Best Real Estate Company to Work For in 2021

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Real estate is booming nationwide. A house will remain on the market for less than a week before it is inundated with offers in many locations. It is a red-hot seller’s market due to all-time low interest rates, and buyers are gobbling up the available properties. A career in real estate has never been more promising or potentially lucrative, but with close to 90,000 real estate brokerage firms nationwide, it’s hard to know which ones are the best. Picking which real estate company to work for has never been a more daunting task!

stock market graphs on computers in officeWithout a doubt, you have a big decision to make when picking a real estate company to work for. Just the massive amount of choices is enough to cause you to feel overwhelmed. However, in this guide to picking the best brokerage, we will outline the most important considerations which will help make your decision easier and streamline things for you. 

Leading Real Estate Companies to Work For

At Agent Advice, we believe in research things before making any hasty decision. We evaluate each brokerage using independent research, which includes carrying out interviews with local agents and brokers. We also meet with corporate leadership members. We then look at data published on professional review sites like Glassdoor, Indeed, and Comparably. We want to read and weigh all of the feedback left by realtors that outlines their personal experiences working with each of the brokerages or iBuyers

Let’s take a look at the conclusions our research provided: 

BrokerageBest For
eXp RealtyBest overall for fastest growing, revenue shares, and fees
RE/Max Best in-person brokerage
Keller WilliamsBest brokerage for new agents
Coldwell BankerGreatest brand power
Fathom Realty Strongest choice for part time agents
Century 21Most modern branding

 

Best Overall Brokerage:  eXp exp realty logo

We based this conclusion on revenue shares and fees. It is also one of the fastest-growing. The only downside we saw was that there are a lot of agents who are heavy recruiters

You might be scratching your head over our nomination of eXp as the best overall brokerage to work for because it is a virtual brokerage firm. How could it possibly be first over standard brick and mortar real estate establishment?  

As we come out of the COVID19 pandemic, many people are still slow to return to the office. Virtual businesses are booming, and this is especially true for real estate. This company is all about the remote working style which appeals to everyone nowadays. 

The eXp commission and cap system are easy to understand. Every agent has a cap of $16,000 with an 80/20 split. Once the cap is met, then you get to keep 100 percent of your commissions. Think about it – no desk fees, no franchise fees, and no royalty fees. 

With eXp, you will also have other income options, such as getting paid a percentage of the commissions of any agent that you recruit for the brokerage. They also offer stock options once you hit your cap for the year. 

Working for eXp means you set your hours and work when you want! Flexibility is a huge perk that cannot be overlooked. 

exp headshotJohn Finley 17 years in the business
Elizbeth Finley 25 years in the business
The Finley Group, Brokered by eXp Realty
“After decades in the industry, eXp is the only brokerage that offers a clear true path to retirement where you can grow a stock portfolio for doing exactly the same thing you have always done as an agent. That is selling real estate. In addition to our real estate commissions, we have been able to create a leveraged residual income that provides us the stability that is so often lacking in an agent’s real estate business.  
This will contribute to us being able to do what most agents don’t do.  That is retire when we want, on our terms.  
eXp is a cloud-based brokerage with disruptive technology, a brokerage model, and a platform, that allows us to own our real estate business as opposed what happens at traditional brokerages which is that the agents can only lease their business.
The brokerage model allows us to not only thrive in our local market but scale and expand regionally, nationally, and internationally. 
Lastly, we have never been in a more supportive, collaborative work environment where everyone from the top producing agents and team leaders are financially incentivized to work together no matter what part of the country or world you are in to help every agent sell more real estate.  The model perpetuates incentivized leadership.  The training, support, and education are top-notch. The technology allows it to happen on a global scale.”

 

ReMax-Logo

Re/Max: A Traditional In-Person Brokerage

Many agents want to work with an old-school real estate brokerage in person, which fits Re/Max. It is also respected and highly recognizable, especially throughout major metropolitan regions.

Re/Max has no brand-wide policy about caps, splits, or desk fees. All of those critical issues are made at a local level, so you never know exactly what the brokerage is offering until you sit down with them. 

You do have some flexibility with how you receive commissions. An experienced agent can get paid on the front-end pre-cap so you can use the money for marketing and promotion. However, you will face higher desk fees. 

 

Kathy-HeadshotKathy Helbig-Strick
RE/MAX, St. Louis, MO
Licensed Realtor for 20+ years

“I decided on Re/Max, which was a national broker, it had a reputation for being the discount company in my area at the time.

At least, that’s what I was always told at the big brokerage, but times were changing, and little did I know just how much the Internet was about to change the industry.

By week two at my new broker, business was coming from every direction. I didn’t have to slash commissions to get business. So what did happen? After a little time, I realized I had the freedom to explore marketing.

I wasn’t relying on what the broker was doing for me, but rather what I was doing for myself. Re/Max agents were known as the independent agents, so I set out to drive business to myself, through these new Internet marketing strategies.

And the difference was that I received all of the calls, emails and inquiries back directly — they weren’t going through the phone duty desk at my old brokerage. I could effectively measure ROI. Now I had a real estate business, and I began to run it like one.”

 

Keller Williams: Welcoming to New Agents keller-williams-logo

Keller Williams offers a competitive compensation plan and welcomes new agents who are looking to build a career. 

