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Real Estate

These brokerages topped the RealTrends 500 in 2020

Realogy, HomeServices of America and Compass duke it out for brokerage supremacy

HomeServices of America Inc. reigned supreme as the largest residential brokerage in America by transaction sides last year, according to the latest annual RealTrends 500 ranking. But such activity didn’t result in more sales volume than its chief rivals, publicly traded brokerage colossus Realogy or controversial New York upstart Compass.

HomeServices of America, a subsidiary of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate, was involved in 343,220 brokerage sides and etched out $150.4 billion in sales volume, according to the RealTrends 500 ranking, which was published this week. Realogy, meanwhile, participated in 333,737 deal sides but won the overall volume game with $184.6 billion in 2020 sales.

There were familiar faces in the next three spots, though the RealTrends 500 analysis took note of some leapfrogging. Publicly traded virtual brokerage eXp Realty, which has grown fantastically, in part due to an unusual revenue-sharing agreement with agents, again placed third by transaction sides, with 238,981 in 2020. Its sales volume in 2020 climbed to $72.2 billion. Compass, which hopes to go public in 2021 at a valuation north of $10 billion, ascended by participating in 144,784. It notched $151.7 billion in sales volume, more than that of HomeServices of America. Top independent brokerage Howard Hanna/Allen Tate was involved in 105,455 transaction sides last year, good for $26.7 billion in sales volume, rounding out the top five.

Other brokerages in the top 10 include quasi brokerage/iBuyer Redfin at number six; HomeSmart, which has a 100% commission model and was number seven; Keller Williams Realty, GO Network Offices at number eight; fast-growing independent brokerage @properties; and, at number 10, United Real Estate, based in Dallas.

Eight Keller Williams franchises were among the top 50 brokerages by transaction sides. Three RE/MAX franchises also made the top 50, as did three from Coldwell Banker. The Real Trends 500 list includes five franchises from Berkshire Hathaway.

Other notable brokerages on the list include West USA Realty, which offers agents a flexible commission structure; William Raveis, which cleans up in New England; and Douglas Elliman, a luxury brokerage with an impressive book of business in New York and South Florida.

Glenn Sanford’s eXp Realty, Compass and United Real Estate were the top movers last year. They had 108,000, 60,000 and 22,000 more in closed sides than they did the prior year, respectively.

RealTrends’ survey represents the most comprehensive collection of data assembled on the leaders of the residential brokerage industry. Numbers are documented by outside accounting firms and/or MLS reports. The company, which was recently acquired by HW Media, also ranks the brokerages with the highest sales volume. It’s the 34th year of the Real Trends 500.

Realogy topped them all at $184.6 billion in 2020, while Compass placed second at $151.7 billion. HomeServices of America Inc. notched $150.4 billion to place third; eXp Realty cleared $72 billion, good for fourth; and Redfin posted $37 billion in sales volume, to round out the top five. According to Real Trends, Douglas Elliman was sixth at $29 billion; Hanna Holdings/Allen Tate was seventh at $26.7 billion; @properties eighth at $16.4 billion; William Raveis at $16.2 billion; and HomeSmart at $15.8 billion.

The RealTrends 500 also breaks out the nation’s best unranked brokerages; the billionaires’ club, a collection of 347 brokerages and franchises that did $1 billion or more in sales volume; average sales price; and top independent firms.

Check out the full Real Trends 500 list here.

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