Best Real Estate Brokerages

how to pick a real estate broker
With nearly 90,000 real estate brokerage firms in the United States, you have a lot of options. We've evaluated each real estate company using independent research, which includes carrying out interviews with local agents and brokers. We also met with corporate leadership, and weighed the feedback left by realtors that outlines their personal experiences working with each of the brokerages.

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getting a real estate licenseAfter you’ve completed the courses to get your real estate license, you will most need to find and pick a sponsoring broker.

You may also need a sponsoring broker if you are transferring your license from one state to another. 

To advance your career in specific situations, your sponsor may also provide you with guidance that will help you move forward in real estate. 

Most real estate firms offer some sort of sponsorship program and each has different policies concerning how the broker gets paid and the services they offer their agents.

What is a Sponsoring Broker?

As explained earlier, agents need sponsors for certifications and licensing needs. However, the main role of a sponsor is to recruit agents to a company. So even if you are already licensed and sponsored, you may find another sponsor.

counting moneyFor example, if you are working with one company, you may be approached by a sponsor from another company. That sponsor may try to recruit you to their company by giving you information about perks, compensation and more. If the package they offer sounds appealing, you may switch companies thereby changing sponsors. 

In addition to recruiting you into the company, your sponsor may also take on a mentor-like role by providing you with guidance. 

What Do I Do If I Don’t Have a Sponsor? 

Finding a sponsor is not difficult. If you don’t have one, you can simply google ‘broker sponsorship’ and you will see several websites that will help you get connected. 

How Do I Pick My Sponsor?

There are things you will want to consider when choosing a sponsor. These are as follows:

Commission Split: Sponsoring agents don’t sponsor you out of the kindness of their hearts. They typically make a commission off of your earnings although some will take a flat fee up front. You’ll want to go with an agent that you find affordable. 

Support: As mentioned earlier, most agencies will not require your sponsor to mentor you. However, as a new agent, you will want to find one that can give you advice when you need it. 

The Company: Remember, your agent is a representative of the company they are recruiting you into. Therefore, you want to make sure you are happy with the company itself. Here are some things to look for in a brokerage firm:

  • Splits: The company will also charge a commission split so make sure they charge a rate that is fair. 
  • Mentorship Opportunities: The company will act as a mentor and may provide you with educational and training materials as well as guidance from other agents that may or may not be your sponsor. Find out what type of support they offer before signing up. 
  • Reputation: If you work for a reputable company, you will get more clients. 
  • Fees: Your brokerage may charge you fees for office space, marketing materials and more. Make sure you’re not paying more than you can afford. 
  • Resources: The brokerage you choose should be able to teach you the ins and outs of the topics you need to know to be a successful estate agent (like real estate website builders, real estate lead generation companies, or a well designed real estate CRM). If you’re looking for more advanced topics like real estate adsbuilding your own real estate lead generation website, which real estate marketing tools you’ll need,  how to build a successful social media strategy, or even just real estate marketing ideas in general, you will need to ask what resources and tools are available to you at your brokerage.

NOTE: A sponsor at your brokerage may be different than a sponsoring broker

After getting your real estate license, the next step will be finding a brokerage to work for.

The brokerage will give you an office to work out of as well as tools to get you started, but ultimately, you will be working for yourself. Therefore, unlike most interviews that are focused on the employer finding out if the employee is right for them, in this situation the employee, or agent, will be asking questions to find out if the agency is suitable to their needs.

This article will give you guidelines on how to interview a broker so you can find the best fit. Here are some questions you should be asking.

How much will I earn in real estate commissions?

Since most real estate professionals are paid on a commission basis, it’s essential to understand the structure of the split between the agent and the brokerage. Brokers will typically offer different commission structures, and some may even offer salaried positions although this is rare. 

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If you’re someone that is looking for a consistent paycheck, then it would make sense to opt for a broker that offers a salary. Keep in mind that most brokerages that offer a salary offer a meager salary compared to what you could potentially make in commission. So if you’re hungry to grow and earn, commission is the way to go because, if done right, you can rake in the earnings.

Let’s take a look at how the commission is calculated. Let’s say, the overall commission for a transaction is 6% (3% for the buyer’s agent and 3% for the seller’s); for a $350,000 house sale, as a buyer agent you’d be looking at $10,500 and the same goes for the seller agent. Now, the commission still gets split one more time between the agent and the broker. If it’s a 60/40 split, you’d be making $6,300 if representing the buyer or seller, and the brokers would each get $4,200. 

It’s important to negotiate the terms of your commission split when joining the brokerage and bear in mind, different brokerages offer different splits. These are dependent on the services and training they provide you, your market, and the general going rate of other brokerages.

