Chandler B. Barton, former CEO of Coldwell Banker Real Estate, passed away on Feb. 12, 2017 at his home in Johns Creek, Ga., with his family by his side. He was 83 years old. During his 17-year tenure with Coldwell Banker, including seven years as CEO from 1989 to 1996, Barton helped make the company one of the nation’s strongest real estate organizations, leaving a lasting impact on the brand that still remains today.
“Chandler Barton was more than the CEO; he was the inspirational leader of the brand,” says Charlie Young, current president and CEO of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. “His personality, charisma and Southern charm made him magnetic, never failing to get a standing ovation at Coldwell Banker events. He was a friend to all and the kind of person who simply commanded your respect with his sage advice and can-do attitude. While he was no-nonsense, he was a kind soul, with the highest level of integrity.”
“Chandler was one of the most notable industry luminaries of his time,” says Alex Perriello, CEO of the Realogy Franchise Group. “He was an amazing real estate entrepreneur, always willing to share his knowledge and expertise with others. I was extremely fortunate to have Chandler as a mentor early in my career at Coldwell Banker. He will be missed by all those who knew him.”
Before joining Coldwell Banker, Barton founded a residential real estate company in 1968 with partner Roy Ludwig. In just 10 years, they developed 22 residential sales offices, becoming one of Atlanta’s leading real estate firms. In 1979, after hearing the Coldwell Banker story at a conference, he sold his firm to Coldwell Banker, beginning a now legendary relationship with the brand.
In his many roles with the company, Barton first led the Atlanta division of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage and later headed the company’s Southeastern U.S. operations before becoming president of Coldwell Banker Relocation Management. Barton’s most prominent role came in January 1989 when he became chairman and CEO of the Coldwell Banker Residential Group, ushering in an era of change that became a major inflection point in the company’s history. During the next seven years, Barton led Coldwell Banker to unprecedented heights as a sales organization before guiding the sale of the brand in 1996 to HFS Inc., a predecessor company to Realogy Holdings Corp., the current parent of Coldwell Banker Real Estate.
Barton subsequently served as chairman of the board of trustees for the National Realty Trust, which oversaw the approximately 400 company-owned Coldwell Banker residential real estate offices that were acquired by HFS, along with the Coldwell Banker franchise operations. A year later, the trust became a company known as NRT LLC, which today is the nation’s largest residential real estate brokerage company with approximately 800 offices, the majority of which are operated under the Coldwell Banker banner. NRT is also a subsidiary of Realogy.
Coldwell Banker Real Estate has recognized Barton’s contributions to the company since 1996 when the Chandler Barton Spirit Award was established. The award honors the sales associate, manager, broker/owner or employee who best exemplifies Barton’s can-do attitude by holding firmly and steadfastly to a business purpose despite obstacles and setbacks. The award is presented each year at the company’s annual conference.
Barton is survived by his wife of 58 years, Patricia, and his children: son Curtis Barton, daughter-in-law Carla and grandchildren, Megan, Casey, Cole, Bryce, and Avery of Johns Creek, Ga.; and daughter Lea (Barton) Mikosz, son-in-law Mike Mikosz and granddaughter Sarah of San Clemente, Calif.
For more information, visit www.coldwellbanker.com.