Growing -- a lot -- in a down market

Connect Realty gains 1,200 agents in 2 years

Connect Realty, a full-service brokerage headquartered in The Woodlands, Texas, has grown to about 1,200 agents since its first transaction in January 2008. That bucks an industry-downsizing trend: The National Association of Realtors has reported that its membership has fallen about 16.5 percent from January 2008 to April 2010, which represents a loss of about 212,900 members.

The brokerage operates on a combination of mostly virtual offices, high commission splits to agents, a low-cost technology package, and a revenue-sharing program that encourages agents to recruit their peers without regard to geographic location.