What are the Desk Fees?

Many brokerages charge agents a desk fee. This is used to cover office supplies and pay for the rental of office space.

In some cases, desk fees can be quite high, eating into commission considerably. It’s best to look for an agency with low desk fees but if they offer perks to balance the high fees, it may be worth it. If you’re looking to be a part-time real estate agent, you’ll want to find a brokerage with low fees.

What Real Estate Training is Provided?

Most brokerages offer agents some sort of training. This can include online training, in-person training, mentorship, and more. Some also offer certifications. The right training will be valuable in helping you grow your career.

You will want to find out what kind of training is available and determine if it works for you. For instance, if you are more of a hands-on learner and the training they offer is only online, it may not be the right fit.

In some instances, the training provided will not be free. If the brokerage you are interviewing is charging for training, you must decide whether it is worth the cost.

Generally, you want to align yourself with a brokerage that has a track record of success. You’d hope that this track record is built on strategies that have been refined over time and can be replicated to aid in the success of newcomers such as yourself.

There are a few things that are standard for all agents: prospecting, lead nurturing, closing transactions, client loyalty, client advocacy. Prospecting entails activities such as door knocking and cold calling. Essentially, it’s casting a wide net in neighborhoods that you want to target and then seeing if there are fish that you’d want to catch within those areas. 

country neighborhood

Once you’ve prospected, the next step is buying real estate leads. Think of prospecting as the introduction, where you exchange pleasantries, build rapport but don’t necessarily close the deal and bring the person on as a client. Lead nurturing is the act of turning that prospect into a client. For example, you may have spoken with someone interested in buying a home but not right away. So, you’d want some form of lead nurturing activity in place to consistently be top of mind for them without being annoying so that when it comes time for them to buy a home, they want to do it with you. You’ll want a system in place to nurture both seller and buyer leads. These activities could be as simple as monthly follow-up emails showing the average price of homes sold in their neighborhood and other industry statistics. This is best done with the right real estate software to help you organize your contacts and manage your prospect funnel. The right brokerage will start by walking you through how to find the right real estate CRM (even if you’re looking for a free CRM tool). 

Now, some time has passed, and Joe Customer has decided they want to sell their home with you. What are some ways that you can maximize the sale price of their home, blowing their expectations out of the water to the point that you become their family’s go-to agent? In this loyalty phase, you can engage in activities such as Christmas / birthday gifts, courtesy follow-ups, and other forms of communication to add a “human touch” to your services. Once again, you want to touch base (a lot less frequently from before) so you’re still pinging them maybe once a year, but in a polite manner.

If your clients are satisfied with your services and keep you on board as their agent, chances are you’ve done a good job. In an age of digital marketing, word of mouth and referrals are still king. You can compare a client referral up against any form of marketing, and it will yield the highest conversion rate with the lowest cost per acquisition than anything else. When your clients are happy, they will bring you up in conversation with their friends and family when it’s their time to make a transaction, so it’s important to build long-lasting relationships.

We just covered a variety of areas, so let’s bring it back to the topic at hand. No matter what stage you are within the client’s journey, you’re going to need some direction on how to maximize your results while minimizing your time. When you’re working for a brokerage that is well established, they should be able to provide you with training and coaching that helps you crush broker and personal sales targets. The key word here is coaching, so although it’s their job to train you, it’s also up to you to be coachable and understand and retain the information.

Is the Brokerage Well Reviewed Online? 

Let’s do a thought experiment here. When’s the last time you visited a restaurant for the first time? What were some of the first few steps you took?

Most people take a look at the restaurant’s reviews and then the menu. Humans are creatures of habit and tend to take a similar approach whenever selecting any new product or service. After all, there are tons of options out there, and we want to pick the one that best suits our needs. 

If a brokerage has terrible reviews, it may not be a great brokerage to work for. Buying a house is a substantial financial investment, and consumers want to make sure that they’ll be well taken care of during this time. A bad review can potentially be a roadblock for that brokerage to generate new client leads, which means the possibility of less business for you.

What Marketing Materials are Available?

It is typical for brokerages to have some sort of marketing materials available to agents. These can include templates that can be used to print business cards, brochures and signage. They may also offer digital resources agents can use to make online ads, social media posts and web sites. They may even provide agents with lead sheets and analytics that help them find buyers.

Obviously, the more quality marketing materials the brokerage offers, the better.

What is the Structure of the Company?

Some brokerages have agents working on their own while others have them work in teams.

