The top 50 residential real estate influencers for 2023

The top 50 residential real estate influencers for 2023

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There is rarely a dull day in real estate. From mergers and acquisitions, record sales and the AI boom, 2023 has once again been a year for the record books. 

Today, we reveal who we see as the top 50 influencers for 2023, assessed by how we see their impact and influence on the residential real estate industry in Australia in this calendar year*.

*see the end of this post for the criteria we used to create this list.

  1. Owen Wilson, CEO, REA Group

An extremely tight market, characterised by low listings, made for a more challenging year for REA Group. While profits were down slightly on last year, revenue did increase one per cent to $1,183 million in the 2022-2023 financial year, under the stewardship of Owen WIlson. Other highlights included acquiring 100 per cent ownership of Campaign Agent, identifying ways to help ease the rental and housing crisis, and being named one of Australia’s best workplaces

  1. Melina Cruickshank, Chief Product and Audience Officer, REA Group

After taking an expanded role in REA Group in 2022, Melina Cruickshank certainly didn’t rest on her laurels this year, spearheading the group’s Agency Marketplace as a core part of its value proposition for agents. Real estate platform realestate.com.au also launched a suite of AI-powered enhancements, including a Generative AI ChatGPT integration for its ‘Suggested Properties’ feature. The group has also continued to build on the consumer intelligence it delivers to agents, with the Property Seeker Survey revealing consumers’ top pain point was not having prices displayed on listings.

  1. Antony Catalano, Executive Chairman, Australian Community Media and View Media Group

One of the biggest movers in this year’s list, ‘The Cat’, as he’s known by many in the industry, made plenty of moves in 2023. The biggest of those being the launch of View Media Group’s new property portal, view.com.au, in September. The portal allows consumers access to a complete view of real estate across the country, irrespective of whether a property is for sale or not. When launching the platform, Catalano said the plan was to “create a digital real estate superstore under the new View brand that will play in the $300 billion adjacency categories rather than solely focus on the $1 billion of digital property advertising”. View Media Group owns lead generation platform The Today Business, has minority stakes in AI startup Propic and utilities platform Beevo. The Cat, who previously served as CEO of Domain Group, purchased regional media group Australian Community Media from Nine in 2019 with backing from investor Alex Waislitz. 

  1. Anna Neelagama, CEO, Real Estate Institute of Australia

At the helm of the nation’s peak real estate body since August 2020, Anna Neelagama has this year helped lead the REIA to become a highly respected advocacy body that has the ear of the government at both federal and state level. This year, the REIA was vocal about potential solutions to the housing crisis, including phasing out stamp duty, getting more rentals onto the market, encouraging home ownership and focusing on family investing. A strong leader with a customer-centric approach, Anna will also head the industry body’s all-female leadership team, along with Leanne Pilkington and Hannah Gill, in 2024.

  1. Jason Pellegrino, CEO, Domain Group

Domain Group head honcho Jason Pellegrino labelled the 2022-2023 financial year as the “most challenging” ever seen, with reduced revenue and profits. But there were still plenty of highlights under his guidance, including significant updates to the Domain App, like a dynamically integrated map and list view experience. Domain also launched a new AI-powered tool, called LeadScope, that helps agents identify properties in their CRM that are likely to come to market in the next year. 

  1. Dan White, Managing Director, Ray White Group

Managing director of the Ray White Group since 2015, Dan White represents the fourth generation of the group’s founding family. Building and expanding the group in a hands-on manner, this year the group launched RWC Retail, to provide a dedicated team for the sale of retail property across Australia, along with RWC Medical to provide an end-to-end service in the healthcare real estate sector. In November, at Ray White’s annual conference, Dan revealed data analytics company Neoval was in its early stages, while Ailo and NurtureCloud were growing rapidly.

  1. Kul Singh, Chief Customer Officer, REA Group

Kul Singh joined the REA Group in 2015 and is responsible for sales teams across the group, including the teams that support residential, commercial, developers and media customers. This year, Kul oversaw a strong campaign to change the ‘doom and gloom’ perception of the property market, by providing more data-driven insights that agents could use to better educate their clients about the reality of market conditions. REA Group also joined forces with REIA to release a new housing investment report, and secured eight-time Grand Slam tennis champion, Andre Agassi, as the keynote speaker for Ready24.

