Enterprises, also known as holding companies, own either a brokerage company, a franchisor, or both. They do not provide brokerage or franchise services themselves but own a controlling stake in one or more companies that do. In the real estate industry, examples include Realogy Holdings Corp (which owns and operates Realogy Brokerage Group and six prominent franchise brands), kwx (which owns and operates the Keller Williams Realty franchise brand) RE/MAX (which owns and operates the RE/MAX franchise brand) and HomeServices of America (which owns and operates the brokerage of the same name and franchise brands Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and Intero Real Estate).
While many real estate holding companies could own a number of different businesses such as title and mortgage companies, the Real Estate Almanac ranks the companies by their real estate brokerage stats.
Franchise brands are the individual brand names that brokerages license and use. One or more individual franchise brands can be owned by a franchisor, the company with the legal setup to oversee franchising operations. Franchisors and the brand or brands they operate own trademarks, products, intellectual property and business systems and license them to brokerage companies, but do not provide brokerage services directly to consumers.
Examples of well-known franchise brands include Keller Williams Realty, RE/MAX and Coldwell Banker Real Estate. Some franchise brands, such as HomeServices of America’s franchise wing, HSF Affiliates with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and Intero Real Estate, operate multiple franchise brands.
The franchise brands table ranks individual brands, not the franchisors that own and operate them. The nation’s 20 largest franchise brands are presented by annual sales volume, annual transaction sides, agent count and their year-over-year percent change in sales volume.
Franchisees include brokerages who license and use the franchise brand, systems, and other offerings provided from real estate franchisors. These companies are independently owned and operated but leverage the brand, tools, network, and other tools that franchise brands provide their member companies.
The public companies list includes all firms traded on a public exchange such as the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq who provide residential real estate brokerage, technology or alternative finance (AltFin) services. The companies are organized by their predominant offering in the residential real estate offering (brokerage, technology and alternative finance). AltFin companies include those who leverage technology and new models to finance real estate transactions for consumers in innovative ways, such as iBuying.