Brokerage companies ZipRealty Inc. and Hanna Holdings Inc. took big strides in the latest annual rankings of top brokerage companies by Real Trends, a real estate publishing and communications company.

The 2009 Real Trends 500 rankings, published this week, feature two lists: one is based on a brokerage company’s closed transactions sides for 2008, while the other is based on dollar volume of sales during 2008. In a real estate sale there are two sides that agents can represent — the buyer’s side and the seller’s side.

The top three real estate brokerage companies in transaction sides held their positions compared to their rankings in last year’s report, and the top six brokerage companies in sales volume held their positions compared to the previous year (see Inman News).

Pittsburgh, Pa.-based Hanna Holdings, which operates Howard Hanna Real Estate Services, leapt to seventh in the latest sales-volume rankings, compared to 14th last year, and also moved into fourth for transaction sides compared to seventh last year, Real Trends reported. Hanna reported last month that it has 152 offices in Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York and West Virginia, with 5,200 sales associates and staff.

And Emeryville, Calif.-based ZipRealty, a tech-savvy company that offers rebates to buyers and discounts to sellers, climbed onto the top-10 list in both transaction sides and sales volume. ZipRealty was ranked 10th in sales volume in the latest report (19th last year) and ninth in transaction sides (15th last year).

ZipRealty, a publicly traded company, posted a $13.3 million loss in 2008 while completing a 10th consecutive year of growth. According to a recent earnings announcement, its agents handled 17,156 transactions in 2008, up 23 percent from the prior year. And the company added 636 agents in 2008, for a total of 2,816 (see Inman News).

Parsippany, N.J.-based NRT, the company-owned brokerage arm of Realogy Corp., topped both lists, followed by HomeServices of America Inc. (based in Minneapolis) and The Long & Foster Cos. Inc. (based in Chantilly, Va.).

Realogy, with company-owned and franchise brands including Century 21, Coldwell Banker, ERA, Sotheby’s International Realty, and Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, among others, reported in February that transaction sides for NRT operations dropped 16 percent in 2008, to 275,090. And transaction sides among its franchise group agents declined 18 percent in 2008, to 995,662.


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