  1. Mark McLeod, Chief Strategy Officer for Real Estate, Ray White Group

When Mark McLeod speaks, real estate agents listen. One of the industry’s true thought leaders, Mark’s expertise and honest, down-to-earth approach to business and real estate make him a highly sought and respected trainer. Mark’s episode of the Elevate podcast on growing your business in a soft market, was one of our most listened to for the year, while his piece on why volume, not GCI, is the most important KPI certainly created a lot of watercooler discussion. 

  1. Leanne Pilkington, CEO, Laing+Simmons, and President, REIA

Leanne Pilkington has just added REIA president to her very long list of accomplishments in the industry. She also has multiple Annual REA Excellence Awards under her belt as the Most Influential Woman in the Property Market and as CEO and director at Laing + Simmons, she is one of the leading authorities in the Australian real estate market. Forward-thinking and passionate, Leanne has also had stints as the REIA deputy president and REINSW president. In 2023, her Elite Agent column on the emergence of hybrid real estate agencies was widely read, and she also hosts the Courageous Conversations podcast.

  1. John Foong, Chief Revenue Officer, Domain Group

Another big mover in this year’s list is Domain’s CRO, John Foong. After 15 years with Google and Uber in the US, John returned to Australia as Domain’s CRO towards the end of 2021. As well as the overhaul of the Domain App, in 2023, John was instrumental in informing consumers with the “Know what we know” advertising campaign, featuring Rose Byrne and Bobby Cannavale. John was also a presenter (and singer) at Elite Retreat 2023 and his episode of The Leadership Diaries on the Elevate podcast attracted a lot of listeners. 

  1. Hannah Gill, Director at The Property Collective, REIACT President, REIA Deputy President

An outstanding leader and mentor, Hannah Gill continues to be  one of the big names in property management in Australia. A seasoned and award-winning expert, the Telstra Business Woman of the Year alum has a nuanced understanding of the industry. In 2023, Hannah was named Deputy President of the REIA, with one of her clear goals to help find a solution to the housing and rental crisis, particularly when it comes to affordability. Hannah was also a hugely popular presenter at Elite Retreat this year, with her presentation on how agencies can create a culture playbook one of the most revered sessions. 

  1. Simon Pressley, Head of Research, Propertyology

Never one to shy away from a strong opinion, Simon Pressley certainly lived up to his influential reputation when he made national headlines in October, saying Propertyology would boycott investing in Victoria until the State Government improved its attitude towards investors, policies, government finances and economic management. Simon also questioned whether Queensland’s first-home owner grant was all it was cracked up to be and called for stamp duty to be replaced with a Medicare-style levy.

  1. Gavin Rubinstein, Founder, The Rubinstein Group

It’s never not a big year for ‘the prince of Double Bay,’ and 2023 has been no exception for Gavin Rubinstein. This year, as part of the Ray White Group, Gavin was awarded the Top Performing Principal based on settled commission in NSW/ACT, and also named #1 International Principal based on settled commission. In addition to that, Gavin continues to expand his team at TRG’s Rose Bay and Woollahra offices, and his November episode of the Elevate podcast, hosted by Tim Snell, was one of the most listened to episodes of the year.

  1. Josh Tesolin, Principal, Ray White Quakers Hill

You’d have to live under a very big rock, at the back of a very dark cave, to not know the name Josh Tesolin. In 2023, Josh reached his goal of writing $8 million in GCI, sold more than 300 properties and won the AREA for the Number 1 agent in NSW for the second year in a row. He’s also ranked Number 1 for NSW and Quakers Hill for the past six years and been named in the Ray White Group’s Chairman’s Elite multiple times. This year, Josh also grew the Ray White Quakers Hill team and hosted The Tesolin Conference for the first time, attracting guest speakers such as Tim Snell, Marty Fox, Tom Panos and Lisa Novak.