All of the various Keller Williams Market Centers have what they refer to as a cap. The cap is the amount of money an agent pays to support the company. Every Market Center has a different cap based on local conditions and their marketing expenses. However, all agents that work within each market center have the same cap, whether you are a seasoned rockstar agent or newbie. When the commission is paid, a percentage goes to pay the pre-cap, and another percentage goes to cover the brand’s franchise fee. When you hit the cap, you then get to keep a hundred percent of your commission.

You can also receive a secondary commission if someone you recruit closes a sale. It also continues if someone you recruit then recruits someone. The earning potential is excellent from this aspect. 

Agents who reach a pre-set production level also participate in companywide decisions and become part of the leadership.

 

Tarusa headshotTarasa Hurley
Keller Williams, Wexford, PA
Licensed Realtor for 9 months

“I like my brokerage because they have such great training opportunities for new agents. Keller Williams has a mentality of win-win situations and a non-competitive atmosphere. I can count on other agents in my brokerage to help me if I’m sick or to pick up an appointment if I’m overbooked, and I would do the same for them without requiring payment.

My brokerage acts as a big family, and we’re all on the same team. We compete against other brokerages but not within ourselves. Also, I like our founder Gary Keller’s motto about work-life balance and making sure family comes first. Something else that made me pick my brokerage was the mentoring program. I always had a senior agent as a role model available to answer my questions and look over my paperwork. These resources helped me to quickly get up to speed on what it took to be a successful Realtor.”

 

Coldwell Banker: A Leading Brand coldwell banker

Coldwell Banker has stood the test of time and built a very illustrious reputation nationwide. Their commission and fees are reasonable. However, they do not have a companywide cap, desk fees, or splits. Those are determined by the local brokerages so they can vary dramatically. One thing to note: Even if you hit the cap for the year, you must still pay the franchise fee, which is 8 percent. This is a severe drawback for many agents.

elizabeth orville headshotElizabeth Boese
Coldwell Banker, Boulder, CO
Licensed and working as an agent for 3+ years
“Real estate agents know of Coldwell Banker as having excellent training, and many start their careers at Coldwell Banker. Another huge benefit for new agents is that the managing broker isnon-competing, meaning that they do not work as an agent with clients. That means they are there to help YOU, as they are never competing with you. That is fantastic especially for new agents who do need a lot of hand-holding (no matter how much think you already know before becoming an agent). When I interviewed at Re/MAX, they had to find someone willing to mentor me and then I had to pay them to do so! 
What I like best about Coldwell Banker is three-fold:
  1. The training is excellent and even the bi-monthly sales meeting includes legal issues that come up so we’re always learning
  2. One of the 4 pillars of Coldwell Banker’s values is Wealth Building – they provide many ways to support agents in growing their wealth
  3. The people! My colleagues are NICE which is super important when you are an individual agent! You need people to help when you’re sick or on vacation, and my colleagues are fantastic and helpful because we thrive in a state of abundance.”

 

Fathom: Ideal for Part-Time AgentsFathom Realty logo

As a cloud-based brokerage firm, Fathom is excellent for part-time agents. In addition, they let agents keep 100 percent of their commission by having a flat fee on the commission. Working with Fathom gives you access to the best in real estate technology, high-level agent support, and outstanding training opportunities.

Fathom is currently in 27 states and 113 markets. Agents get access to stock grants for sale and referrals. When you join the brokerage, you receive 500 business cards, name badges, and a brokerage shirt which can be enticing for many agents. 

 

Martin headshotMartin Orefice
Fathom Realty, Orlando, FL
Licensed Realtor for 5+ years

“They have a collaborative work environment. As a real estate agent just getting started, you need some form of support to rise up through the ranks of your service. The best thing is that they offer good insurance for your costs and also have a dedicated Facebook group where you can share and get valuable advice. 

They are forward-thinking and innovative. This stems from the fact Fathom is a cloud-based company and embraces new technologies. As we’re inching towards increased digital presence, being well-versed with emerging technologies is highly relevant and a great asset. 

They have a great compensation model. Fathom offers 100% commission with a small flat fee. This is great considering the fact that your efforts are well rewarded and you can use the amount to reinvest in the market and carve better profits.”

 

Century 21: A Modernized Brand Century_21_logo

Century 21 is strongly focused on new and modern branding and marketing efforts. They have a refreshed logo and innovative marketing strategy. 

The commission structure is negotiated at a local level and can vary dramatically. There is an 8 percent franchise fee that is always paid. Century 21 does not charge a desk fee which is a great perk. 

As you can see from our top picks, you have many choices when picking the best real estate brokerages to work for in 2021. Each one has its perks. What fits one agent’s needs might not work for another. Ideally, you should do your research and talk to each brokerage at the local level to determine their particular incentives and terms. 

rick andrews headshotRick Andrews
Century 21 Black Bear Realty
Licensed Realtor for 20+ years
“Century 21 is the most recognizable real estate franchise brand and the real estate company consumers think of first when they want real estate services. It’s been an honor to be associated with such a big brand for over 15 years.
I like the technology that C21 uses for providing better customer service. Consumers can access Century21 listings right from their handheld devices. It has satellite mapping search tool which allows users to visually scout the location of available properties for sale.
C21 has a very unique lead management system. Everything they do, from national advertising and public relations to local marketing campaigns and billboards, is focused on delivering quality leads to the agents like us.   
It also has awards and training program which motivates us to achieve new goals continuously.”