PHOTO: U.S. real estate companies
We’re taking a look at the most in-demand, major residential real estate brokerages in the U.S., by online search volume, and how they do business, down to sales volume and revenue, where they primarily work out of and a few other details you should know.
Here are the top real estate companies in the U.S.:
- Coldwell Banker Realty
- Keller Williams Realty
- HomeServices of America and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices
- Sotheby’s International Realty
- eXp Realty
- Douglas Elliman
With an aim at operating differently than most traditional brokerages, Redfin has been around since the early aughts and has changed the way many people work with real estate agents. The brokerage isn’t located everywhere, but is located in a growing number of markets in the U.S. – more than 100, as of early 2023.
Considered a nontraditional brokerage, Redfin agents receive a salary rather than working on 100% commission. As a result, people who buy and sell through Redfin pay less on commission – typically 4%, including the agent on the other side of the transaction – saving about $7,000, according to the company.
Even for people who don’t live in the immediate vicinity of Redfin agents, the company’s recognizable name and user-friendly platform are popular options for house hunting or learning more about the housing market.
While Redfin is becoming closer to being considered a household name, it’s not immune to the ups and downs of the real estate market itself: Redfin reported $601 million in revenue in the third quarter of 2022 (an 11% increase, year over year), with a gross profit of $58 million (a 54% decrease, year over year).
When you think of Re/Max, you may think of the hot air balloon toting the brokerage’s logo that’s been a staple of the company’s marketing for decades. Re/Max was founded in 1973 in Denver, quickly shifting to its franchise format that still exists today. As a result, you’ll likely come across Re/Max offices that have additional names to help differentiate them – Re/Max Allegiance or Re/Max Prestige, for example.
Altogether, Re/Max has more than 144,000 agents worldwide, with the bulk of operations taking place in the U.S. and Canada. Re/Max reported its revenue in the third quarter of 2022 was $88.9 million, down 2.3% year over year.
Coldwell Banker Realty is the oldest real estate company on the list, getting its start in 1906 when a real estate agent named Colbert Coldwell saw a need for more ethical real estate representation following the San Francisco earthquake in the same year, and Benjamin Banker later joined him in the venture.
Franchisees of Coldwell Banker are located in just about every market in the country, and the company reports there are more than 100,000 agents and 2,200 offices worldwide affiliated with Coldwell Banker, including 40 countries and territories.
In the third quarter of 2022, Coldwell Banker reported more than $6.2 billion in total sales volume among all members of the Coldwell Banker brand.
Founded in Austin, Texas, in 1983 by Gary Keller and Joe Williams, Keller Williams Realty has grown to be an international real estate brokerage with a focus on technology, similar to many other major brokerages thriving today.
In November, Keller Williams Realty reported agents had closed $381.4 billion in deals in the first three-quarters of 2022. In the same report, the company noted it has more than 177,000 agents in the U.S. and Canada, with another 17,000 in other countries.
With that number of agents, it shouldn’t be a surprise that people in the U.S. should be able to find a Keller Williams agent just about anywhere.
When many people think of successful real estate companies, American businessman and billionaire Warren Buffett comes to mind – naturally the brands that fall under its umbrella of companies make the list. HomeServices of America is the enterprise made up of real estate brokerages for the larger Berkshire Hathaway Inc., including brands Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and Real Living Real Estate.
It’s not just brokers and agents that make up the companies that create the whole of HomeServices of America, however. The services making up the entire company include escrow, insurance, mortgages, relocation and title.
Many of the real estate brokerages under the HomeServices of America umbrella operate as franchises, and you’re likely to find an agent in just about any market in the U.S. The enterprise reports it has more than 44,500 agents and 928 offices, and had more than $168 billion in sales volume in 2022.
The name Sotheby’s may first bring to mind fine art and luxury goods auctions that have been around for centuries, and that’s exactly what Sotheby’s International Realty is aiming to invoke. Sotheby’s auction house was established in 1711 in London, and more than 200 years later the real estate subsidiary made its debut as Sotheby’s International Realty in 1976.
Sotheby’s International Realty is based in New York, but operates in 81 countries with more than 25,000 associates. The company reports on its website that it has more than $204 billion in annual sales.
The brokerage focuses on luxury residential property, though listings across the U.S. and in other countries aren’t necessarily exclusive to the top price point in every market.
The youngest brokerage on this list, Compass was founded in 2012 and focuses its mission on utilizing technology for better work and transactions, and giving agents more time to advise their clients.
With its global headquarters located in New York City, Compass reports itself as the largest independent real estate brokerage in the U.S. It has real estate offices throughout the U.S., largely focused in major metro areas but in an increasing number of cities and states, with more than 300 offices in 67 markets, Compass reports.
Being a relatively new company in the field of major real estate brokers is not without growing pains, however. Compass reported in November that its third quarter 2022 earnings were $1.49 billion, down 14% year over year, due in large part to a 12% decline in transactions.
Part of the residential real estate game since 2009, eXp Realty describes itself as “the world’s first cloud-based brokerage,” with an emphasis on utilizing technology to streamline the homebuying and selling process and reduce the costs associated with brick-and-mortar office locations.
eXp Realty reports that it has more than 86,000 agents collaborating around the world, and operates across the U.S. as well as in 24 countries. It’s part of a publicly traded company since 2008, eXp World Holdings Inc., and reported its total earnings from real estate brokerage for the third quarter of 2022 as $1.2 billion.
Founded in New York City in 1911, Douglas Elliman now exists across the U.S., operating in nine states – California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Virginia, plus the District of Columbia – with international affiliates under the Knight Frank brand. In total, the brokerage reports that it has more than 6,600 agents.
Douglas Elliman boasts $51.2 billion in annual sales and nearly 60,000 sales and rental transactions each year.
The company specializes in “prime” properties, or the top 5% of real estate in a given location, according to Douglas Elliman’s 2022 Wealth Report.
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