  1. Marty Fox, Chief Executive Office, WHITEFOX

It’s been a huge year for WHITEFOX leader Marty Fox, who kicked things off as the Elite Agent cover agent for our Autumn edition. An agent who has always challenged the status quo and pushed the boundaries of opportunity, Marty also took the WHITEFOX brand to New Zealand, opening offices in Queenstown and Auckland. And if there was an Aussie, or a Kiwi, that hadn’t heard of Marty, that likely changed when he joined the judging panel on hit renovation show, The Block, alongside Shaynna Blaze, Darren Palmer and Neale Whitaker.

  1. Hayden Groves, Principal, Dethridge Groves Real Estate, Outgoing REIA President

Hayden Groves handed over the REIA President reins to Leanne Pilkington earlier this month and bid farewell to the REIA board after nine years. In 2023, the REIA fostered strong relationships with the several housing bodies, and advocated for numerous industry issues including phasing out stamp duty, tackling housing supply, and examining the impact of the short-stay holiday market on the rental crisis. But undoubtedly one of Hayden’s most ‘influential’ moments came when the Prime Minister personally thanked him for the REIA’s work when the Australian Greens called for rent caps and rent freezes.

  1. Antonia Mercorella, CEO, REIQ

A former legal eagle, Antonia Mercorella has been at the helm of the REIQ since October 2014, and is just as passionate now about championing members’ rights as she was on day one. This year saw Antonia champion the rights of investors, recognising they’re a much needed part of the state’s housing providers. This included fighting legislation to limit rent increases to one per year and raising some red flags in the Property Law Bill – the largest change to the legislation governing the state’s property sector in 50 years.

  1. Nerida Conisbee, Chief Economist, Ray White Group

A powerhouse in explaining the numbers behind the property market, Nerida Conisbee has the ear of the industry whenever she speaks. Such is the respect Ray White’s chief economist commands. From house prices to international migration trends, Nerida cuts through the economic jargon to make sense of what’s happening in the market in her weekly economic updates. Her regular updates on Elite Agent have also proven a hit in 2023. 

  1. Matt Lahood, CEO of Real Estate, The Agency

Undoubtedly one of the biggest names in real estate, Matt Lahood is renowned for his passion and people-first approach. The Agency continued its upwards trajectory in 2023, with the largest acquisition in the network’s history coming to fruition in May, when Devine Real Estate came on board. Matt is also one of Elite Agent’s most-read contributors, with his columns on how to create a bulletproof business and build a super team among the most read articles on eliteagent.com. Matt’s Behind the News episodes of the Elevate podcast are also a favourite for listeners.

  1. Dr Nicola Powell, Chief of Research and Economics, Domain Group

Another economic guru with a rare ability to explain complex market trends in a simple, yet engaging manner, Dr Nicola Powell’s voice of authority has really come to the fore in 2023. The author of Domain’s End-of-year Wrap, Nicola created an authoritative analysis of the Australian property market that included everything from traditional price predictions to insightful analysis on the key features buyers currently want in homes. Nicola also appeared on The Block this year and is also a highly sought speaker.

  1. Manos Findikakis, CEO, Agents’Agency

One of the true gentlemen in real estate, Manos Findikakis is renowned for his agent-centric approach and ability to cut through the noise with no nonsense, well-reasoned advice. Agents’Agency continued to grow in 2023, with agents joining the network in several states. Manos is a regular contributor to Elite Agent, with his column on how to achieve your goals in 2023 widely read, while his monthly insight on the RBA’s interest rates decision cuts through the jargon to spell out what it means for mortgage holders, buyers, sellers and real estate agents alike.

  1. Tim McKibbin, CEO, REINSW

Tim McKibbin has been advocating for real estate agents in NSW for the past 20 years, including 17 as the CEO of the REINSW. In 2023, the institute launched the Rent Crisis Action Campaign to address the housing crisis and highlight the plight of residential property investors and property managers to balance a debate so often focused on tenants. He also brought a nuanced understanding to the rent bidding debate, hit out at the government’s Rental Fairness Bill and called for greater regulation of DIY landlords. 

  1. Alexandra Haggarty, Managing Director, First National Maitland

There’s influence in real estate and then there’s influence in the wider community, and Alexandra Haggarty’s efforts fall into both of those categories. In 2023, Alexandra was awarded the prestigious REINSW Woodrow Weight award, which recognises transformative contributions to real estate and community betterment. That award was for the work she has done over the past nine years helping more than 200 domestic violence survivors, and their families, transition to safer housing. As a network, First National also includes domestic violence training at its investor relations days, where Alexandra is also a speaker.

