A residential real estate brokerage is a company – usually an incorporated firm, a limited liability firm or a sole proprietorship – licensed to sell real estate in the US. As defined in the Real Estate Almanac, a brokerage company’s numbers include subsidiaries in which the company owns a controlling stake of more than 50 percent of the company.
Gathering and analyzing brokerage company data in the Mega 1000 is a rigorous, multistep process. It starts by sending requests for information to the nation’s largest brokerages.
T3 understands it is nearly impossible to identify every brokerage that should be included; that said, T3 has worked persistently to include everyone it is aware of by diligently reaching out to franchisors, networks, organized real estate, any type of list, the media and so on find as many as possible. If a brokerage was inadvertently missed, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and the information will be added to the next research cycle.
T3 researches approximately 2,500 real estate brokerages, all real estate franchisors, all real estate holding companies and a selection of large real estate networks. The company annually collects and analyzes over 12,000 data points. T3 examines the numbers, runs algorithms to identify outliers, and tests the gathered information against T3 parameters and benchmarks. This is a huge undertaking; T3 strives to verify data before using it to sort and rank brokerages to ensure that rankings are as comprehensive as possible, as every company not included destroys the integrity of the rankings below that entry.
T3 Sixty ranks for-profit companies (brokerages, franchisors and holding companies) by all three key metrics (sales volume, transaction sides and agent count) although T3 considers sales volume more important as it is the core metric used to calculate agent commission, franchise fees and company revenue. Sales volume is the industry’s best proxy metric for and brokerage overall performance. The Real Estate Almanac data can, however, be viewed from transaction sides and agent count and each provide an interesting vantage point.
In most tables (for example, the top 1,000 brokerages), sales volume is listed in millions of dollars. Due to the large numbers reflected in the top franchisors and top holding companies lists, T3 lists those sales volumes in billions of dollars.
Note that sales volume and transaction sides is calculated by adding the value or number of the homes that a company represented on either the buy or sell side. Therefore, should a company represent both sides of the same transaction, the transaction is counted as two sides. To derive the total size of the market, requires removing this duplication. For reference, the total value of existing home sales in 2019 was approximately $1.65 trillion (5.34 million homes sold (10.64 transaction sides) at a median price of approximately $309,000).
A transaction side is counted as either the list or sell side of a transaction. The rule listed above applies. If a brokerage sells its own listing, two transaction sides are counted; when it co-brokers a transaction, one transaction side is counted. Outgoing referrals are counted by the receiving brokerage and not the sending brokerage.
Agent count is a less important measure but it does, however, still prove insightful. It is also a more verifiable stat than many other numbers and, therefore, provides a valuable benchmark. A large agent count does not guarantee success, but it usually is an indicator of a growing company.
The Mega 1000 does not list office count because in today’s modern technology-driven world, bricks-and-mortar offices are no longer critical to company success. A growing number of companies are consolidating offices and many new models such as Redfin, eXp Realty and United Real Estate serve dozens of markets with no, or only a handful, of actual offices.
Each year, T3 Sixty asks: Who are the most powerful and influential executives in the residential real estate brokerage industry?
The SP 200 is the answer. To get there, a set of detailed criteria are applied to hundreds of leaders and then T3 executives debate and rank them into a final list of the 200 most powerful leaders.
Power and Influence
Power is an elusive concept. It is the ability to control people and companies, but it also exists even when not exercised. Power is not a popularity contest. It is not based only on a single criterion such as head count, office count or revenue. And, as with everything T3 Sixty does, the evaluation of it, is never pay to play.
The concept is not easy or straightforward, so creating this ranking each year leads to healthy debate. The T3 Sixty team analyzes hundreds of bios, annual reports and transactional and sales volume data. It sends hundreds of requests for additional information, personally verifying announcements, stats and actions that took place over the past year. Yet it remains as much an art as it is a science.