If you work on a team with other agents, you may end up splitting commissions. However, if you are new to the business, you will gain knowledge by teaming up with more experienced agents. It can also take some of the stress off when workloads get heavy.

Consider your personal situation to come up with a choice that’s right for you.

How Does the Brokerage Help You Generate Leads? 

Cold calls, door knocking, expired listing outreach, word of mouth. These have been the standard methods of real estate lead generation for decades. Times have changed, has the brokerage you’re considering changed with it?

We live in a digital-first age, and as such, you want to partner with a brokerage that can help you generate leads and provide training on how you can scrape your own. We’ve seen brokerages split leads lists with their agents, provide coaching on how to generate leads, and provide a sales process that helps turn those leads into closed business.

When picking a brokerage, it’s crucial to understand what they will do to help you generate leads and close business. After all, there is a high likelihood that you’ll be on a commission structure, and if you aren’t closing transactions, you’re not making money.

What is the Company Reputation?

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It’s important for agents to work for a brokerage with a good reputation. People are more likely to work with agents that represent brokerages they have heard of and that they know they can trust.

Although there are questions you can ask during an interview that will help you determine a company’s reputation, most of the legwork can be done online.

When researching brokerages, here are some things to consider.

  •       What are their moral values: Look for brokerages that are based on values like honesty, integrity and putting their customers first.
  •       How long have they been around: A brokerage that has been around for years is one that people can trust. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t newer brokerages that are great to work for. If you end up going with a newer brokerage, look at their growth over the past few years to make sure they are on an upward trajectory.
  •       How many offices and agents: It’s important to work for a company that has a strong presence. If a brokerage has a lot of offices around the country and a lot of agents working for them, that’s a good sign. You may also look for brokerages with a global presence. Brokerages with offices around the world will be more likely to deal with people moving in from other countries which means more potential clients for you. 
  •       How do they treat their employees: Many brokerages pride themselves on providing a terrific atmosphere for their employees. This includes a great company culture, a work life balance, office events and more. It is advisable for agents to work for companies that keep their best interests in mind.

Tech Based or Not?

In today’s brave new world, many brokerages are moving to cloud based platforms. This allows agents to do more work from home making for a flexible schedule, and less time and money spent commuting.

However, a company that is entirely tech based isn’t right for everyone. For example, if you are not tech savvy, you may have trouble working with some of the software that’s provided.

And if you are just starting out as an agent, a tech-based company may not provide the type of hands on training you need to get your career off on the right foot.

Other Perks

In the interest of finding top talent, many brokerages offer other perks which may include the following:

  •       Health insurance
  •       Paid vacations and sick days
  •       A 401K Plan
  •       Free parking
  •       On site gym
  •       Discounts on training and certifications

….and the list goes on.

Red Flags

home for sale

Now here are some things that should send you running the other way.

  •       Low Commissions: Commissions should be at least a 60/40 split. Any lower and you may want to take your business elsewhere.
  •       High Desk Fees: If desk fees seem unreasonable, this may be a sign that a company that is not to be trusted.
  •       No Training: If the brokerage you are interviewing does not offer training or if the training they offer is expensive or not comprehensive, this is a giant red flag.
  •       No Marketing Materials: If a brokerage doesn’t offer marketing materials, you may end up spending a good chunk of your paycheck purchasing them.
  •       Downward Trajectory: The real estate industry goes up and down but if the brokerage you are interviewing is on an overall downward trajectory, this is definitely not a good sign.

What Type of Brokerage is the Right Fit? 

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The key to success in any industry is defining your goals and putting in place the right tools to help you get there. Selecting the right real estate brokerage for you is imperative as there are so many options available.  These are the main categories of brokerages you’ll encounter:

  • National brands such as Keller Williams and RE/MAX tend to carry a level of cache associated with their name. These brokerages are well-known across the nation, have various franchised brokerages, and consumers trust them. 
  • Independent brokerages are standalone brokerages not affiliated with any big name. These tend to be smaller operations and are more preferred by millennials. Why? Because they associate those big name brands as the brokerages of their parents and want to carve their own footprint into the real estate world.
  • Luxury brokerages are the ones that deal in multi-million dollar properties. One of the most recognized names in this category is Sotheby’s. Brokerages such as these tend to be pickier when hiring real estate agents, as they deal in low volume, high-value transactions.
  • Virtual brokerages offer the support of a brick and mortar entity, without any desk fees and sometimes even provide 100% sales commission. Real is just one of these types of brokerages – they offer an 85/15 split to start, which transitions to a 100% agent commission after $12,000 paid to Real in a year.
  • iBuyers can be a great source of additional income. While every company works with agents differently, many pay commissions to agents representing the buyers and sellers they deal with. Agents may receive a commission of about 1% in referral fees allowing them to boost their proceeds.