  1. Paul Hoefer, Head of connectnow, AGL Energy

Paul Hoefer, at the helm of connectnow, masterminds the company’s strategic direction and spearheads a dynamic team committed to easing the home-moving journey for customers. This is accomplished through a network of robust partnerships, prominently featuring Australia’s leading real estate agents. Launched in 2001, connectnow has swiftly ascended to become a trusted name in Australia’s home-moving landscape. With a rich history spanning over 21 years and backed by a passionate team of more than 100 professionals, connectnow has been a pivotal force in transforming the home-moving experiences of over 1.5 million customers, adeptly handling their essential moving needs.

25. Justin Nickerson, Director, Apollo Auctions

If you’re looking for an auctioneer synonymous with the profession in Queensland, Justin Nickerson is widely regarded as one of the best. He brings a fresh take to the traditional auction, combining market nous with an engaging style. It was that unique combination that saw him smash the Queensland auction record in September, selling Alston, at 5 McMillan Crt, Southport, for $24.8 million. Justin is also the only Australian to win the Australasian auctioneer of the year three times, is a five-time winner of the REIQ Auctioneer of Year Award, and was a highly anticipated presenter at AREC this year.

26. Anton Babkov, CEO, Rexlabs

A true industry influencer, as the CEO of Rexlabs Anton Babkov seeks to make real estate professionals’ lives easier by helping them improve their customers’ experience. The software provider has continued to grow its team both here in Australia and in the UK, with Rex reportedly making more than $15 million in annual recurring revenue. Since the release of last year’s influencers list, Potentia Capital has picked up a stake in Rex and Rex has released its ChatGPT/Zapier integration, which authors listing ads and contextual email messages to buyer enquiries.

27. Steve Carroll, General Manager of Sales – Queensland, The Agency and Digital Live Charity Ride

You’d be hard pressed to find a real estate industry influencer with a bigger heart than Steve Carroll. The brains, and significant brawn, behind the Digital Live Charity Ride, Steve has helped raise more than $1.2 million for Hands Across the Water, a charity that assists underprivileged children in Thailand. In 2025, he’s not only convinced Elite Agent’s Samantha McLean and Mark Edwards to pull on the lycra, he’s had to organise a second ride due to popularity. In his role with The Agency, Steve is just as influential, helping the national network expand its footprint and market share in Queensland, including securing female auctioneer Kylie Kis.

28. John Minns, NSW Property Services Commissioner

There was no political see-saw this year, but NSW Property Services Commissioner John Minns has still had a busy year. The largest piece of the puzzle for John in 2023 has been overhauling the industry’s CPD requirements, including the introduction of interactive training, which helps prevent things such as agents having someone else complete their CPD for them. John also works alongside the new NSW Rental Commissioner Trina Jones. In his quest to improve standards in the industry, John also joined with NSW Fair Trading Commissioner, Natasha Mann, to provide intelligence to ASQA on the performance of Registered Training Organisations, leading to an audit.

29. David Choi, Chief Strategist and Commercial Officer at Propic, Strategic Advisor Propps

When it comes to PropTech, David Choi is the name on everyone’s lips. The go-to guy for PropTech startups, David joined Propic full-time in November 2020 and hasn’t looked back since. In 2023, real estate agencies around the country bought Propic’s Concierge AI to ensure they could meet clients’ needs 24/7. But perhaps the biggest news from David and the Propic team came in November when they launched the rebuilt virtual concierge, CLAIRE by Propic, with more than 160 new features. CLAIRE by Propic can not only respond to enquiries and leads in real-time, generating and writing emails on its own, at any time of the day or night, it can converse in 14 different languages and also transcribe the conversations back into English and send them to agents.

30. Fiona Blayney, Founder and CEO, Real+

You’d be hard pressed to find someone that doesn’t know the name Fiona Blayney in property management, and with good reason. Fiona is the woman behind Real+, one of the industry’s pre-eminent consulting, coaching, training and outsourcing property management services. She’s a highly regarded speaker, taking to the stage at AREC 2023, where she has the unique ability to use case studies and anecdotes to break down even the most complex business strategies. Fiona also regularly shares her wisdom with Elite Agent readers.

