Engel & Völkers CEO Has Walked in Agents’ Shoes
The dynamic leader has the company on a fast track and is committed to the LGBT community
Having a leader who has been in your shoes in something we all hope to have.
Upstart Engel & Völkers has just that in Anthony Hitt, the company’s North America Chief Executive Officer who has quickly grown the franchise system to a presence in more than 90 markets. He has been with the company since 2010, first creating a California presence then becoming Chief Operating Officer prior to being promoted to Chief Executive Officer in 2014.
Engel & Völkers is not the traditional U.S.-based real estate franchise. Instead, the 40-year-old company is headquartered in Hamburg, Germany and has more than 8,000 agents, which it calls advisors, in more than 700 offices in 32 countries.
Hitt entered the real estate world in 2002 and quickly found a home. He emerged as one of the nation’s top agents, spending eight years with Sotheby’s International, Realty in Los Angeles. Routinely recognized by the likes of the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times, he did more than 400 deals equating to near $500 million in sales volume.
His individual success fueled the creation of a 12-person team which taught him a thing or two about that model.
“I’ve come to the conclusion that for most agents, the stereotypical team model may not be right for them,” he said from his New York City office. “The team leader essentially plays the role of a broker and spends a lot of time consulting, coaching and dealing with issues. A lot of time the hours allocated to that role exceeds the financial benefits.”
After several years running his own team, Hitt realized that even though he did well in the supervisory role, he would make more money by devoting more time back to his business. He downsized the team, essentially certified his own open house agents and hired the back office assistance he needed.
“Assistants are the way to go,” he said. “There are so many ways today to hire the help you need and there is no reason why agents can’t partner up with like-minded agents to share those costs. That allows each the ability to run their own business and be true entrepreneurs. Any time you partner, you really need to have a contract.”
Great advice from an agent turned CEO.