A booming year in sales activity and volume propelled Hunt Real Estate Corp. significantly higher in the national rankings of real estate brokerages, while rival Howard Hanna Real Estate Services held its position near the very top despite a drop in business.
According to the newest Top 500 survey by real estate industry trade publication REAL Trends, Buffalo-based Hunt came in 35th in the nation in the number of deals, with 13,495 transaction "sides" last year. Each sale has two sides - a buyer and a seller.
That's a 20 percent jump from 2017, when it posted 11,247 sides - in which it represented either the buyer or the seller. It rose six places in the ranking. It's also the No. 2 ERA-affiliated brokerage in the country.
The firm jumped 45 places in sales volume, coming in at No. 71 in the country with $2.76 billion. That's a 50 percent increase from the prior year, at $1.84 billion.
Hunt's top executive credited the surge to the firm's recruitment of new agents, growth of its real estate teams, the rebuilding of a career development program and Hunt's geographic expansion into Massachusetts through the purchase of ERA Key Realty. Founded in 1911, Hunt operates over 50 branches in New York, Massachusetts and metropolitan Phoenix, Ariz.
“To have our local, family-owned company recognized nationally speaks volumes to the remarkable efforts of the entire Hunt Real Estate team,” Peter Hunt, the company's chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “Our accomplishments in 2018 were the result of a concerted effort organization-wide to attract high-potential individuals new to real estate, as well as productive professionals from within the industry."
Meanwhile, Pittsburgh-based Howard Hanna remains the nation's third-largest brokerage firm, with 83,043 transaction sides last year. But that was an 8.2 percent drop from 90,468 in 2017. It was ranked No. 6 for sales volume at $16.3 billion, down 6.5 percent from $17.4 billion.
Hanna, with 227 offices, remains the largest independent, unaffiliated brokerage firm.
The biggest brokerage firms in the rankings are Minneapolis-based HomeServices of America - part of Berkshire Hathaway, which also owns The Buffalo News - and Madison, Wisc.-based NRT LLC, part of Realogy Corp. Williamsville-based Keller Williams Realty Buffalo also made the list, at No. 308 for transaction sides.
The REAL Trends ranking is based on data submitted by individual brokers nationwide and verified by financial executives, outside accountants and franchise headquarters.