Finding the right brokerage to work for is so important. The guidelines in this article will get you prepared for your interview so you can find a brokerage that suits your needs. We wish you the best of luck in your endeavors.

When looking for an agency to work for, here are some things to consider.

How Do They Pay?

Some agencies pay a salary while others offer a commission. If you like the idea of a steady paycheck, you may prefer working for an agency that offers a salary. With a commission, your income won’t be as reliable, but you will end up with bigger paydays.

If you go with an agency that offers a commission, pay attention to what the split is to ensure you get a cut you’re happy with.


What’s the Culture?

A company’s culture is important no matter what type of industry you are in. Make sure the agency you choose has a culture you feel comfortable with and that they take extra steps to take care of their employees.

Is it a Reputable Company?

Working for a reputable company has its share of advantages. As an agent, you are more likely to get clients if you work for a company with a good reputation. You can also feel confident knowing you are representing a company people can trust.

Before agreeing to work for an agency, go online to check out their reviews. If they are getting mostly five stars, that is a good sign.

Do They Help You Generate Leads?

Many companies share leads with their agents and give them tools that help them generate their own leads. It is recommended to find an agency that helps their employees in this capacity as this kind of support will help ensure your success.

Do They Provide Training?

After getting your real estate license, you will know the ins and outs of real estate law, but you may need a hand when it comes to developing skills for lead generation, lead nurturing, prospecting, closing transactions and well as maintaining client loyalty. The right agency will provide training that can help agents in all aspects of the industry.

Recommended Agencies

Now that you know what to look for in a real estate agency, here are some agencies that are recommended as leaders in the field.

Keller Williams home lawn

Keller Williams began franchising in 1991 and has since become the largest real estate agency based on agent count. They have offices all over the world.

The company works to develop interdependent relationships with their agents. They believe that a successful relationship is based on the strength of both the agents and the company itself. They thrive on a culture that puts God and family first and business second.

They also have a profiteer program that allows agents to bring in additional income by recruiting agents to the company. They are known for providing excellent training and they have established a reputation as thought leaders in the industry.

Though most agents reported having a good experience working with the company, others complained that they felt pressured to pay for training. Some also mentioned that they wished they were provided with more leads.

woman working in coffee shopCentury 21

Century 21 was founded in 1971 and has thousands of independently owned and operated franchised broker offices around the world. They claim to have a scale and reputation to lead the real estate industry into the future.

The agency is known for sharing knowledge with their agents. The people in their offices work as whole and guide each other when it is necessary. They provide their employees with excellent tools and training.

Workers that had anything negative to say about the company claimed that some of the training programs required expensive fees. They also said that they weren’t getting a high enough commission split.

Coldwell Bankerpexels-marc-mueller-380769-1024x575

Coldwell Banker is a franchise brokerage founded in 1906. It has independently owned and operated branches. The agency has strong brand recognition and offer agents support and training.

The company prides themselves on loving people. They value excellence and honor workers with the ability to see possibilities despite obstacles.

Unlike other companies in the industry who describe themselves as ‘tech firms’, Coldwell describes itself as a real estate company. However, they still supply their agents with state-of-the-art technology including personal web sites and CRN systems that help agents located buyers.

Agents that have worked with Coldwell Banker say the company has a great reputation and provides excellent training and a caring environment. Others say it can improve in its ability to support real estate teams in their offices.

drone neighborhoodReMax

ReMax is a real estate company that believes it differentiates itself from the competition. It focuses on providing excellent service and building trust.

The company advertises its agents as having more experience than the average agent as well as the ability to go above and beyond. Their global reach into 100 countries means they have more international buyers interested in relocation.

ReMax provides its agents with several training and technology opportunities including customized curriculum that allows them to create marketing videos that can be easily shared on social media.

Agents that have worked for ReMax say the company offers exceptional training along with a great reputation and a solid infrastructure. However, many mentioned that it was more suited to experienced agents as opposed to those just starting out.

eXp Realty

eXp was founded right after the Great Recession of 2008. It was created as a cloud-based program with lower overhead that could thrive in that economy. It allowed brokers and agents to move their real estate practices to a 100% online format.

The low cost of operating results in no desk fees for agents, no franchise fees and high commission splits. They have a revenue sharing plan for agents interested in investing in company stock. Agents can also log into a virtual program for training resources and to network with other agents, attend meetings and interact with staff.

However, if you are not tech savvy, you do not have to engage in the online platform and you will still be able to take advantage of eXp’s lower fees and higher splits.

