2023 RealTrends real estate brokerage rankings show growth in low-cost firms
2022 was a roller coaster year, continuing the strong pandemic and post-pandemic fueled housing market through the first half of the year. Then, in the third quarter, we saw an abrupt stop to the record-breaking housing market. Despite market headwinds, the top brokerages continued to show growth in the 2023 RealTrends 500 brokerage rankings.
While the top four companies stayed at the top, eXp Realty displaced HomeServices of America, who had a stronghold on the No. 1 spot in transaction sides for the past four years.
Last year, Compass rose to No. 1 in sales volume to to the top of the list and retained their No. 1 spot this year, with Anywhere Advisors at No. 2.
eXp Realty moved from No. 4 with 355,627 transaction sides in 2022 to No. 1 this year, with 397,138 transactions side, sparking an incredible growth line for the brand.
Top four maintain 20% market share
The top four – Anywhere Advisors, HomeServices of America, Compass and eXp Realty – stayed at around 20% market share in the U.S.
“These four brokerage companies did just over $20 billion in residential gross commission revenue, which shows steady growth in a down market,” said RealTrends Senior Advisor Steve Murray. “In the 2021 rankings (based on 2020 data), these same firms closed just over $14 billion, so the increase was 43% in one year among just these four firms and stayed the same between 2022 and 2023.”
“This year’s list shows the impact of a shifting market on the top brokerage firms in the country. While transaction sides and volume were understandably down from their 2021 peak, the firms represented in the RealTrends 500 outperformed the market and their peers in almost all categories,” says Mark Adams, Vice President of Real Estate at HW Media.
After record 2020 and 2021 years, the 2023 RealTrends 500 brokerage rankings again show that the largest firms are gaining share at rates not seen before 2020. “We’ve seen three years in a row of record growth of the RealTrends 500 firms in share of transactions, volume and number of Realtors,” says Steve Murray, founder of the rankings and a senior advisor for RealTrends.
Steady numbers between 2022 and 2023
All firms in the 2023 RealTrends 500 (RT500) did approximately 40.6% of all brokerage-controlled sales in the country, staying even with the 2022 rankings, with 35.9% of all Realtors. Agents with RT500 firms had an average of 6.6 transactions per agent, compared to 7.9 transactions per agent last year. This year, the median number of agents per RT500 firm was 1,180, up from 1,138 in 2022’s rankings. The number was 1,025 in 2021.
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Low-fee or low-cost brokerage firms stay steady
Of the top 25 RealTrends 500 brokerage firms by transaction sides, seven firms are considered low-fee or low-cost firms. Low-cost or low-fee firms charge a flat fee to the agents, or have higher splits to the agents, than traditional firms.
United Real Estate tops the list at No. 7. Others in the top 25 include, HomeSmart (9), Fathom Realty (10), The Real Brokerage (11), Real Estate ONE Group (15), West USA Realty (19), and Samson Properties (23). Several of these firms gained transaction and ranked higher this year than last year, including United Real Estate, West USA Realty and Samson Properties.
48 new Billionaire’s Club players
The Billionaire’s Club consists of the top U.S. real estate brokerage firms that closed at least one billion dollars’ worth of real estate in 2022, according to data from the 2023 RealTrends 500 brokerage rankings. While the number of Billionaire’s Club is lower than last year, sitting at 392 firms, compared to 435 in 2022, it’s still higher than the 347 members in 2021, but this year’s rankings also feature many firms on the list for the first time.
This year, there were 48 new firms in The Billionaire’s Club. It’s important to note that they may have made it in previous years but were not on the list last year.
“In a down year, leading brokerage firms represented on the RealTrends 500 once again picked up market share in terms of total transactions and sales volume,” said Murray. “Interesting to note that the four largest brokerage firms only held their own collectively. What is noticeable is that low-cost brokerage firms gained the most ground on the market.”
Murray notes that the larger firms — with well known national or local brands and access to technology and marketing tools that are not generally available to all others — gained ground as well. “Most importantly, growth was not owned solely by one brand or model or market area. This leads us to conclude that leadership at the local level remains the most important factor in growth,” he said.
RealTrends has been the undisputed leader in the ranking of real estate brokerage firms, agents and teams. Third-party verification is mandatory to confirm the validity of transaction sides and sales volume submitted by the firms.
Due to RealTrends and RTC Consulting’s large valuation and M&A practice, “we have access to hundreds of brokerage financial statements every year,” said Murray. “Because of those financial statements, we are at an advantage to determine the accuracy of the numbers submitted to us, which serves as an additional layer of verification in the process we use.”
Find the 2023 RealTrends 500 brokerage rankings and more analysis of insights from the report at Realtrends.com.