RealTrends Q32021 BrokerPulse sees brokers still optimistic about the market, wary of competition and wondering when inventory will rise.

2021 RealTrends Brokerage Compensation Report

For the study, RealTrends surveyed all the firms on the 2021 RealTrends 500 and Nation’s Best rankings, asking for annual compensation data for the 2020 calendar year.’s Sean Black on the transaction revolution

Real estate is on its third revolution, from the digital revolution of the early 2000s to the information revolution kicked off by Trulia and Zillow to today's transaction revolution.


The RealTrends BrokerSource and HousingWire OpenHouse newsletters deliver twice weekly information on trends, strategies, analysis, people, and news shaping the real estate industry.

Analyzing The REAL Trends Market Leaders Report

REAL Trends breaks down the data to offer an analysis of the top residential real estate firms in various metro markets.

The REAL Trends Market Leaders report is an extension of the REAL Trends 500 Brokerage Rankings and ranks the top residential real estate firms in various metropolitan markets. The newly released 2020 Market Leaders offers a substantial expansion from previous versions, adding several dozen new markets to bring the total over 160. Below are some observations from this year’s report (Note: firms needed a minimum of 1,000 transaction sides in the calendar year 2019 to qualify):

  • Keller Williams had more of its affiliates (45) lead their markets, by transaction sides than any other brand. The independents were close behind, with 42 independents leading their markets.
  • Realogy brands (Coldwell Banker, Century 21, ERA, Sotheby’s, Corcoran, and Better Homes and Gardens), both owned and franchised, took the top spot in 32 markets. This was followed by Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices (owned and franchised) leading in 21 markets and RE/MAX leading in 18 markets.
  • Most markets are closely contested at the top, but some have firms that dominate their closest competitors. Howard Hanna owns Cleveland, with a 20k+ transaction lead on No. 2. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, REALTORS blows away the competition in the Philadelphia area with a 20K+ lead. In the San Francisco area, Compass is also lapping the competition, with a 7K+ lead.
  • Speaking of San Francisco, it took $2.1 billion in sales volume to make the top 10. Other higher-housing-price or higher-population-density markets took at least $1 billion in volume to make the top 10. Those were: Washington D.C. ($2.3b), Atlanta ($1.9b), Dallas ($1.5b), Los Angeles ($1.4b), New York City ($1.4b), Denver ($1.2b), Phoenix ($1.1b), Boston ($1.1b), Chicago ($1.1b), and Seattle ($1.0b).
  • There were 39 markets that had at least ten firms close at least 1,000 residential transaction sides.
  • Regional powerhouse Howard Hanna/Allen Tate was a market leader in 14 of the ranked markets. Compass was also among the leaders in 14 different markets.
  • The following markets had multiple 10k+ producers: Phoenix, San Francisco/San Jose/Santa Rosa, Southeast Florida, Atlanta, Greater Chicago, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York City, Philadelphia/Wilmington (DE),
    Pittsburgh, and Dallas/Ft. Worth.
  • The following markets, in addition to those above, had multiple 5k+ producers:



Los Angeles

Orange County/Riverside County



Hartford/New Haven/New London




Tampa/St. Petersburg/Lakeland



Des Moines


Washington D.C./Arlington/Alexandria



Kansas City

St. Louis

New Jersey









Greater Nashville



San Antonio

Salt Lake City/Park City/Ogden/Provo

Greater Seattle.

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