Agents who work for eXp have said positive things about the company’s technology and training opportunities. Others say they miss the interaction that comes with a traditional office setting.

Need more information on where to start as a new agent? Check our our guide for new agents for more info.

Real estate is a great business to be in. Real estate almost always appreciates in value and it’s a great way to grow wealth.

Investing in real estate is one way to increase income, but you can also make great money as a broker. Once you get a license, the next step will be finding a company to work for. Here are some companies that are recommended.

Best Real Estate Brokerages for Producing Agents

As an agent, here are some things you will want to consider in finding and agency that’s right for you.

Commission Splits: An agency will make a commission off each real estate sale they handle. A certain amount will go to the agency and the rest will go to the agent. Agents will want to work for companies that give them a large percentage of the commissions.

Desk Fees: Desk fees are a monthly amount deducted from an agent’s commission used to pay for office supplies, leads and office space. Low desk fees are desirable for agents.

Training: Many agencies offer training and mentorship to help agents become successful in their field. It is important to look for an agency that offers quality training resources.

Brand Recognition: It’s advisable to work for a company that is well known. When you represent a reputable company, people will feel more comfortable working with you.

Marketing Tools: Many agencies offer agents marketing tools like signage, CRM and advertising.

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Recommended Companies

Now that you know what to look for in an agency, here is a list of some agencies that are worth checking out.

Keller Williams

Keller Williams is a well-known agency that is recommended by many agents. Here is a look at what they offer.

  • Commission: Keller Williams offers a 64% commission to agents that are starting out. This is a bump up from the usual 50%. Once $100,000 gross commissions are received for the year, the commission goes up to 100%.
  • Training: The company offers extensive training opportunities including 310 instructor led courses, 2,000 online modules and 82 hours of formal planned training each year. Support materials are available to any agent from any company, free of charge.
  • Marketing: The marketing the company provides includes a Keller Williams branded web site with maximum online visibility. All properties are also searchable via the brokerage homepage.
  • Profit Sharing: Agents who recruit other agents will receive a portion of that agent’s commission. Agents that receive these profit shares and meet sales goals eventually become eligible to join the leadership council where they can weigh in on decisions that affect the entire company.

eXp Realtyneighborhood

eXp is a cloud based real estate company that is known for treating their agents exceptionally well. Read on to learn more.

  • Commission: eXp offers an 80% commission until you reach a $16,000 annual cap. After that goal is reached, agents can keep 100% of their commission.
  • Training: eXp offers top notch training for its agents. In fact, their Director of Education was named Inman’sTop 50 Most Influential Online. They offer 20-25 live virtual classes each week and have a large data base of recorded classes and how to videos. They also offer in person training and mentorship programs for new agents.
  • Marketing: eXp has an entire center devoted to marketing. This includes tools that can be used to make signage, flyers and brochures, social media posts, signs and business cards, postcards and more.
  • Profit Sharing: eXp offers revenue share to any real estate agent or broker with an active eXp license. You can begin earing revenue immediately and there is no production requirement.


Established in 2004, Redfin is a relatively new agency but it is developing a reputation for being a company that’s great to work for. Here are some things agents can look forward to when signing up with Redfin.

  • Commission: Redfin offers agents both commission and salary. The median income is around $90,000 annually. They also do not charge desk fees since there is no central office.
  • Training: The company offers paid training to new agents. They also provide supplementary classes and webinars that are ideal for honing skills.
  • Marketing: Redfin’s marketing department offers advertising and promotion and the company also takes care of lead generation. However, they do not provide agents with the tools to build individual brands and followings.
  • Profit Sharing: Redfin offers a 401K profit sharing plan. They also give their agents plenty of growth opportunities allowing them to advance from associate agents to ‘full agents’.

Sotheby’s International Realty

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Sotheby’s is a real estate company that is known for showing luxury properties. Let’s see how they compare as an employer.

  • Commission: Sotheby’s commission splits vary from office to office. Most agents state they bring in a 70% commission.
  • Training: Sotheby’s agents are trained to provide a luxury experience to their clients. Their agents are taught to offer a concierge service that sets them apart and makes for an upscale buying experience. However, the agency does not provide any continuing education courses or certifications.
  • Marketing: The company makes some marketing material available to their agents, but for the most part, when it comes to brand building, they are on their own. Sotheby’s also publishes their own online magazine with highlights top producing agents, but the main goal of their advertising is to promote their own brand.
  • Profit Sharing: Sotheby’s offers a 401K profit sharing plan as well as benefits.

