A deeper look at the rapid rise of Compass, eXp Realty and Redfin reveals a trio of insightful growth stories — which may very well shape the future of America’s real estate landscape.

This post has been republished with permission from Mike DelPrete.

Compass, eXp Realty and Redfin are three of the largest, fastest-growing brokerages in the U.S. Each operates a traditional brokerage business model and leverages technology as a key competitive differentiator.

A deeper look at the rapid rise of each reveals a trio of insightful growth stories — which may very well shape the future of America’s real estate landscape.

The changes to the top 20 U.S. brokerages by transaction count are striking (data courtesy the Real Trends 500). In 2018, the top two brokerages (Realogy and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices) dwarfed the competition; no other brokerage came close.

Fast forward to 2020, and eXp Realty is within striking distance of the top two, followed closely by Compass.

Each business has experienced wildly different growth trajectories. Compare Redfin’s slow and steady growth to the exponential hockey stick curves of Compass and, most impressively, eXp Realty.

The engine room of each company’s growth is driven by agents (as I like to say, agents sell houses, not technology). The corresponding agent count at each company closely mirrors overall transaction count growth. Redfin has far, far fewer agents than its peers, but its agents are exponentially more efficient.

Since 2018, Compass and eXp have grown agent count and transaction volume exponentially, which — at this scale — is unheard of and why each company is so disruptive in the industry.

Reviewing the interesting similarities and key differences between the three companies reveals their different target markets, represented by average sales price. Compass is clearly in the luxury band, while Redfin caters to high-priced homes, and eXp is closer to the national average home value.

In the end, Compass and eXp are quite similar: fast-growing real estate brokerages fueled by unprecedented agent growth. Both companies leverage cash (or the promise of cash via stock options and multilevel marketing) to recruit and lean on technology as a differentiator.

In 2018, it could have been possible to ignore the companies or dismiss their efforts to grow. But in 2021 they’ve become too big to ignore and are cementing — and growing — their leadership position in the future of real estate.

Mike DelPrete is a strategic adviser and global expert in real estate tech, including Zavvie, an iBuyer offer aggregator. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

Compass | eXp Realty | Redfin
Show Comments Hide Comments
Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription