With the official end of 2020 passing, and the beginning of a brand new year, we decided to dive into the real estate industry to predict our “Top 10 Real Estate Agents to Look Out for in 2021.” All of the individuals included in this list had a stellar 2020 despite the eventful year that it was. We’re expecting big things to continue from this list, so let’s get right into it! Coming up at number one...
- Joshua Barris
Leading the Real Estate industry is best selling author, Joshua Baris out of New Jersey. As a Top Producing Realtor, Joshua Baris consistently ranks in the Top 1% of Licensed New Jersey Real Estate Agents. Baris continues to be honored in THE THOUSAND by Real Trends and The Wall Street Journal as one of the Top 1000 Real Estate Professionals in the Country. His accomplishments can quite literally fill 100+ articles in depth. Baris has been referred to as a “Celebrity Realtor” or “Realtor to the Stars” appearing on many National Television Networks including with his clients Coco and Ice T on the E! Network”s hit reality show Ice Loves Coco helping them to obtain Cocos World headquarters in Hudson County, NJ. Joshua successfully represents professional athletes including Jason Collins from the NBA. Other celebrity clients include musicians and entertainers like Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, Mary J. Blige, Kevin Jonas, and countless others. Most recently, Forbes named Baris as a 2020 Market Leader and included him in their prestigious Forbes 500 List. It’s no secret that Joshua has accomplished a grocery list full of high-level accomplishments, but he delivers a powerful message to up and coming Entrepreneurs looking to breakthrough. “Always work hard. Create your own opportunities. Never make excuses. Be innovative. Never be afraid of change. Be honest. Help others. Respect your competition. Be thankful. Be humble, and never forget where you came from.” Wise principles that have paved the path for Joshua Baris to be standing in the position he is today.
- Kevin Hill
“Well to start, I’ve always had a passion for real estate.” As a native Detroiter, Kevin always enjoyed going to open houses with his mother to look at the architecture. “I think homes tell a story and truly are a work of art.” In 6th grade, Kevin would sell candy to his classmates at a markup, a young entrepreneur in the making, and it all started from there. “Once I realized that I had a natural affinity for sales and building relationships, I decided to put my skills and passions together and my real estate career was born. And now here I am, five years later, and I’ve worked with professional athletes and international investors, developers, first time home buyers, and business leaders to represent their real estate endeavors.” Detroit is home to several major hospitals as well as General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler, and referrals from within those organizations was a major player in the growth of Kevin’s business. CEOs and World Renowned Surgeons needing anything from a short term lease to a million-dollar home have retained his services. “When a new Pistons or Lions player is signed, their teammates refer them to me. Having the privilege of assisting All-stars like Derrick Rose, Andre Drummond, Langston Galloway, and Danny Amendola, and having them trust in me to find their dream Detroit property is truly an honor.” One of the greatest compliments you can get as a realtor is referral business, and Kevin has been blessed with some incredible clients in that regard. His clients know and refer to Kevin as the gatekeeper of the city of Detroit. “Not only do I know this city’s real estate in and out, but I live here too. I refer them to the best restaurants, entertainment experiences, etc; whatever they may need, I make it a point to have the answers readily available for my clients.” It may be surprising to some that Detroit is a hot spot for international investors, but Kevin has had clients from South Africa, New Zealand, and Europe; he even sold a 25+ unit condo portfolio worth $9M to an Asian investor.
Kevin has been ranked a top realtor on social media for five consecutive years. After breaking price per square foot records, he has become the go-to for developers in the city. Kevin had his first million-dollar listing and signed his first multi-million dollar development listing in the same week. His listings are featured in all major Detroit publications.
- Julia Wang
“I know it was always my destiny to become a real estate agent and broker even though I didn't realize it until later on in life.” After college, Julia started off working in the corporate marketing industry. “While I was very good at what I did, and eventually started my own marketing consulting company, it was something that I just didn't feel passionate about.” Julia decided to get her real estate license after the decision to cut out the middleman for her and her husband’s investment properties, and said it's been a wild ride since! “I started off doing apartment locating and getting my leads off of Craigslist, to now selling multi-million dollar homes, working with celebrity clientele and being one of the most recognized names in the industry.” Julia Wang hails from Houston, Texas, and is proudly one of the Texas area’s most recognized names in Real Estate. She is one of the few agents who relies on social media for the majority of her marketing and business. Julia was chosen as one of the 'Top Real Estate Professionals to Follow in 2020' by Yahoo Finance; was chosen as the #1 realtor on social media for all of Houston and Texas, and recently opened up her own brokerage and recruited 30 agents in less than 2 months. You can keep up with Julia on Instagram at instagram.com/juliawang_htx
- Kail Walker
In college, Kail studied Health and Human Performance, believing that he wanted to be in the health and fitness industry and own a gym. After a few years in the field, he realized that health and fitness is in fact a passion of his, but that teaching it was not. Kail knew his calling was something greater. After battling severe depression and living paycheck to paycheck for a couple of years at a previous job before Real Estate, he knew it was time to take a leap of faith and do something to create his own destiny.
“I dove into books and podcasts that elevated my mindset, skills and helped me beat my depression by simply understanding how powerful my mind is.” His passion for real estate stems from his mother, DeDee Oliver, who has been a very successful Realtor for almost 25 years now. He also had always found himself on Zillow or Instagram looking at cool houses and apartments and getting inspiration. “When I finally decided enough was enough of struggling, I thought Real Estate would be the perfect opportunity since I had the perfect mentor in my mom, and I was in love with the hustle.” This has led Kail to start the riseOMA Real Estate Group where he and his team are the company's top team. “It may sound cliche, but I'm grateful to wake up every day and absolutely love what I do. And to think, this is only the beginning!”
Kail was the 2019 October Top List Agent of the Month, and you can find out more about him at https://www.instagram.com/kailxwalker/?igshid=j3qhbwk0kuip
- George CancioBello
George CanioBello is the Broker and Leader of LIFESTYLE International Realty, a real estate agency with operations in Miami, Florida. With more than 10 years of experience in the real estate industry, George has worked relentlessly to build his brand and create a unique customer experience like none other. LIFESTYLE International Realty is run like a family, making communication, collaboration, and dedication the forefront of the business. Operating in such manner allows George to create a welcoming environment for every client that walks through his doors. Leadership is a value that George holds high, helping him create a positive ambience throughout his company. Dedicated to serving his clients, George created a team of well-rounded professionals to make the customer experience as easy and stress free as possible. LIFESTYLE International Realty has 6 different locations with more than 800 real estate professionals spanned across each location, making their more than $300 million in sales each year possible. George approaches each situation differently, but with maximum effort. No client's goals are the same, which is why George tailors each and every transaction to benefit the client over anything else. The spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has taken tremendous tolls on many industries in the country, however, historically low interest rates have resulted in a boom in the real estate industry. With cheaper loans, higher demand for homes in Florida, and a low supply, George has faced a challenge of only having 24 hours in each day. With so much business, George and his team have worked tirelessly to continue helping people get into the homes of their dreams. The virus has also created the challenge of extending George's platform without human contact, forcing him to adapt to creating an online presence while still having an impact on his community. With a bright future ahead, George is looking forward to expanding his borders outside the South Florida area and into more states in the U.S. Backed by an unstoppable team, LIFESTYLE International Realty is geared for every challenge and opportunity that comes their way. To learn more about George CancioBello and LIFESTYLE Realty International, click here.
- David Adam Kurz
David Adam Kurz is a highly successful real estate professional in Southeast Florida. With Miami as a hub he is able to help his clients from the Southern points of Miami and the Florida Keys up through Fort Lauderdale, Broward and the Palm Beaches. David runs a team with EXP Realty that expands from Miami to Orlando and up to Virginia, joining forces with top producer Jeannette Echevarria and her team. David, his teams and his brokerages have surpassed over $500 million in sales over more than a decade. They plan to expand further to Orlando, Tampa and eventually all the way to NYC. Over the years, David has developed relationships with some of the best real estate professionals in the market. This allows David to help all his clients have smooth transactions with trusted professionals in title, mortgage, inspections and more. Specifically, he has partnerships with Title and Credit Repair with Nu World Title and Credit Repair Consultants out of Miami. David has a passion for marketing and treats his real estate business like a top marketing firm. Focusing on using the best parts of digital marketing and what he has dubbed as “in your face” techniques to get homes sold in the quickest time possible while attaining the best price and results for his clients. In his off time it's all about Harley Davidsons and family. He loves to travel and has committed to trying to discover as much of America as he can.
David has written two books, both available on Amazon, with a third on the way. He has coached multiple real estate businesses into growth and success. He owns and operates two real estate companies, runs an annual Real Estate Sales Conference in Miami called, “The Real Talk Conference.”, and is the host of the “Take Action” podcast on iTunes and Spotify. He is also starting a new podcast to discuss something he is truly passionate about, teaching veterans about wealth, health, and success. This newest podcast is titled, “Veteran Wealth Podcast”. Find out more about David at www.DavidAdamKurz.com
- Brian Walsh
Brian was a former New Jersey public school administrator for almost a decade but he wanted something more out of his vocation. While he loved being part of a school family, Brian wanted the freedom that entrepreneurship could bring and knew he had the determination and drive to do the hard work to make it a reality. Brian decided to shift into residential real estate and transfer his skills into educating and helping people in a different, but equally important part of their life. Since becoming a real estate professional, Brian has read over 130 books, earned his NJ broker's license during the pandemic, and continues to double his business year over year selling approximately $10 million in sales volume as a solo agent during 2020. Moving forward Brian plans to work on refining internal systems to provide world class experiences for all of his clients. Above all though, Brian says, "There is nothing more rewarding than helping a family with one of their most important lifetime decisions, buying and selling their home." Brian works diligently on social media marketing, innovative ideas and programs for his clients, and working on improvements each and every day in his business and in his personal life.
