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An Unstoppable Legend: Ben Caballero Remains America's Top-Performing Real Estate Agent

May 14 2024

wav unstoppable legend ben caballeroBen Caballero is an improbable and incomparable real estate legend.

How can an individual real estate agent based in Texas sell an average of more than 19 homes daily, every day of the week, including Saturdays and Sundays?

Again, 19 homes a day, times 365 days last year, would be 6,935 home sales.

Ben sold 7,012 homes in 2023.

He is the sole listing agent on every sale, verified by every multiple listing service he works with in Texas. He does not work with any other agent or team at HomesUSA.com, the brokerage where he also is CEO and founder.

Ben is unique because he does not work with home buyers at all. He is a sell-side-only agent. His sole clients are 60+ home builders, mainly in Texas's four largest new home markets: Houston, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Austin, and San Antonio.

Numbers in the stratosphere

Ben is a selling machine.

He has been the No. 1 ranked agent in the US since 2013, according to RealTrends (now part of HousingWire). He tops the annual ranking for the total number of transactions and total sales volume every year.

Last year, Ben's individual sold homes totaled at an unprecedented $3.638 billion.

It's hard to get our brains around the magnitude of Ben's accomplishments, so let's try.

If you stacked Ben's newest record volume in one-dollar bills, it would be over 246 miles high, or more than 44 times the height of Mount Everest. If you laid $3.638 billion in one-dollar bills end-to-end, it would go around the earth more than 14 times. Spending $1 every second would take you 115 years to reach $3.638 billion.

He is the:

  • First individual agent to reach $1 billion or more in annual sales (2015).
  • First individual agent to reach $2 billion or more in annual sales (2018).
  • First individual agent to reach $3 billion or more in annual sales (2022).
  • First individual agent to exceed $3.5 billion or more in annual sales (2023).

From 2004 to 2023, Ben's home sales exceeded 60,000, totaling more than $20 billion. A stack of $20 billion in one-dollar bills would be over 4,000 times taller than the tallest building in the US (One World Trade Center).

Unmatched recognition

Ben is a three-time Guinness World Records title holder for "Most annual home sale transactions through MLS by an individual sell-side real estate agent—current." In 2016, he sold 3,556 verified home sales, broke his own record in 2018 with 5,801, and broke his record again in 2020 with 6,438.

Last year, by breaking the 7,000 home sales barrier, he set a new bar for the industry.

Recently, Ben invented SpecDeck, a cutting-edge technology that empowers builders to replace their in-house MLS listing process, a HousingWire 2024 Tech100 Real Estate award winner.

Ben was an Inman Innovator Awards winner in 2013, named the "Most Innovative Real Estate Agent." He was a finalist again in 2016 and 2018 and an Inman industry influencer in 2017.

Swanepoel (now T3 Sixty) named him a top trendsetter in 2017. Remarkably, Ben received the 2014 "Pinnacle Award" for Real Estate Entrepreneurship, presented by Gary Keller and Keller Williams Realty, even though he never work for KW.

Ben has a unique business model

Most agents use a retail model – working directly with buyers and sellers. Ben has a wholesale model, working directly with the product's creators – builders.

While Ben does not do many of the things that agents typically do, those agents also don't do many of the things Ben does. Plus, the new home sales process is much different—and longer—than a typical existing home listing.

For example, every one of Ben's listings leverages his advanced proprietary listing and marketing tech platform, which has 52 built-in listing validations. His typical MLS listing is updated more than a dozen times throughout its listing cycle, and he provides the builder with nearly two dozen services to support each one.

The Hustle did an exceptional job describing Ben's journey, what he does, and how he does it. Ben's Podcast Series – Builder Talk and Real Estate Agent Series – also describes his business and shares his secrets to success.

Ben is an enigma

What may be the most surprising thing about Ben is that the number one Realtor in the world is 83 years old, works out regularly with a professional trainer, and remains one of the hardest-working agents in the business.

Incredible milestones mark his career: his father was a first-generation Cuban American from Tampa, Florida, and both his mom and dad became real estate brokers. He is a U.S. Air Force veteran. He became a Realtor when he was 21 and has been one for over 60 years.

Ben was also a builder for 18 years. One of the most prized awards in his career was a "Builder's Choice Award" for Excellence in Design & Planning from Builder magazine.

He is a serial innovator: he created The Apartment Finders in Dallas in the early 1960s and was among the first – if not the first agent – in the late 1980s to offer a "guarantee" to buy your home if you didn't sell your old house by the time you closed on your new home purchase; invented the first online platform to manage home sales and marketing for builders; and most recently created SpecDeck, the first builder tech platform that uses strategic automation to create a more streamlined and simpler way for builders to have their listings fully managed in the MLS.

Finally, few industry thought leaders have the same level of experience as Ben Caballero. He can often spot future outcomes well before most industry experts. He called out iBuyers and challenged the success of the iBuying model (HousingWire – May 2, 2019) at a time when some experts said it would soon account for as many as 1 in 4 home sales. He also explained in detail why the U.S. housing inventory shortfall would last for years, well before the industry's leading economists (Inman – May 12, 2021) jumped on the bandwagon.

While Ben often sees the future of real estate before others, he remains surprised whenever he breaks his own sales production numbers.

So, the one final question is this: Can Ben do it again?

Time will tell.

To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.