Coldwell Banker


Coldwell Banker is a well-known real estate company that offers advanced technological tools which are great for technologically savvy agents. Here’s how they perform in other areas.

  • Commission: Commission structures for Coldwell Banker vary from office to office but, in general, agents can expect a 60/40 split.
  • Training: Coldwell offers resources that help new agents learn the business and help experienced agents advance in their field. Online classes are offered that provide information on how to covert leads, marketing, sales and other topics.
  • Marketing: When it comes to marketing, Coldwell promotes heavily online and on TV to help agents become successful. They also provide agents with tools to design ads, postcards and flyers. Their superior Tech Suite helps them increase buyer leads and predict areas where listings will increase.
  • Profit Sharing: There was no information on profit sharing opportunities for Coldwell Banker. However, they do encourage agents to open their own franchises. Many agents can advance to become managers as well.

If you’d like more info, be sure to check our guide on the best real estate companies to work for.

After getting your real estate license, your next step will be finding an agency to work for. A luxury agency could be the way to go.

A luxury real estate agency specializes in high end properties making for bigger commissions. But what does it take to work for these agencies? And which are the best ones to work for?

This article will answer those questions so you can find a luxury agency that’s right for you.

What Does it Take to Be a Luxury Real Estate Agent?

Before pursuing luxury real estate agencies to work for, it’s important to understand what it takes to work in the luxury sector.

Just about anyone can apply to a luxury real estate agency, but once, employed, you will be expected to provide excellent service. This means that you must have superior knowledge of the real estate industry. It’s advisable to get your feet wet in mainstream real estate before moving on to the luxury field.

You will also be expected to dress the part. You will need a professional wardrobe so you can wear the proper attire when meeting clients for showings and meetings.

Different agencies will have different expectations when it comes to how they want their agents to treat clients. They may require you to provide certain concierge services and include other amenities. The agency you work for will give you a rundown of their requirements and may also provide training to ensue you are up to their standards.

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What to Look for in a Luxury Real Estate Agency

When looking for a luxury real estate agency that’s right for you, you will want to check off the following boxes.

  • Commission: Agents will want to find a brokerage that offers a generous commission split.
  • Reputation: Working for an agency with a good reputation will help you bring in more clients.
  • Training: Most agencies offer some sort of training to their agents. It is best to work for a company that offers free or inexpensive top-notch training.
  • Marketing: Many agencies offer agents marketing materials that may range from lawn signs to the tools they need to create their own web sites.
  • Profit Sharing/Room for Advancement: Brokerages may also provide opportunities for agents to increase their income including profit sharing programs and opportunities to move up in the company.

Best Luxury Companies to Work For

With this in mind, let’s take a look at which luxury real estate companies are the best to work for.

Sotheby’s International Realty

Reputation: Sotheby’s International Realty is one of the top names in luxury real estate. Established as a real estate brand in 2004, it is known for technological innovation with high definition property walkthroughs via virtual reality and Apple TV. It has over 21,000 agents under its brand.

Commission: Sotheby’s offers a 70/30 commission split. Some offices let agents keep 100% of commission after bringing in a certain amount of money for the year.

Training: The brokerage does not offer a solid training program for agents.

Marketing: Agents who work for Sotheby’s are not provided with one marketing platform. Rather, they must go from platform to platform to find the materials they need. This could get confusing for some agents.

Profit Sharing/Advancement: We could not find any information regarding Sotheby’s advancement and profit-sharing opportunities. They may not be available, or they may vary from office to office.


Reputation: Christie’s is a luxury real estate brand that prides itself in offering impeccable service. The company boasts over 30 years in the business and specializes in properties that are over $1 million.

Commission: We could not find information regarding the commission split for Christie’s. This may vary from office to office.

Training: Christie’s offers their agents concierge administrative services and support. They aim to make their sales professionals more efficient and productive.

Marketing: The brokerage offers agents marketing tool to provide clients with a high level of service and to give themselves superior local and global visibility.

Profit Sharing/Advancement: Christie’s offers workers a 401K plan that they match up to 5%.


Reputation: The Re/Max company has a luxury division that sells homes that are priced at least twice as high as the average selling price of other homes in that zip code. With offices in the United States, South Africa, Canada, Malaysia and more, they have a strong global presence.

Commission: Offering a 95/5 commission split, Re/Max is known for being one of the most generous agencies in the industry. However, they also charge high desk fees which can cut into an agent’s profits considerably.

Training: The Re/Max University offers training resources for agents that include development sessions with brokers and online classes that help you achieve your goals and learn more about the industry.

Marketing: Re/Max provides agents with a highly vetted leads list that saves them on marketing costs.

