RISMedia’s 2023 Real Estate Newsmakers: Meet the Luminaries
In February, RISMedia named more than 300 real estate professionals as 2023 Real Estate Newsmakers. Each of these individuals—separated into six categories—was either nominated by you, the RISMedia reader, or chosen by our editors.
RISMedia Newsmakers also made newsworthy contributions within their own communities or the industry as a whole and have dedicated their lives to improving the real estate process. Here, we highlight eight of the many honorees who were chosen as Newsmakers in the Luminariescategory:
Candace Adams, President & CEO, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England, New York & Hudson Valley Properties In 2022, Candace Adams, president and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England, New York & Hudson Valley Properties, focused on growing the company’s presence in New York City with the goal of making it the global Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices “hub.”
Three high-profile New York real estate industry figures joined the leadership team in 2022. Those hires reflect Adams’ commitment to the local market.
Adams believes the new executives, in combination with the strength of the BHHS brand, will help the company expand strategically while creating a productive, inclusive, and professional work environment that focuses on personal growth and mentorship.
“The most rewarding part of my career is building a robust team of industry leaders, both in leadership positions and in sales, and then being able to watch them flourish (most recently in New York),” Adams said. “I am very grateful that this position allows me to do that.”
Tei Baishiki, Chief Operating Officer, NextHome Tei Baishiki serves as NextHome’s chief operating officer. The company is dedicated to providing members with the best tools and technology, as well as direct support. In 2022, NextHome partnered with Inside Real Estate to provide kvCORE as an included member benefit.
“Having co-founded NextHome in 2014, we had the goal to provide members with next-generation branding, technology, and tools so that they can invest their time in building relationships (not marketing campaigns),” says Baishiki.
“I find it incredibly rewarding that we’ve continuously held our company to that standard by creating partnerships with the best industry solutions to add to our NextHome single sign-on platform, an all-in-one life changer and time saver,” he adds. “No need to memorize multiple passwords or enter the same listing data over and over. It’s an integrated, automated, cross-platform solution. We also have the best customer support for all tools.”
Dermot Buffni, CEO, Buffini & Company Dermot Buffini, CEO of Buffini & Company, focused on production and growth in 2022. He oversaw the launch of Team Coaching and the release of REALStrengths® assessments that helped agents increase their earnings.
Buffini reintroduced live events, spoke at several industry events, and continued to host RISMedia’s “Lessons in Leadership.” Buffini & Company was again named San Diego’s Top Place to Work in 2022.
“Our mission at Buffini & Company is to impact and improve the lives of people,” he says. “I am grateful to be a part of the journey of so many real estate professionals, small business owners and entrepreneurs as they grow and prosper using the Buffini systems and training,” Buffini said. “As CEO, I see myself serving as a ‘leader of leaders’ for our team, and am humbled by their steady servant leadership to make sure we achieve significant ongoing success for our clients, in any market conditions.”
Jenni Bonura, President and CEO, Harry Norman, REALTORS® In 2022, Jenni Bonura, president and CEO of Harry Norman, REALTORS®, was named one of Atlanta’s Most Powerful Leaders. She represented the brokerage at the Belgium Economic Mission, was named among ABC’s Who’s Who in Atlanta Real Estate, and was featured as a ‘Dynamic Women’ in Modern Luxury Atlanta’s September issue. Bonura also led the creation of the “People and Culture” Council to focus on diversity.
“I am most rewarded and inspired by the people I works with, and the communities served,” says Bonura. “Certainly, the formula for success in real estate has refined over time, but the ideal combination for success is someone who has high emotional intelligence, strong work ethic, extensive business and financial acumen, embraces technology and marketing, and enjoys entrepreneurialism.” As a lifelong learner, Bonura sets a standard to keep getting better and better in all these areas and to surround herself with professionals who keep her feeling inspired and rewarded. Rudy Lira Kusuma, CEO, Your Home Sold Guaranteed Realty Rudy Lira Kusuma, CEO of Your Home Sold Guaranteed Realty, helped his team of agents complete more than $1 billion in transactions without following industry norms and standards related to prospecting and marketing in 2022. Your Home Sold Guaranteed Realty opened two new offices and was included in the INC 5000 Fastest Growing Companies in America and the 2022 list of Best Workplaces. In addition, the company donated over $100,000 to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, World Harvest, and other local causes.
Kusuma says he is most proud of “empowering, equipping and elevating the lives of many real estate agents and their families to achieve their hearts’ desires….” As an example, he pointed to a team member who joined the company at age 22 and in seven years was able to help her parents financially and open a family restaurant.
Rick Sharga, EVP of Market Intelligence, ATTOM Rick Sharga’s unique ability to serve as the go-to source for housing market insight has elevated ATTOM’s presence as the market-leading provider of real estate and property data. Sharga is one of the country’s most quoted sources on real estate, mortgage and foreclosure trends. His background in serving as an industry insider has contributed to further solidifying ATTOM’s footprint within the housing industry, as well as its position as the one-stop shop for premium property data with flexible delivery solutions.
“I’ve enjoyed being a ‘truth-teller,’ leveraging ATTOM’s massive real estate database to help inform and educate both the industry and consumers on important issues,” says Sharga. “I’ve tried to provide a voice of reason in an industry which too often swings wildly between extreme opinions, and have used data-driven findings to help communicate complex and sometimes confusing industry trends in a way that makes them understandable and actionable.”
Sabine Steinbrecher, CEO, Founder and Chief Hiveologist, Hiveologie In 2022, Sabine Steinbrecher, CEO, founder and “chief hiveologist,” led Hiveologie’s recruitment of content experts, expansion of its course library, and launch of an Agent Accelerator subscription that provides monthly microtraining, as well as a system that helps associations automate their learning reporting process.
Hiveologie also expanded its social mission to support 1.8 million honeybees and introduced the first-ever fully sustainable, self-funding closing gift option for REALTORS®. All profits will support Hiveologie’s Honeybee Sanctuary.
“Helping agents be successful and navigate challenging markets is a huge passion. Also key is helping associations/boards, partners, and brokers retain and support their agents,” says Steinbrecher.
“Building a sustainable social mission with not only myself and my staff, but everyone that learns with us, is an enormous pleasure. Using my years of experience to provide mentoring on e-learning design to my team and our content partners drives me.”
Sue Yannaccone, President and CEO, Anywhere Brands
As president and CEO of Anywhere Brands, Sue Yannaccone leads affiliated brands that account for over 21,000 offices and more than 332,000 brokers and independent sales associates in 118 countries and territories around the world. In 2022, she oversaw further growth and transformation of the company’s franchise group, following record 2021 performance.”
Yannaccone is among the most highly regarded and influential women in real estate and is a vocal advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the industry. She leads What Moves Her, an organization that provides tools and strategies to help women achieve professional and personal success.
“It’s rewarding for me to be a part of the industry’s collective push to evolve to serve the changing faces of real estate,” Yannaccone says. “Our company has worked tirelessly to create opportunities for professionals that better represent the increasingly diverse pool of homebuyers. In order to positively influence the industry, we need to be willing to use our voices and our influence to advocate for positive change.”