Saunders is top local brokerage on Real Trends 500
A trio of local real estate brokerages have earned spots in a new Real Trends 500 survey of top U.S. residential sellers.
Michael Saunders & Co. of Sarasota ranked 55th among the 500 largest agencies nationwide and was the highest locally based firm, with $1.95 billion in sales in 2012. That represented a 32 percent increase over the $1.48 billion it notched the year before.
Allison James Estates & Homes, an Internet-based broker headquartered in Punta Gorda, came in at 104th with $1.14 billion in closed sales, up 68 percent from $662.8 million the prior year.
Re/Max Alliance Group of Sarasota finished 145th, reporting $876.1 million in sales last year, an 8.5 percent improvement over its 2011 performance of $807.8 million.
Saunders, which has 600 agents and 24 offices throughout Southwest Florida, moved up from 59th place in sales in the last survey by Real Trends, a real estate research company based in Denver.
“By design, we do business along a particularly desirable swath of the Gulf Coast,” Saunders said. “So to achieve this level of volume in just three Southwest Florida counties is a testament to our decades of focused expertise in our home region.
“It also underscores the confidence buyers and sellers place in our agents, along with confirming the wholesale rejuvenation of our local real estate market,” she added.
The company’s largest sale last year was a home at 1255 Westway Dr., in Sarasota’s Lido Shores neighborhood, for $7.1 million. The listing belonged to Linda Dickinson, the firm’s top-selling single agent for several years.
Saunders also ranked 14th among the top 50 brokers showing the largest increase in closed dollar volume from 2008 through 2012.
Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, the Naples-based broker that sells extensively in the Sarasota-Manatee area, ranked 37th in the survey, up from 46th in 2011. It posted $2.28 billion in closed 2012 sales, a 32 percent gain from $1.72 billion the year before, according to Real Trends.
Judy Green, the firm’s president and chief executive, said Premier Sotheby’s also ranked No. 13 among the top 50 U.S. firms with an average home sales price of $748,737.
Those four brokers join three other local agencies that were ranked in the top 500 for closed transaction “sides,” representing the seller, buyer or both.
Saunders ranked 78th, with 5,534 sides, up 22 percent for the year. Re/Max Alliance was 102nd, with 4,607 sides, up 1.5 percent. Allison James, whose agents work from home offices, came in at No. 103, with 4,581, a 57.5 percent increase.
Keller Williams-Lakewood Ranch was listed at No. 438, with 1,418 sides, an 8 percent gain, and Re/Max Anchor Realty, of Punta Gorda, was listed 451st with 1,388, 7 percent higher for the year.
Premier Sotheby’s International was ranked at No. 164, with 3,052 sides, up 35 percent.
Real Trends editor Steve Murray said a record number of agencies closed more than $1 billion in sales and more than 1,000 units last year.
“Many of the firms that had increased unit sales accomplished this through organic growth, while merger activity remained slower than in years past,” he said.
“We expect acquisition activity to pick up, however, in the years to come as the market consolidates.”