Founder and Chairman, HomeSmart International
Overall Rank: 25
Category: Corporate Execs
Category Rank: 15
Widdows founded Scottsdale, Arizona-based HomeSmart International in 2000, with a focus on empowering agents with technology while streamlining their operations. The firm’s agent flat-fee business model has helped catapult the firm to rapid growth, both as a brokerage and as a franchisor. The company has over 11,000 agents who do nearly $11 billion in annual sales, representing a more than 50 percent jump in both metrics from 2013.
HomeSmart is laser-focused on providing its agents efficient tools, which the company builds in-house. Widdows and his team say that the company-built comprehensive real estate platform allows the firm to process more than 35,000 transactions with just 30 employees. This helps the firm and its franchisors run lean while still providing valuable services to its agents. Widdows first earned his real estate license at age 19, and “tinkered with real estate on the side,” before he jumped in full-time.