Profit Sharing/ Advancement: The brokerage offers a 401K plan to employees.

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A relatively new company, Compass was established in 2012, but it has been taking the real estate industry by storm. It currently has 165 offices and 7,000 agents in 13 states. They partner with an agency called Clever to offer buyers rebates for on homes valued over $150,000 and 1% of properties priced over $500,000.

Commission: Commission splits may vary from office to office, but some agents have negotiated deals as a high as 90/10.

Training: Compass offers a concierge program that helps sellers get homes prepared for the market. This includes staging and making minor repairs to get properties in optimal shape for yielding higher values.

Marketing: Compass has a Marketing Center that provides agents with preloaded templates for print social media ads and more. The tools are easy to use and helps agents create beautiful promotional material.

Profit Sharing/Advancement: Compass encourages agents to grow and build teams. They give them the motivation to seize opportunities and capitalize on strengths. They also offer great benefits.

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ONE LUXE is the luxury division of the Realty One Group. Realty One is a well-known company founded in 2005. It currently has over 13,000 real estate agents spread across offices in the United States and Canada.

It introduced ONE LUXE to promote high end properties worth over $1 million. The luxury company strives to provide a unique experience to agents focusing on a fun, unique environment. They also volunteer and donate through their ONE Cares nonprofit.

Commission: ONE LUXE offers agents a 100% commission as well as low monthly fees and $0 tech fees.

Training: ONE LUXE offers a proprietary education system that helps agents develop in their career fields.

Marketing: Agents that work at ONE LUXE have access to free online marketing materials including templates for business cards, property brochures and postcards.

Profit Sharing/Advancement: The agency provides agents with a 401k plan and excellent perks and benefits.

If you think you are ready for luxury real estate, these agencies are all great to work for. Which do you think is best for you?

When a person buys or sells a home, they will primarily deal with one agent. In some instances, that agent will be the only one working on their purchase or sale. They will be responsible for everything from showing homes to assisting with loans to closing deals.

In other situations, the buyer or seller will be dealing with a team of people. While one agent will be established as the main contact, other agents may be brought in to deal with paperwork, answer relevant questions and take care of other tasks.

In other words, they will be working with a real estate team.

If you are starting out as a real estate agent, it’s a good idea to start out working on a team. That way, you have the opportunity to work with more experienced agents and get hands-on experience before moving on independently.

This article will take a close look at what it’s like to work on a real estate team and recommend top brokerages that offer this type of structure.

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How Does a Real Estate Team Work?

Each real estate team typically has a leader who serves as the client’s primary contact. Agents are brought in to assist the leader with various tasks. One agent might be in charge of handling inquiries on the home, another might host an open house while a third agent may be in charge of the paperwork and legalities.

Splitting up responsibilities takes stress off the leader and can provide a higher level of customer service.

Compensation can work in various ways. Agents can earn flat rates or salaries. If the leader earns a commission, he or she can split this among the team based on performance.

What to Look for in a Brokerage

Once you have limited your list of brokerages you want to work for to those that that thrive on team environments, here are some other things you will want to consider.

  • Compensation: You may be earning a salary, or you may be splitting a commission. Either way, you will want to make sure you are being well compensated.
  • Reputation: The company you work for should have a reputation for being a reliable real estate agency. If you work for a trusted brand, you will get more clients in the door.
  • Training: Many brokerages offer training that will help you advance in your career. Look for a company that provides superior training resources.
  • Marketing: Companies may offer marketing materials to agents that allow them to print material, design digital marketing ads and more. These resources can save agents time and money.
  • Other Perks: Excellent benefits, profit sharing and room for advancements should all be considered.

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Best Team Brokerages to Work For

Now that you know what to look for in a team brokerage, here are some companies that are worth considering.

Better Homes and Gardens

Reputation: Better Homes and Gardens has established a trusted reputation through offering a home product line embedded in American culture. Their real estate company is built on those same core values. They are focused on growth and provide tools and technology to offer a high level of customer service.

Commission: Commission split varies from office to office but is generally around 70/30.

Training: Agents can enroll in Be Better University where they can sharpen sales, marketing and social media skills. The agency also hosts regional events that offers valuable tips for agents. Coaching and mentorship and virtual training sessions are also available.

Marketing: BHGRE offers a suite of marketing tools that can be used to create custom signage, social media posts, print materials, buyer and listing presentations and more. Agents can also use their data base to find buyers.

Other Perks: BHGRE agents qualify for discounts on pre and post licensing courses. They can also earn certifications and designations at discounted rates. The company offers benefits and a 401K plan to employees.