31. Simon Cohen, Founder and CEO, Cohen Handler

There may not have been a season of Luxe Listings Sydney in 2023, but that hasn’t stopped Simon Cohen from having a big year. The buyer’s agent dubbed ‘the deal maker’ expanded his business significantly, establishing a seller’s advocacy agency called COHEN SPACE, with Julie Buchanan. He also teamed up with Joshua Meli to form CH Secure, which is also a buyer’s agency, but focuses on helping everyday Australians build long-term wealth by investing in affordable properties across the nation.

32. Alex Ouwens and Nathan Casserly, Ouwens Casserly

The past 12 months have been both a huge success and a huge challenge for Alex Ouwens and Nathan Casserly. Ouwens Casserly took home the Annual REA Excellence Award for Residential Agency of Year in April, with the accolade just reward for a team that banded together when Alex and fellow director, Luke Holden, had to take time away from the agency after their children were diagnosed with cancer. As a result, Ouwens Casserly now runs a shared leadership model that provides greater support for team members and clients. The agency also acquired Timms Real Estate.

33. Bianca Denham, Head of Performance of Recognition, Ray White

Bianca Denham is a powerhouse at the Ray White Group, known for being a top real estate practitioner, with a nous for developing high performing agents. Bianca works with Ray White’s business leaders to improve their business structures and foster greater growth. She’s also the brains behind the national performance team and develops programs for Elite and Chairman’s Elite agents and leaders. In 2023, Bianca also shared her wisdom with Elite Agent readers, with her monthly columns and agent interviews eagerly anticipated for their engaging content and active takeaways.

34. Stuart Benson, Director and Auctioneer, Benson Auctions

If there’s an auction being called in Greater Western Sydney, it’s likely Stu Benson is the man with the gavel in his hand. Backed by big name agents, Stu combines strategy and style to call auctions like few others. Over the years, Stu’s also won a swag full of awards and appeared on shows like The Block and Under the Hammer. But he also makes a big impact in the community. Stu’s the man behind the Dads of The Hills Facebook group, which has about 10,000 members and was created by local dads and dads-to-be for local dads and dads-to-be. As well as providing mateship, support and advice, the group also supports community charities, such as Bear Cottage.

35. Geoff Lucas, Group CEO and Managing Director, The Agency

The other half of The Agency’s dynamic duo leadership team, Geoff Lucas has helped propel the national network to new heights in 2023, with several big name agents joining the team. Veteran sports broadcaster Tim Gossage joined The Agency in WA in May, while Mosman specialist Claudia Portale came on board in September. For the 2022-23 financial year, the network increased its market share 25 basis points to 1.23 per cent of all properties sold across Australia, while revenue increased 6 per cent to $76.93 million. A strategic alliance with MDC Trilogy has also seen the number of doors The Agency manages more than double over the past 12 months, to almost 10,000. Also highly respected as an industry thought leader, Geoff’s insightful monthly commentary on interest rates has been highly read this year.

36. Andrew Bell, CEO, Ray White Surfers Paradise Group and REIA as queensland representative

With more than 40 years’ experience in real estate, Ray White Surfers Paradise Group CEO Andrew Bell is a beacon of knowledge in the Queensland market. Ray White Surfers Paradise Group is the largest real estate company in the state, with more than 200 team members operating across residential, prestige, project marketing, commercial and industrial real estate. Andrew is also an additional director on the REIA board, bringing a Queensland perspective to real estate issues, as well as advocating for agents and consumers in the state on issues such as land tax, the rental crisis and internal migration.

37. Lisa Claes, CEO, CoreLogic

CoreLogic has had a huge year on the acquisition front, with CEO Lisa Claes steering the ship. In February, CoreLogic announced it had completed its acquisition of Victorian-based PropTech firm Plezzel, a digital automation and lead generation platform. This acquisition comes after acquiring RiTA and AiRE. CoreLogic also launched Propensity to List, a retention solution which identifies a targeted segment of home loan customers likely to list their home in the next three months, and unveiled SMARTval to help improve property valuation processing times. The property data analytics company also partnered with the CSIRO to trial an AI system that estimates energy efficiency for homes across Australia.

