At last count, there were more than 1 million active real estate licenses in the U.S., and more than 86,000 real estate brokerages nationwide.
As you can imagine, this makes choosing the best real estate company to work for very difficult for newer and experienced agents alike. If you’re like most agents, you’ve at least considered a major brand as a place to hang your license. But, which realty company is the best for you?
To help make your choice a little easier, we’ve looked at five industry leaders and evaluated them on the criteria that matter most to agents. After hours of research and interviews, we’re ready to help guide you through the top real estate companies.
How We Evaluated The Top Real Estate Company To Work For
The Close Team did its homework on this one. We evaluated each franchise using significant independent research, including interviews with local agents and brokers. We also had conversations with members of corporate leadership.
We evaluated data on professional review sites like Glassdoor, Comparably, and Indeed, taking into account the feedback Realtors gave about their experiences working for each of these brands.
Based on our research, let’s see how each of our major brands: Keller Williams, Coldwell Banker, Century 21, RE/MAX, and eXp Realty stack up against each other in the categories that matter most to real estate agents.
Best Real Estate Companies of 2019
|Keller Williams||(Best Overall) Agents at all stages of their career|
|RE/MAX||High-performing, established agents|
|Coldwell Banker||New agents|
|eXp Realty||Part-time agents|
|Century 21||Agents who want to reach more millennials|
The Best Real Estate Company To Work For Overall: Keller Williams
Keller Williams takes home our prize for Best Real Estate Company To Work For.
Its competitive compensation plan, commitment to creating a culture of success on all levels (including a prioritization of women in leadership), and the hard work it does to create career-lasting relationships with its agents makes it our top choice.
Why Keller Williams is the Best Real Estate Company To Work For
Keller Williams gets a lot of things right. Its commission structure, company culture and growth potential have positioned Keller Williams at the top of our list.
Keller Williams Commission Options & Agent Fees
Just about everyone we talked to across our different brands told us the same thing when it comes to commissions:
“Well, it varies.”
A traditional commission structure has a lot of moving parts, but that doesn’t always make it easy to understand at a glance. Keller Williams has removed that ambiguity and is very clear about how their system works.
Keller Williams’ Pre-Cap Commission Structure
|Pre-Cap Commissions||64% to Agents||30% to Market Center||6% to Franchise|
|3% on $250,000 sale||$4,800||$2,250||$450|
Each Keller Williams office (or, as they call them, Market Center) has what’s called a cap. The cap is a certain amount of money that each agent will pay to Keller Williams to support the company at large. Each Market Center has its own cap, determined by local market conditions, operating expenses, etc. Every Keller Williams agent at that office has the same cap; it doesn’t matter if you are a 20-year veteran or a brand-new agent.
When an agent receives a commission pre-cap, they keep 64% of it, 30% goes to the Market Center, and 6% goes to the national brand as a franchise fee. Once you hit the cap, you keep 100% of your commission—no hidden fees, no sneaky percentages, that’s it.
Keller Williams’ Post-Cap Commission Structure
|Post-Cap Commissions||100% to Agents||0% to Market Center||0% to Franchise|
|3% on $250,000 sale||$7,500||$0||$0|
Knowing that the playing field is level as far as how you can earn money with the realty company, and that hard work (and not someone’s sweetheart deal) is the differentiator for successful agents is huge upside for working with this major brand.
Agents also receive another piece of the action in the form of a secondary commission when someone they recruit closes a sale. That benefit continues when your recruit then goes out and successfully recruits other agents (up to seven levels deep). The opportunity for passive income with Keller Williams becomes pretty great.
Also, when an agent hits a certain production level, they get opportunities to participate in companywide decision making as a part of leadership councils. This is unique to the brick and mortar landscape, and a place Keller Williams is leading the way.
Keller Williams Company Culture
With a commission structure that rewards the success of the entire Market Center and not just individual agents, Keller Williams’ company culture is focused on constant improvement and support.
As an agent, if you recruit another agent to come and join KW, their success is in your best financial interest. Thus, many de facto mentorship relationships develop.
Keller Williams takes this a step further with extensive training both live and on demand, across all sorts of topics, truly investing in its people. They are widely regarded as an industry leader in training and professional development.
We’re also impressed with the obvious efforts on the part of the KW corporate leadership to make gender equality and diversity a priority. Fifteen of the top twenty-five executives in the company are women, and, in 2017, the company was named to Franchise Business Review’s Top 50 Franchises For Women.
It is clear that, from the highest levels, a culture of inclusion and diversity matters, and it plays a vital role in the brand’s continued success.
Keller Williams Brand Growth Potential
Even though Keller Williams is a relative new kid on the block, having been founded in 1983 and only starting franchising in 1991, it continues to grow at an impressive clip every year. Sales volume for 2018 was up more than 4.2%, a gain of over $256.5 billion.
The company’s growth potential continues to be sky high. Even though only 10 of the Real Trends top 200 agents in 2018 were from KW, 2019 expects to see the total volume of agents worldwide to be more than 190,000, making this company a force to be reckoned with.
With an innovative business model and a growing agent base, the opportunities for Keller Williams agents to get in on the ground floor of a fast moving company is great.
Whether a veteran Realtor with many transactions completed or just beginning your real estate career, you owe it to yourself an family to talk to us about how Keller Williams continues to provide exceptional value to agents. Simply complete the registration below to be contacted.