Reputation: RE/MAx is one of the most well-known real estate agencies in the world. They have over 100,000 agents in 6,800 offices and operate in about 100 countries around the world. They offer franchise opportunities and are focused on growth and putting customers first.

Commission: RE/Max offers an exceptionally high commission split of 70/30.

Training: RE/MAX University is a learning resource for agents, brokers and owners. It can be accessed anywhere at any time. It includes an innovative tool called My Ru Trax which allows students to custom build a curriculum based on their needs. The agency also provides webinars and exclusive talks, designations and certification programs.

Marketing: RE/MAX agents get access to a full suite of tools that are often free. Their design center offers templates that can be used to create postcards, newsletters, advertisements, flyers and more. They also provide lead sheets that help agents find buyers.

Other Perks: RE/MAX offers several company perks including a 401K plan with a 50% company match, insurance, paid days off, an on-site, gym, free covered parking and employee events throughout the year.

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Coldwell Banker

Reputation: Coldwell Banker was founded in 1906 and is based on the pillars of honesty and integrity. This is enforced by the fact that it was the first company to disclose defects on listed properties before seller disclosure laws went into effect.  It has a presence in 49 countries and territories. Up to 145.5 million people visited Coldwell Banker affiliated sites in 2018 making it the most visited real estate brand online.

Commission: Commission splits vary from office to office, but they start at around 60/40.

Training: Coldwell Banker provides training to get new associates up to speed as well as resources for existing agents to hone their skills. The Coldwell Banker University offers online and in-person courses. In house mentoring is also available.

Marketing: The agency provides selling leads and buyer locators to help agents generate commissions. Their web site and CRM platform gives agents personal web pages linked to the main office web sites where customers search for properties. This helps agents track clients’ progress from prospecting to closing.

Other Perks: Coldwell Banker provides employees with a generous benefits package including holidays and vacations. However, there is no insurance or 401K available.

Berkshire Hathaway

Reputation: Berkshire Hathaway is a real estate agency that emphasizes a strong customer relationship. They promote longevity, trust, success, integrity and health in their customer and employee relations. They currently have more than 5,000 agents and nineteen brokerages joined the umbrella in 2019 alone. They have a global reach with locations in Barcelona, Berlin, Dubai, Frankfurt, Lisbon, London, Madrid, Milan and Portal.

Commission: Commission splits start at 60/40.

Training: Berkshire Hathaway offers a LEARNCENTER with tools that get new agents off to a strong start. There are also classes and materials available for established agents to help them advance on their career paths. Certification and designations provided as well.

Marketing: BHHS offers a variety of marketing resources. Their social media tool allows agents to come up with scheduled posts. They also get a personalized landing page and social media accounts. Agents can use templates to create business cards. Lead CRM and Buyers Match tools are available as well.

Other Perks: The brokerage offers employees paid sick days and vacation days, a 401K plan, insurance and a casual office atmosphere.

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Reputation: Compass is a New York based real estate brokerage that is known for offering agents top tools and resources. Their ultimate goal is to provide an all in one platform for prospecting, lead generation, touring and closing. The company was founded in 2012 and is currently the fastest growing luxury company and largest independent brokerage in the U.S.

Commission: Commission splits are 90/10.

Training: Compass Academy provides tools for new and experienced agents. Courses and workshops are available. They also provide checklists and resources to make sure agents are carrying out important tasks correctly.

Marketing: The Compass Marketing Center offers preloaded templates for print, social media and more. The CRM system leverages AI to provide agents with valuable insights that can increase revenue. Their iOS app provides real time transaction data and historical trends for up to 5 years.

Perks: The brokerage offers employees a variety of perks including paid holidays and vacations, a 401K, health and disability insurance and a casual work atmosphere.

If you are starting out on your real estate career, joining a team could be the way to go. You will get the support you need while gaining hands on experience in the industry.

These agencies are recommended for providing great team environments for agents. Which do you think is most suitable to your needs?

The annual income for real estate agents varies from state to state based on how many licensed realtors there are, housing prices, inventory available, etc.

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If you’d like more info, be sure to check out the annual real estate agent income breakdown of your state.


The task of selecting a real estate brokerage can be daunting. We hope that this page provided you with tools to help ease the transition into real estate as a career. Remember to interview a few brokerages before coming to your final decision. Good luck!

2022 Agent Advice Excellence in Industry Awards

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There are thousands of brokerages to choose from across the country, and more popping up as the industry continues to be red hot. The winning brokers have the most name brand recognition in their respective cities, and continue to bring in new agents. They are also known for their professionalism, top notch reviews, and dedication to clients. Take a look at the winning brokerages here.