Forbes Real Estate Council member companies are announcing new markets and major achievements left and right. From new funding to impressive write-ups, these experts are attracting tons of attention. Below, we highlight eight members and their big news.

N.J. Real Estate Firm Expands Its Reach

Carolynn Diakon

New Jersey firm Resources Real Estate is now a part of the Middlesex MLS, announced founding partners Carolynn Diakon and Thomas McCormack. This adds to the firm’s well-established coverage of Monmouth and Ocean County MLS, Hudson County MLS and the Liberty Board of Realtors.

Thomas McCormack

“The addition of Middlesex MLS gives us access to listings and sales data for a marketplace that now extends from Mantoloking in the south to Hoboken and Jersey City in the north,” said Senior Partner Diakon in a press release. Managing Partner McCormack added, “Even though our heart is in Monmouth County, we are pleased that our reputation for excellence and our award winning services have taken us beyond our original market area.”

View Resources Real Estate’s new Middlesex County listings here.

Garratt Hasenstab Earns Certified Blockchain Expert™ Credential

Garratt Hasenstab

Garratt Hasenstab, president of The Mountain Life Companies, recently reported from Sydney, Australia that he has just earned the coveted Certified Blockchain Expert™ credential from the Blockchain Council. A Certified Blockchain Expert (CBE) is a skilled professional with deep knowledge of Blockchain and other distributed-ledger technologies. The CBE program administered by Blockchain Council is an exhaustive training, lab and exam-based program.

Said Hasenstab: “This in-depth field of study has greatly expanded my knowledge in distributed-ledger technologies enabling me to more effectively develop and facilitate new proptech ventures that will advance the real estate industry into the future with the goals of bringing forth greater efficiency, transparency, liquidity and disintermediation.”

Learn more in the full press release here.

Real Estate School Founder’s Story Makes Houston Magazine Cover


Champions School of Real Estate‘s founder and CEO, Rita Santamaria, had her inspiring journey shared as the cover story in the April 2018 issue of Houston Woman Magazine. The story details how Santamaria began her company 35 years ago and grew it into the national presence it has today as the largest real estate school in the country. “I am so appreciative and blessed. I love what I do,” Santamaria said of the opportunity to run her successful business and bring achievements to within the reach of so many others.

Read the full article here.

Real Estate Tech Firm Celebrates $5 Million Funding Milestone

Demetrios Barnes

Demetrios Barnes, COO of SmartRent, has announced a major funding milestone. With the latest $1.5 million seed round of venture financing, the real estate technology company has raised more than $5 million to date, enabling the team to “introduce groundbreaking enterprise smart home automation technology” to renters and property management groups around the world.

The latest fundraising effort was led by Real Estate Technology Ventures (RETV), which according to Barnes has an aggregate of 500,000 unites. This makes SmartRent a new addition to a roster of real estate startups out to shift the way we think about the industry, and the only player in its space to receive investment from a fund with such a volume of assets.

SmartRent CEO Lucas Haldeman said in a press release, “We believe SmartRent technology delivers unprecedented efficiency for building managers, and a one-of-a-kind living experience for residents. Our platform will completely change the game for property management, leasing, and servicing.”

Read the full press release here.

Digital Homebuying Platform Makes Moves on Chicagoland Market

Kevin Miller

After revolutionizing how people buy homes in California, Washington and Texas, Open Listings is now revolutionizing the process in Chicago, said Director of Growth Kevin Miller.

Chicago was an obvious next choice for the venture-backed digital platform, which allows buyers to “digitize and simplify their house hunt” with 24/7 access: The city’s tech scene is growing rapidly, sending startups and workers to Chicago and, in effect, in search of housing in the region. The platform makes searching for properties a breeze and offers buyers a 50% refund on agent commissions.

This is just the latest in exciting expansion news from the booming platform, and Open Listings has plans to expand its reach even further in the coming months.

Read more about how Open Listings works and the full press release here.

Situs Applauds Appointment of Brian D. Montgomery to HUD

Ken Riggs

President Ken Riggs and Executive Managing Director Steven Bean of strategic solutions firm Situs are excited to announce the appointment of team member Brian D. Montgomery to the position of Assistant Secretary for Housing/Federal Commissioner of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Steven Bean

Read the press release here.


These are just a handful of Forbes Councils members’ recent exciting achievements. Read about what other members are working on hereHave news of your own to share with the community? Submit your accomplishments to our team by visiting the “get media exposure” page in your member dashboard.


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