Some people have entrepreneurial power, some have financial strength, some hold high office, some have personal power, some have positional power, while others have political clout. Some are innovators, some executives, some doers, some dealmakers. T3 Sixty considers all these facets of power, as they relate to each leader individually and to their peers, and comes up with what we feel is the industry’s most accurate annual reflection of individual power.
First Round: Initial Cut
T3 evaluates prominent leaders and C-suite executives of large brokerages companies and organizations that support and serve the residential real estate brokerage industry. This initial pool is made up of hundreds of nominations, T3 Sixty’s own database of over 3,000 industry leaders as well as a review of any noteworthy newsmakers, movers or shakers covered by the media.
The high-level company stats for leaders in the initial round include:
Second Round: Deep Dive
- Brokerage companies with generally more than $3 billion in annual sales volume. Companies with more than 10,000 annual transactions and 500 agents may also be considered.
- Technology companies with over 1,000 broker or team clients, 50,000 agent users, $30 million in revenue, 100 employees, $20 million in funding, or two or more significant enterprise client relationships.
- MLS organizations with over 40,000 subscribers, local Realtor associations with over 20,000 members and state Realtor associations with more than 50,000 members.
During this round, T3 Sixty reviews the influence of each leader and executive and, when available, weighs the following information:
Third Round: Triple Check
- The office he or she currently holds and the decision-making power of that office.
- His or her tenure with the company and in the residential real estate brokerage industry.
- The size of the organization (sales volume, offices, agent count, subscribers, etc.). (Size is certainly not everything but indicates the power and influence of the organization at the leader’s direction).
- The financial resources of the organization including market capitalization, revenue, profitability, funding received, etc.
- The organization’s overall significance, scope and impact in the residential real estate brokerage industry on a national basis. (Regional companies usually mean regional influence and, although that does not invalidate consideration, it is limiting).
- Large initiatives, expansions, acquisitions or other noteworthy activities the individual led or was a major contributor to.
- Other leadership activities, such as serving on other companies’ boards of directors, adds to a leader’s power as it indicates personal power and influence outside his or her organization.
- Which of their leader’s companies’ initiatives are expected to occur in the foreseeable future. Also considered are activities, acquisitions or other initiatives the individual led or was involved in in during the previous year; other industrywide activities, such as membership on an association’s board of directors; and the individual’s personal power and influence outside his or her organization.
During the third round, the SP 200 team considers the draft ranking, verifies org charts, reporting lines, initiatives, company numbers and evaluates relative rankings of leaders in various features such as between companies, between types of organizations such as brokerage, franchise brand, technology and organized real estate.
Finally, late in the year, the team locks the list and prepares for publication early in the new year.
There are no restrictions to our process of evaluation regarding age, color, national origin, citizenship status, physical or mental disability, race, religion, creed, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, veteran status, genetic information or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law.
T3 Sixty follows principles portrayed in the fairness doctrine of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission and also applies widely held principles and practices of objectivity and intellectual rigor. This helps the company evaluate all leaders and executives in an honest, equitable, and balanced manner.
T3 Sixty does not in any way attempt to benefit or disadvantage one person or company above another. T3 Sixty serves many executives and organizations listed in this ranking as a management consulting firm and may also, from time to time, be an investor in some of the companies mentioned in this report. However, no confidential information or information covered by a nondisclosure agreement was used. Also, T3 Sixty clients do not get extra consideration on this list; in fact, T3 Sixty includes some leaders of companies perceived as competitors. No T3 Sixty employee or independent contractor working for T3 Sixty is eligible for consideration to be included in the T3 Sixty rankings.
Most of the companies mentioned own numerous trademarks and other marks. T3 Sixty does not challenge or in any way seek to dilute any of these marks.
While the publisher, authors, contributors and editors have used their best efforts to present accurate and balanced descriptions and bios of leaders, executives and their companies, they make no representation or warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of any bio. References to any person or company, does not constitute or imply endorsement, and neither is any reference or absence of reference intended to harm, advantage or disadvantage a company or person. The publishers, editorial team and T3 Sixty shall not be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential or other damages.
