The Biggest Real Estate Companies in the U.S.

The real estate industry is highly competitive, with companies vying for both customers and qualified agents. To succeed in this field, companies need to treat their agents well and provide exceptional customer experiences. In this...

The real estate industry is highly competitive, with companies vying for both customers and qualified agents. To succeed in this field, companies need to treat their agents well and provide exceptional customer experiences. In this article, we will explore the top real estate companies in the U.S. and why they are considered the best.

Keller Williams Realty

Keller Williams Realty, founded by Gary Keller and Joe Williams in 1983, started as a single office in Austin, Texas. Today, it has grown into a successful company with its headquarters still in Austin. Keller Williams Realty focuses on agent support and customer experience, continuously adapting to the latest technologies. They believe that proper training and support can help agents better serve clients in negotiations and closing deals.

One of the competitive advantages of Keller Williams Realty is its commission cap policy. At the beginning of the year, agents have a 70/30 commission split with their brokerages, with agents taking home 70% of their commissions. This commission split, combined with a franchise fee, ensures profitability for the company. Agents only pay the franchise fee until they reach $3,000 in commission fees. Once they hit their local market cap, agents take home 100% of commissions for the rest of the year. This commission model attracts high-end Realtors and fosters a sense of fairness among all agents.


RE/MAX, founded in 1973 by Dave Liniger and Gail Liniger, has become a top-performing real estate company with over 120,000 agents across 100 countries. Known for its iconic hot-air balloon logo, RE/MAX offers agents multiple commission options. The most famous option is the 95/5 split, where agents keep 95% of their commissions. While agents have to pay a monthly desk fee, it covers the operating cost of the franchise and allows for better budgeting. There is also the RAPP model, which offers a 60/40 split in the first year and a 95/5 split once agents hit their $23,000 commission cap. These commission options cater to agents at different experience levels.

Coldwell Banker Real Estate

With over 100 years of history, Coldwell Banker Real Estate has become a leading firm in the industry. Founded in 1906, it now has more than 3,000 offices in 49 countries. Coldwell Banker is known for its neighborhood connection and strong national infrastructure. The company provides brokerage services, mortgage financing, title insurance, and closing services, offering customers a one-stop shop for all their real estate needs.

Century 21

Century 21 real estate, established in 1971, quickly became one of the largest brokerage firms globally. With over 11,600 independently owned and operated franchise brokers and over 122,000 agents, Century 21 operates in every U.S. state and 82 other countries. The company recently underwent a brand identity makeover, giving its familiar logo and color scheme a more contemporary feel. Century 21 offers comprehensive MLS systems, online search tools, calculators, buyer guides, and tip sheets, catering to both buyers and sellers.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, owned by Warren Buffett, is one of the biggest real estate companies in the U.S. In 2018 alone, the company closed over 346,000 residential real estate transactions. Its success lies in its size, with an internal team of real estate professionals and acquisitions of smaller brands. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices owns over 90 other businesses, contributing to its growth and industry dominance.


Compass, although smaller compared to other power players, shows promise in the industry. With 17,000 agents across key regions in the United States, Compass leverages modern technology and a customer-centric business model. In 2019, Compass ranked among the top 10 brokerages in sales volume and transactions, closing more than $97.5 billion in sales and over 84,732 transaction sides. The company's commitment to growth and innovation positions it for future success.

eXp Realty

eXp Realty, with over 40,000 agents in the United States, claims to be the largest residential real estate brokerage by geography. The company aims to become one of the biggest real estate companies, focusing on employee growth and building a strong brand presence. eXp Realty operates in seven additional countries outside of the U.S., expanding its global reach.

Sotheby's International Realty

Sotheby's International Realty operates in the luxury real estate market and is part of the same brand that runs the renowned art and wine auction house. With over 1,000 offices in 70 countries, Sotheby's International Realty generates substantial annual sales. While the company may have fewer sales associates compared to others, the high-value luxury properties it sells contribute to its significant revenue.

HomeServices of America

HomeServices of America, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, provides brokerage services, mortgage financing, title insurance, and closing services. With its slogan "local real estate nationwide," HomeServices of America emphasizes the neighborhood connection it establishes with customers while maintaining a robust national infrastructure. Its comprehensive range of services appeals to buyers and sellers seeking convenience throughout the entire real estate process.

EXIT Realty

Founded in 1996 by Steve Morris, a former RE/MAX agent, EXIT Realty follows a 70/30 commission split model to attract Realtors. Once agents earn more than $100,000, the commission rate drops to a 90/10 split. EXIT Realty has ambitious plans for future growth, aiming to have over 3,600 franchises and 100,000 agents across North America.


Established in 1969, Weichert has grown into a large firm with over 10,000 employees. With a "one-stop" shop approach, Weichert offers services ranging from finding a house to securing a mortgage and closing. The company prioritizes training and building up its real estate agents to ensure optimal performance.

Find the Best Agent in Your Area with UpNest

Choosing the right real estate company can be overwhelming, given the achievements and sales made by these top firms. UpNest, a no-cost service owned by parent company, can help you find the best agent in your area. Through UpNest's specialized tool, you can compare agents based on their track record, commission savings, and reviews. Don't choose a company solely based on its size; find an agent who can help you find your dream home. Enter your zipcode on the UpNest platform to get started and receive proposals from top agents near you.

With UpNest, you have the opportunity to compare multiple agents in your area and choose one with competitive commission rates and a proven record of success. The network agents on UpNest have been carefully vetted, ensuring you receive the best service throughout your real estate journey. So why not take advantage of the potential savings on commission and find the perfect agent for your needs? Enter your zipcode now and start your search with UpNest.