Coldwell Banker franchise tops NWABJ real estate list

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 1,851 views 

Despite a slight dip in production last year, Northwest Arkansas’ Coldwell Banker franchise maintained its spot atop the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal’s annual ranking of the largest residential real estate firms.

Fayetteville-based Coldwell Banker Harris McHaney & Faucette (CBHMF), with branch offices in Bentonville and Rogers, claimed the top spot according to data provided by the Northwest Arkansas Board of Realtors (NABOR). The company’s residential Realtors combined to produce a sales volume of $788.13 million in 2022, an 8% dip from 2021 but still more than any other firm on this year’s list.

CBHMF has been operating since February 2010, when Coldwell Banker Faucette Real Estate of Fayetteville and Harris McHaney Realtors of Rogers merged to create the new company.

Pat Harris is the franchise’s principal broker and owner, guiding a company with more agents than any other Northwest Arkansas real estate firm.

He said real estate is not a one-size-fits-all industry, and several business models are in the market for brokers looking to work outside the traditional brokerage model.

“Ours is kind of old school,” he said. “We’re a full-service firm with marketing and training [support] and a relocation department. We have all the latest technology and software, but we’ve doubled down on the agents because the real estate business is a people business in the sense that they are our customers. We’ve tried to give them a lot of hands-on support and training opportunities.

Pat Harris

“For our business, that has worked. Some companies have different business models. The market is big enough that if we work hard, we will find the people that like our model. We’ll train them like the dickens, give them great support, and let the chips fall where they may.”

CBHMF is one of four companies to exceed $600 million in sales volume last year, followed by Lindsey & Associates ($705.17 million), Keller Williams Market Pro Realty ($699.06 million) and Collier & Associates ($657.83).

Their combined total ($2.85 billion) makes up about 40% of all combined residential volume of the 37 firms that qualified for this year’s list. To be included, firms had to have a total sales volume of $35 million or more in 2022.

Linda Marquess, the principal broker of Fayetteville homebuilder Riverwood Homes, topped the Business Journal’s list of top residential agents for the second year in a row. Marquess closed 2022 with a residential sales volume of $73.84 million, a 12.7% jump from 2021.

The Business Journal puts a ceiling on its annual ranking of Realtors with a Top 100 list rather than ranking each Realtor who exceeded a minimum dollar amount in sales volume. As the number of Realtors grew and the region’s population grew, the list became cumbersome. For example, the 2016 agent ranking ranked each Realtor with a sales volume of at least $3.5 million — all 192.

“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 NABOR [in 2017], the Business Journal asked firms to supply their sales figures. We moved on from that process because a third-party supplier would add more validity. And it has.

“With this latest progression of the list, we feel like [the Top 100] gives us more 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 $300,000, the listing agent and the selling agent both get to include the full price — $300,000 — in their totals.

At the end of February, NABOR reported 3,559 agents, up 30% from 2,737 at the end of December 2018.

That’s a lot of competition in one of the country’s fastest-growing metros, but the Top 100 identifies the cream of the crop.

According to NABOR, the agents in this year’s Top 100 list include every agent with at least $10.85 million in sales volume. They combined for a sales volume of $1.95 billion in 2022. That’s up 8.9% from a year ago ($1.79 billion) and 69.5% from five years ago ($1.15 billion).

For additional perspective, just 51 Realtors had at least $10 million in sales volume five years ago.

In a more distinct apples-to-apples comparison, the 10 highest-producing Realtors on the Top 100 list this year combined for a 2022 sales volume of $446.22 million, representing 22.7% of the Top 100 total. That’s up 5.5% from $422.96 million in 2021.

In this year’s Top 100 list, 64 agents showed a positive increase in the year-over-year comparison with their totals from 2021. There were 31 agents with a yearly improvement of more than 50%, and 12 agents showed an annual gain of more than 100%.

For a PDF of this year’s lists ranking the top-producing agents, teams and firms, click here.