Different Views into the Data
All industry leaders and executives are considered for the overall SP 200 list. T3, however, also presents breakout sublists, which highlight the industry’s most powerful executives by category: organized real estate, brokerage, technology, women, etc. The company also provides a Watchlist, a list of people doing compelling things in the industry who may soon earn a spot on the SP 200.
Organized Real Estate
MLSs and Realtor associations are ranked based on year-end membership count in the Organized Real Estate section of the Real Estate Almanac. These numbers are reviewed and vetted by individual organizations and through research collected on each organization.
About Multiple Listing Services
The MLS world is quite diverse, but, as with local Realtor associations, the biggest of the big stand in a class of their own and account for a bulk of the nation’s MLS subscriber count and subsequently the largest component of sales volume and transaction count. The nation’s large regional MLSs have huge footprints, sophisticated technology, innovative business practices and well-run management structures. The largest MLSs serve members across a broad geographic area, sometimes statewide or even across multiple states. As such, MLS growth is tracked by annual MLS subscriber count.
About Realtor Associations
Realtor associations come in three varieties, determined by geographic scope: national, state and local. Realtor associations have a federated makeup: members cannot join just one.
When agents join a local association, to gain access to the MLS for example, they automatically join the state and national associations; the memberships are tied together in what is known as the three-way agreement.
- State Associations – tracks the annual membership of the nation’s largest associations operating at the state-level.
- Local Associations – membership in local Realtor associations is clustered among the largest. In the local association category, approximately a fifth of the nation’s 1,086 local residential Realtor associations account for 80 percent of the nation’s total membership.
Every year, T3 Sixty identifies the residential real estate brokerage industry’s best-in-class technology products across functional groupings within the T3 Tech Landscape and publishes them in the Tech 200. Featured products must either be available for standalone purchase or so valuable that a broker, agent or business owner would purchase the full platform based on the strength of that product alone.
T3 Sixty analyzes thousands of products as it finalizes the Tech 200, taking into account the depth, breadth and reliability of each product, its market share, client satisfaction and adoption metrics, as well as its marketplace reputation, long-term viability and company stability.
As with all of T3 Sixty’s publications, no company paid for inclusion in the Tech 200. A mix of the following criteria determined each product’s inclusion:
- Innovation and application within the T3 Tech Landscape
Depth, breadth and reliability of solutions
- Known or tested client satisfaction or adoption metrics
- Product’s market share
- Year-over-year growth
- Ability to service and support clients
- Leadership in their respective categories
Overall impact on the industry
T3 Sixty strives to verify data as far as possible but, for obvious reasons, cannot guarantee 100 percent accuracy or completeness. T3 invites anyone who believes they can contribute to any data set in the Tech 200 to contact T3 Sixty’s research and development team at email@example.com.
The Corporations section ranks the US’s 20 largest enterprises, franchise brands and franchisees by sales volume, transaction sides and agent count.
To accurately rank these entities, T3 researches approximately 2,500 real estate brokerages, all real estate franchisors and franchise brands, all real estate enterprises (aka holding companies) and a selection of large real estate networks. The company annually collects and analyzes over 12,000 data points. T3 surveys 1,000s of real estate companies to gather this data. It is then processed, standardized and verified to create the residential real estate industry’s most accurate ranking of its largest companies.
T3 Sixty ranks for-profit companies (brokerages, franchisors and holding companies) by all three key metrics (sales volume, transaction sides and agent count) although T3 considers sales volume more important as it is the core metric used to calculate agent commission, franchise fees and company revenue. Sale volume is the industry’s best proxy metric for and brokerage overall performance. The Real Estate Almanac data can, however, be viewed from transaction sides and agent count and each provide an interesting vantage point.