Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC announced that Christian Barnes has been named president and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Kansas City Homes, headquartered in Overland Park, Kan. She succeeds the firm’s founder David Cooper. Barnes, who has a storied 13-year career with the company, has assumed leadership and principal ownership of one the largest brokerages in the nation.
Cooper founded the firm in 2004 and affiliated with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate in 2012. He will remain with the company in an advisory capacity. He led Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Kansas City Homes to become the fourth largest affiliate in the BHGRE® brand.
“We are grateful for David’s partnership over the years. He is a trusted, valuable voice within the industry and the BHGRE® network. We wish him the best in the next chapter of his life. We’ve had the pleasure of working with Christian over the years. She represents BHGRE’s core values in everything she has achieved—Passion, Authenticity, Inclusion, Growth and Excellence,” said Sherry Chris, president and CEO, Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate. “The impressive trajectory of her career illustrates the limitless potential for real estate entrepreneurs. Under Christian’s leadership, together with Mike and Chris, we believe Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Kansas City Homes will continue to enjoy significant growth, impact and success in the years to come.”
“I have enjoyed my 47 years in this great industry. I am proud of our company’s impact in our market, the industry and the BHGRE brand. As I contemplated the next step in my career, I knew that Christian was the right person to lead our company, staff and agents into the future,” said Cooper. “From day one, Christian embraced the real estate business and achieved great success as an agent and in management. She inspires people to reach their highest potential through leadership, skill development and impactful coaching. resources. With Mike and Chris, she has assembled an excellent management team to complement her many strengths. Together, they will ensure business continuity and achieve new growth milestones for the company and continued success for the agents.”
The company’s production makes Barnes the top-ranking female principal owner in the BHGRE® network and the fourth highest-ranking female principal owner by sides in the Realogy family of brands.
Barnes, who joined the company in 2007 as a sales associate after a career in television advertising sales, most recently served as director of Career Development. In this leadership role, she instituted a strategic business planning program for agents which resulted in a 35 percent increase in unit production. Barnes also refined the company’s training system increasing learning sessions by 276 percent over last year.
Recently recognized as REALTOR® of the Year by the Kansas Association of REALTORS®, Barnes is also active in the leadership of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). She is currently a member of its prestigious Leadership Academy, a year-long intensive leadership program for just 18 REALTORS® from across the nation. Barnes has also been chosen to lead NAR’s 2021 Commitment to Excellence committee and in 2022 will serve on the extended leadership team under incoming President Leslie Rouda Smith.
“I grew up in real estate as the daughter of two agents and continue to have an enduring passion for the industry. I’ve had the great benefit of learning from David, and I can’t thank him enough for his continued support. When this opportunity was presented by David, I was excited to build upon the company’s many accomplishments and guide it toward continued growth,” said Barnes. “I have a fierce loyalty to this company and the BHGRE brand. I’ve been able to experience the BHGRE® brand as an agent, as a member of management and now as an owner. I can honestly say this: There is no other brand I would want to be associated with. I am honored to carry the torch of leadership and be at the forefront of helping the next generation of real estate leaders reach their highest potential.”
Mike Belzer, who has served as an owner and the firm’s chief financial officer since 2004, will remain as CFO, overseeing the budget strategy and financial operations of the company. Christian’s husband, Chris Barnes, a successful entrepreneur with a track record of growth in manufacturing, technology and transportation, will assume the COO role, providing a unique perspective to spur innovation at the firm.
“Christian is a proven leader and I’m excited to explore new ideas with her and Chris as we grow. Christian knows the real estate industry and the markets we serve. She inspires our agents every day and is dedicated to ensuring their success,” said Belzer. “I have worked with David for many years and he deserves so much credit for building such a prestigious company. As the next generation of leaders of the company, we are looking forward to evolving and growing as we meet the needs of homebuyers and sellers, today, tomorrow and into the future.”
Along with earning this year’s REALTOR® of the Year by the Kansas Association of Realtors, Barnes has earned multiple accolades during her career including earning the Kansas City Regional Association of REALTORS® (KCRAR) Newcomer of the Year honors in 2008 and was the youngest KCRAR REALTOR of the Year in 2012.
Barnes founded KCRAR’s Young Professionals Network in 2011. In 2016, Barnes was appointed president of KCRAR becoming the youngest leader in the organization’s history.
For more information, please visit www.bhgre.com.