38. Alice Stolz, National Managing Editor, Domain

As the National Managing Editor of Domain for almost a decade, there’s little Alice Stolz doesn’t know about property. She understands what buyers want, what agents need to do to get more eyes on their listings, whether a marketing campaign is on the money and has a good gauge on the property market as a whole. Alice is also a regular on The Block, and was this year part of a three-part series in Elite Agent highlighting how the hit renovation show has changed the way Aussies view property and what marketing lessons agents could take away from the contestants.

39. Michelle May, Principal, Michelle May Buyers’ Agents 

A long-time contributor for Elite Agent, Michelle May had our most read contributor article this year, when she penned her predictions for the property trends that will dominate the market in 2024. Growing up in South Africa, and after also living in the UK, Michelle arrived on Australian soil in 2007 and has since built her buyer’s agency based on her desire to give buyers power and confidence in their property buying experiences. She’s also the host of the Buy Your Side podcast and is a source of wisdom on how selling agents and buyer’s agents can work better together.

40. Sharon Fox-Slater, Managing Director, EBM RentCover

Sharon Fox-Slater joined EBM RentCover back in 1993 and was part of the core team that launched one of Australia’s first landlord insurance policies to the market. Since then, she has worked tirelessly to transform the startup to a national operation of more than 90 team members, who strive to educate property professionals and help protect landlords’ assets. A regular contributor to Elite Agent, Sharon also has a knack for explaining complex insurance policies, legislation and issues in an engaging and informing way. From what to do if a tenant dies, to explaining why insurance premiums are rising, Sharon equips property managers with the knowledge they need to provide their clients better service.

41.Alex Jordan, Sales Agent, McGrath Paddington

A multiple Annual REA Excellence Award winner as the Top Residential Salesperson in Queensland, Alex Jordan is a highly-sought property specialist in the Sunshine State. An astute professional who prides himself on leaving every interaction with a client having made a positive impression, Alex doesn’t just possess a keen knowledge of bricks and mortar, but has honed acumen in construction, zoning and design. Alex is no stranger to the rigours of real estate but he’s also a keen proponent of creating a healthy work-life balance and performing at his optimum.

42. Peter Schravemade, Managing Partner, REACH Australia

Peter Schravemade has a unique skill set, including a refined ability to accelerate PropTech startups and a keen business acumen. He’s also a highly sought real estate consultant and keynote speaker who has delivered presentations at Inman Connect in New York and more. In 2023, REACH Australia launched the REACH PropTech Marketplace, a listing portal featuring all the PropTech tools and platforms here and in New Zealand. The first REACH Genesis conference was also held in Brisbane, with the aim of helping the latest cohort of REACH PropTechs examine ways they can better succeed in the industry.

43. Oliver Lavers, Director, The Rubinstein Group

One of the TRG originals and Gavin Rubinstein’s right-hand man for the past decade, Oliver Lavers was named partner and director at the agency’s Rose Bay office in November. An astute strategist with an active mind and a tireless work ethic, Oliver was also named Top City Salesperson by settled commission and #5 internationally by settled commission at Ray White’s awards this year. Oliver says his next goal is to create his own dream team – one that is fast, efficient and settles for nothing but the best results and service standards. He’s definitely one to watch in 2024.

44. Mike Mortlock, Managing Director, MCG Quantity Surveyors

Mike Mortlock is the man behind another of Elite Agent’s top stories in 2023, with his views on remote investing and investors fleeing the eastern states for Western Australia, among our most highly read articles. Mike and his business partner, Marty Sadlier, started MCG Quantity Surveyors in their bedrooms in 2011, before going on to be named in the AFR’s Fast 100 in 2018. Mike has helped thousands of property investors maximise their tax depreciation deductions and investment cash flow. He’s also one-third of The Property Trio, a podcast with David Johnston and Cate Bakos.

45. Hayley Mitchell, Director, Mitchell PT and Bnb Property Managers 

A property management specialist, Hayley Mitchell is known as a top trainer, consultant and industry innovator. In 2023, she took her PM Reach conference on the road, with the aim of encouraging property managers to focus on their mindset, wellness and resilience. Hayley also runs MitchellPT, and other conferences, events, webinars, PM bootcamp and in-house training sessions. She’s a key administrator of the Australian PM Community on Facebook and a multiple winner of the REIV Property Manager of the Year Award. This year Hayley also grew Bnb Property Managers from startup to well established business. 

