REAL Trends, the national authority for Realtor rankings, just released their verified 2018 results in the Wall Street Journal. Once again, the DeLeon Team, based in Palo Alto, California, secured the top spot in the team category for the entire nation with over $850,000,000 in annual sales. These sales, the highest in the history of the rankings for teams by volume, were made possible thanks to the DeLeon Team’s innovative business model that some say borrows heavily from the structure of the legal industry. This is not surprising given the background of several of DeLeon’s key people.
The founder, Ken DeLeon, and the CEO, Michael Repka, both came from top-10 law schools and international law firms. Given this pedigree, it is not unexpected that they created a new business model that more closely resembles an elite law firm than a traditional brokerage.
The DeLeon Team abandoned the real estate industry’s traditional use of independent contractors paid entirely on commission. Instead, they employ full-time specialists that are hired for their professional expertise and paid on salary. The DeLeon Team provides full benefits to its employees and pays cumulative salaries in excess of $7 million per year.
DeLeon clients have free access to in-house attorneys, interior designers, contractors, handymen, stagers, construction consultants, and marketing experts. As a result, the DeLeon Team’s clients experience a breadth and depth of service that cannot be matched by an individual agent or small team.
Additionally, the DeLeon Team waives all buyer’s-side commission if the buyer is not represented by an outside agent. This has saved its clients over $6.3 million over the past 28 months and attracted an increasing number of clients.
Headquartered in Silicon Valley, and built around its dynamic housing market and residents, the DeLeon Team is a font of innovation in a generally stagnant industry.
While the DeLeon Team is the only team from Northern California to ever be ranked number one, this feat is even more impressive given that 2018 was the second time in four years that the DeLeon Team topped these REAL Trends rankings. Additionally, Ken DeLeon was ranked the top individual agent in 2011 before forming the DeLeon Team.’
*As ranked by REAL Trends 2019 Team Volume list. Published in the Wall Street Journal in June 2019.