Richard Smith

Chairman, CEO and President, Realogy Holdings Corp.

Overall Rank: 2
Category: Corporate Execs
Category Rank: 1

Realogy (NYSE: RLGY) remains the one company that dominates the residential real estate brokerage industry. By virtually every single measure of performance, Realogy is the industry’s frontrunner. Realogy owns half of the leading 10 brands in the industry, including Coldwell Banker Real Estate, Century 21 Real Estate, Sotheby’s International Realty, ERA Franchise Systems and Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate. Between the NRT and the franchisees of Realogy’s brands, the company touches more than one out of every four home sales in the U.S.

In the third quarter, the company brought in impressive revenues of over $1.6 billion and EBITDA of $279 million, but they represented a 1 percent and 5 percent decrease from the previous year, respectively. Its profits are also down slightly to $108 million from $111 million over the same time period, a 3 percent decline. Its revenue drop probably reflects the state of the market, and some of its moves suggest there may be trouble brewing in the real estate brokerage world. Meanwhile, the firm continues to generate strong cash flow and to pay down its debt, having reduced its interest payment burden by $12 million in the third quarter.

Another subsidiary, Cartus, remains the world’s largest relocation company, serving over half of the Fortune 500 and over 60 percent of the Fortune 50. Cartus alone brought in $116 million in net revenue in the third quarter 2016. Realogy also has major operations in mortgage through its joint-venture with PHH Mortgage, and in title with its ownership of Title Resource Group (TRG). TRG, with more than 335 offices in 48 states and Washington D.C., brought in $164 million in revenue during the third quarter.

At the same time, the firm is making a large number of key senior executive changes, some of which have been announced and others slated for 2017. Coldwell Banker Real Estate and ERA Franchise Systems both have new CEOs, Realogy Franchise Group created a new chief operating officer position and NRT made significant senior hires including a new chief strategy and operating officer, a chief recruiting officer as well as changes in most regional positions.

Smith proved during the last boom and bubble that he is a visionary and proactive decision-maker, ensuring that Realogy continues to deliver steady, rock-solid performance. He’s our No. 2 this year, but most certainly will be in contention for the top slot again next year.

Smith is a graduate of Columbus State University (B.S.) and Troy State University (M.S.). He serves on the executive committee of the Policy Advisory Board for the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, is an honorary member of the Easter Seals National Board of Directors, is a member of the Columbus State University Foundation Board of Trustees, and a former member of the New Jersey Economic Growth Council.