(from the Jackson Hole News and Guide article posted July 22, 2015 By Mark Huffman)
Ken Gangwer topped all Jackson Hole real estate agents in sales during 2014, and he and others at Jackson Hole Sotheby’s International Realty dominated the list of top sellers.
The figures were compiled by Real Trends, a realty website that puts together the list every year. The site also works with The Wall Street Journal to create the annual Real Trends The Thousand, a list of the real estate agents around the country with the most sales.
The list released last week mentioned all agents with sales over $20 million in single-family homes and other residential developments of four units or less, Real Trends publisher Steve Murray said.
Real Trends put Gangwer’s residential sales for last year at $74.84 million, more than $20 million over the local runner-up, Tom Evans, who hit $54.14 million in residential sales.
Gangwer and his son-in-law, Brett Frantz, who also made the list, do business as the Legacy Properties of Jackson Hole, a Sotheby’s affiliate that also includes Elizabeth Merrell and Kim Vletas.
Gangwer said he and Frantz put a lot of work and experience into their successful year. But he noted that they had something else going for them, something over which they had no control.
“We had a really good year because the market was so positive and so full of opportunities,” Gangwer said. “It wasn’t because we did everything correct, but because we were in the right spot, and there is no better spot than Jackson Hole.”
Gangwer has been selling real estate in Teton County for all of his 30 years in the valley. He was one of the original partners in Jackson Hole Realty before it was acquired by Sotheby’s. Noting his long time in the business, he said he’s “been around the block.”
The eight Sotheby’s agents were followed by the only local Realtor to break $20 million and not work at Jackson Hole Sotheby’s. Brett McPeak, the president of Re/Max-Obisidan Real Estate, was the ninth and last person on the local list, with sales pegged at $20.06 million for the year.
“It’s nice to be recognized professionally with any award,” McPeak said.
Real Trends also rated teams of agents, and Graham-Faupel Associates at Christie’s International Real Estate was one of only two in the state to be listed, though publisher Murray said after re-examining the figures that there might have been a glitch.
The Graham-Faupel team was listed with $90.24 million in sales. Julie Faupel, also president of the Jackson Christie’s, said she and her colleagues, including husband Matt Faupel, “had a great year last year.”
“It’s great to be recognized for our hard work and the volume we produced,” she said.
But Gangwer and Frantz’s total was about $110.2 million, more than Graham-Faupel.
Murray checked and said the discrepancy was the result of the Jackson Sotheby’s office reporting all its sales as individuals and not noting which were teams. The core figures, though, were accurate and verified by Real Trends, Murray said.
Murray said that nationally the average is for Realtors to close fewer than 10 sales a year for an average total of less than an $1.2 million. There are about 1.1 million Realtors in the country.
He also said big sales during 2014 were notable because “2014 was actually a down year in unit sales.”
Murray’s annual Real Trends The Thousand lists the 1,000 leading agents in the country. During 2014, he said, those agents closed 146,371 sales for more than $66 billion.