fayetteville and Rogers, was No. 3 with $523.04 million. Together, the “Big Three” represented 46.9% of all sales on the list, which included 27 firms with a sales volume of at least $25 million in 2017.

The local Keller Williams affiliate — which has more agents than any other firm in the market with 348 — was formed in the spring of 2013 with the merger of Market Pro Realty of Rogers and Keller Williams Realty of Fayetteville. The company has been gobbling up a bigger slice of the market share every year since. Its sales volume in 2013 was $170.21 million, followed by $262.29 million in 2014, $403.41 million in 2015 and $608.41 in 2016.