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Ken Baris, president of Jordan Baris, Inc. REALTORS® Real Living, has experienced drastic changes in real estate since he joined the family business in 1985. Overseeing his company’s rebranding after affiliating with Real Living Real Estate, Baris continues to honor his father—industry icon and company founder Jordan Baris—by continuously enhancing the brokerage.

Here, Baris provides insight on what it means to be an RISMedia Real Estate Newsmaker—individuals who are recognized for their positive contributions to the real estate industry—as well as what it takes to achieve Influencer status and how being an expert in the field helps him to navigate challenges.

You were selected as an RISMedia Real Estate Newsmaker, named an Influencer. What does it mean to be an Influencer in the industry?
Ken Baris:
It is an incredible honor to be recognized as an Influencer in the real estate industry by what I believe to be the most influential organization. It means that what we (myself and others who have been recognized) are seen as the people who have the most impact on the careers of REALTORS® and how brokers operate their businesses. This is an honor that is editorial and not advertorial. You can’t buy it—you have to achieve it.

How have you used your in-depth knowledge to become a thought leader for your organization?
KB: Since coming into the real estate industry, I have always tried to think outside of the box and be creative to make things exciting, fun, effective and meaningful for our clients and our team. As a result, I have done a lot of firsts, such as creating the first multimedia listing presentation in the 1980s. We licensed it to Top Producer and it was marketed as Top Presenter—it was awarded the Product of the Year by the National Association of REALTORS® when it was launched. For our firm, we combine technology and creativity to enhance client experience, and it works.

How do you leverage your reputation in your growth and partnership strategies?
KB: As our firm is in the most exciting period of growth since our founding in 1952, being recognized now in this manner is timely and phenomenal for us. We are the developers for the entire Metropolitan New York area for Real Living, which is a HomeServices franchise and an affiliate of Berkshire Hathaway. With a partnership such as this, the reputation and credibility we are receiving as an RISMedia Influencer is a door-opener. It will further expedite our growth through adding offices, partnerships and selling Real Living franchises. We have a new “Net Branch” option, which is ideal for high-producing teams looking for more from their career without needing to focus on many of the back-office functions that a great partner can handle.

What are some of the challenges your markets currently face? How will the rebranding help tackle these?
KB: Our marketplace, like so many, is filled with competition and is one of the areas where many innovators and disrupters like to start. Our partnership with Real Living has taken our platform and fortified it with an astonishing number of high-quality referrals which made it an instant profit center. The executive leadership team has made themselves available to us and are in constant communication over the phone, email, text and in person, which delights our team.

While we have been known as a technology leader, the enhancements to our technology platform with what Real Living provides has taken us to a new level. Knowing what I know now, the only change I would make is I would have affiliated much sooner. Real Living has impressed every member of our organization and has exceeded our expectations with what we hoped to achieve. This is only the beginning. It is fantastic to wake up every morning like I’m shot out of a cannon, and can’t wait to drive our organization forward.

What advice can you provide for anyone interested in becoming an influential leader?
KB: If you’re interested in industry leadership, you have to be willing to travel to conferences, read magazines like Real Estate magazine, visit brokerages, join peer groups, try things, and be willing to adapt and adjust. You will develop a voice and will end up with opportunities to speak at events and write articles. Don’t do things with the mindset of “What is it going to get you?” but, rather, think about the impact you can have on the people you address. I feel as though I have been incredibly lucky in my career and that the best is yet to come. The adage “the more you give, the more you get” could not be more accurate.

To view Baris’ 2020 Newsmaker profile and those of all the other honorees this year, visit

Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s senior editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at