46. Thomas McGlynn, CEO, BresicWhitney

Thomas McGlynn has held leadership positions at some of Australia’s best known real estate brands, including McGrath and The Agency. He moved to BresicWhitney in 2020 as head of sales and at the start of 2022 became CEO. This year, BresicWhitney has continued in its pursuit of becoming the market leaders in Sydney, with the team strengthened by the arrival of agents such as Louise Barton, Nic Christou and Guido Scatizzi. Thomas’ also penned a quarterly leadership series for Elite Agent this year, and his monthly interest rates comments drill down into what the RBA’s decisions mean for agents on the ground.

47. Katrina Tarrant, CEO, Harcourts NSW/ACT

Dedicated and passionate over a 30-year real estate career, Katrina Tarrant has long been an industry leader. But she really caught the attention of Elite Agent readers in the second half of 2023 with a series of hard-hitting, poignant thought-leadership articles on topics such as productive paranoia and how to give you customer service skills a business class upgrade. Also a true innovator, with a keen eye on PropTech, Katrina is a key advocate for Harcourts REACH, an AI-based digital advertising platform.

48. Andy Reid, Auctioneer, Coach, Speaker, High Performance Humans podcast host 

If you take a look at Andy Reid’s website he lists his purpose as “communicating to inspire action, one human at a time”. And that’s exactly what Andy does as a real estate coach, speaker, auctioneer and all-round great guy, who sees it as his mission to help agents be the best they can be and lower industry turnover in the process. Andy is a multiple REIV award winner, is one of only a few ‘Master Auctioneers’ in Victoria and has coached hundreds of agents nation-wide. Andy also recently launched his High Performance Humans podcast, where he talks to amazing humans about their definition of high performance.

49. Chris Hanley OAM, CEO, First National Byron

Known as one of the Three Wise Men of real estate, Chris Hanley is one of the industry’s most humble and generous leaders. A mentor to the mentors, Chris is passionate about his team, his community and other real estate professionals. Honoured with an OAM for service to literature and his community work, which included saving Byron Bay Hospital from developers, Chris founded the Byron Writers Festival. He is also the chairperson of the RISE organisation which helps real estate professionals maintain their health and mental wellbeing. Chris is also a contributor to Elite Agent and starred on the Elevate podcast this year, with his advice on mastering soft skills widely applauded.

50. Peter Brewer, REIQ Chairman, coach, speaker and mentor

If you ask Peter Brewer what he does for work, he says, “I’m here to help”. Forthright but humble, Peter has a real estate and business career that has spanned more than 40 years, including 13 with the REIQ, first as a digital media trainer, and the past six as chairman of the board. Peter also coaches real estate business owners, is a respected brand champion, engaging MC and speaker and knows a thing or two about digital and personal branding. He also recently shared the touching story of selling the family home with Elite Agent, revealing what a former real estate agent looks for in a current sales professional.

*Elite Agent Industry Influencers 2023: How did we determine this list?

Firstly, we look at our own website analytics and take a deep dive into what people are engaging with, searching for and clicking on, particularly when it comes to news stories and features.

As there is every year, there were a few surprises in 2023!

Then we take our combined years of experience in the real estate industry to brainstorm more names, reviewing staff changes, growth numbers and social media.

We consider the individual and company initiatives, planned or announced, that are really expected to occur in the near future. 

We then debate the significance of these actions, adding and removing names as we go.

(Can you imagine the robust conversations that take place in our office?)

Some people on this list have entrepreneurial power, some financial strength, some hold high office, and some have positional power. 

Some are doers, some deal makers.

Some simply have lots of followers.

We have deliberately not included public figures or elected ministers in the creation of this list.

We have also not included any employees of Elite Agent.

We understand that any such list is bound to be subjective, and is by no means exhaustive, but it is something we feel is a reasonable snapshot of where we see things in 2023.

As with many things, influence is, more often than not, temporary – those who we see as playing a large part in 2023 might not be so influential in 2024 – and there are always new players. So watch this space.

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