Brian sold approximately $10 million in volume in 2020 as a solo agent, and earned his broker's license in 2020. He won Re/Max awards in 2018 & 2019, and is on target for state level and additional Re/Max awards for 2020. In total he has over 15 years prior experience as a school principal, director of human resources and teacher in several NJ school districts and holds 3 college degrees including a Bachelor's, Master's & Ed.S degree. Brian has already shown he is a standout real estate professional who is just getting started and continues with plans and efforts to exponentially build and grow his business. You can learn more about Brian at www.instagram.com/bwalshrealestate
- Gretchen Coley
Gretchen Coley started as a finance major in college, and after doing an internship on Wall Street, she quickly realized that finance was not her true passion. “After college, I began my career working for builders and I fell in love with introducing homebuyers to their new communities and the homes within them. I loved being so involved in the process of transitioning a family into their new home and I also loved the entire marketing aspect. That love has only continued to grow, and 5 years ago I made the switch to general brokerage.” The marketing knowledge that Gretchen brought with her from her experience with driving customers to new home communities gave her an edge in general brokerage. Gretchen started to leverage video marketing in order to differentiate her listings from the vast majority of the other listings out there, and she began to use specific and strategic marketing strategies to target the ideal buyer for those homes online. “In short, it worked perfectly and I created a team in 2019. In 2020 we helped over 200 families transition and we expect to double that in 2021.”
“My most loved accomplishments are happy clients. In 2020, I was named one of the top 14 agents in my market ranked by the Triangle Business Journal. I am Co-Chair of the RRAR Top Producers Council, and a proud member of the Luxury Home Marketing Group.” Gretchen’s love of community and the businesses within it drove her to create a series called “Best of Raleigh'', where she can shine a spotlight on some of her favorite local businesses. To learn more about Gretchen and her team, visit https://www.thecoleygroup.com
- Skylar Oberst
Skylar Oberst was born and raised in Spokane, Washington. “After graduating high school in 2015, I headed off to college with the idea of being a computer engineer. As many freshmen do, I had changed my mind and my focus many times after this. Eventually, I had found myself interested in the business program taking various class bc es such as marketing, finance, management, etc. Through these classes and other life experiences, Real Estate immediately sparked my interest.” In 2017, while attending his Junior year of college at EWU, Skylar began the Real Estate course and got his license in the beginning of 2018, at just twenty years old. “Initially, I didn’t know what I was getting into. Considering I was still in college, I didn’t know if I wanted to do it part time, or create a career out of it.” Skylar spent a lot of time doing research, learning the material, studying the market, and how to become a successful agent. The more he became involved with the community and the industry itself; he fell in love. “There is a joy and satisfaction that comes with helping someone find his or her dream home. Each day is different, there is unlimited opportunity, you get to create relationships, you never stop learning, and there’s a high level of fulfillment that comes with every transaction.” Fast forward three years, at 23 years old, and Skylar was able to complete his Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration with a double major in Finance and MIS, in addition to assisting over 50 families in buying or selling their homes. Skylar has sold more than $10M in volume, and has now been given the opportunity to start his own Real Estate team, Inspire Home Group, with the anticipation of having over 10 team members within the first few starting months!
Skylar became Rookie of the Year within his brokerage during his first year, and was named Top Agent this past year. To follow Skylar and his Real Estate endeavors, you can visit him on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/skylaroberst_realestate/
- Tonya Upton
Tonya Upton, out of Greenville, South Carolina, says she is most passionate about helping her clients reach their home buying and selling goals. “Being a Business Development Manager in International Logistics for 20+ years made me a strong negotiator. My clients love my attention to detail, listening abilities, persuasion, analytical thinking, problem-solving and excellent communication skills.”
Growing up in a military family, relocating was a constant for Tonya. She and her family relocated many times throughout her father’s Army career. This experience honed her compassion for family’s needs that are relocating and more importantly the skill sets that Realtors need to super-serve their clients. “Patience, persistence, market knowledge and a laser focused work ethic are the critical keys to help buyers find just the right home that meets their needs coupled with the tenacity to bring the deal across the closing table finish line. Working with an enthusiastic agent who understands this can make a transition much easier and less stressful.” Tonya’s specialties include working with first-time home buyers, retirees, and those relocating to the thriving and gorgeous Upstate South Carolina region. Tonya values the opportunity to get to know her clients on both a professional and personal level and considers it a privilege to assist others in one of the most important and long-lasting decisions they will ever make.
Tonya was named the #1 Agent on social media for the state of South Carolina in 2020. You can keep up with her here on Instagram at www.instagram.com/upstateupton