EXp Realty took the top spot for transaction sides. Both it and Compass grew sides and volume by hundreds of percent over the past year, according to real estate analysis and consulting firm T3 Sixty.

In a development that hints at major changes in the real estate landscape, Compass managed to dethrone Realogy last year to secure the top spot in the prestigious Mega 1000 ranking of real estate brokerages by sales volume, while eXp Realty scored first place for the number of transaction sides.

The 2022 list, out Thursday from real estate analysis and consulting firm T3 Sixty, shows that in 2021 Compass did more than $254 billion in volume. That put it just above Realogy, which did nearly $244 billion, HomeServices of America, at nearly $199 billion, and eXp, at about $156 billion. Those numbers also represent a meaningful reshuffling of the top places on the list; in 2020, Realogy took the top spot, followed by HomeServices of America, with Compass in third.

The upstart brokerage founded by Robert Reffkin managed to leap frog up into first place by increasing its sales volume in 2021 by an incredible 458 percent compared to 2018. By comparison, Realogy’s volume increased by just over 38 percent, while HomeServices of America grew volume by more than 46 percent.

The rankings, and the numbers they reflect, mark a major victory for Compass, which has become a lightning rod in the real estate industry both for its rapid growth as well as for polarizing practices related to things such as recruiting.

The other big winner in the new rankings is eXp. Though eXp didn’t do the most volume, it did take the first place spot for transaction sides, at more than 444,000. That’s up 495 percent compared to 2018. HomeServices came in second place for transactions sides, at more than 388,000, followed by Realogy, at more than 371,000, and finally Compass at more than 225,000.

Notably, HomeServices of American and Realogy saw their number of sides increase by about 12 percent and 10 percent, respectively, compared to 2018 numbers. Compass saw its number of sides jump more than 550 percent.

Outside of the top four companies, Redfin secured fifth place for sales volume by doing about $53 billion. Howard Hanna Real Estate landed in fifth place for transactions sides with more than 125,000.

In a statement, T3 Sixty also noted that the cohort of 1,000 largest brokerages in the U.S. appear to be getting more powerful. Specifically, in 2018 the cohort of large companies represented 44.9 percent of the total sales volume in the U.S. That number has grown each year since until hitting nearly 60 percent in the latest rankings.

Credit: T3 Sixty and Inman

Moreover, the 10 largest brokerages in the U.S. had 23.6 percent market share in 2021, up from 18.8 percent in 2020. The statement notes that the “growth in market share represents an increasing concentration of sales volume at the nation’s largest brokerages.”

Credit: T3 Sixty

The statement notes that “market share of transaction sides followed a similar pattern,” with large companies gradually taking more and more of the market.

The rankings from T3 Sixty are among the most closely watched and respected in the real estate industry, but they weren’t the only ones issued Thursday. Specifically, UrbanDigs launched a new quarterly ranking of Manhattan and Brooklyn brokerages that is based on sell-side sales volume. Realogy-owned Corcoran Group took the top spot in those rankings for having done $2.54 billion in contract volume. Compass came in a close second, with $2.51 billion in contract volume.

To some extent, the success of new companies such as Compass and eXp Realty on these kinds of rankings is likely a natural product of their relative newness. A company like Realogy, for example, is going to have a hard time growing its volume by 458 percent like Compass because it’s already well-entrenched and is not a fundamentally different company now than it was three years ago. Compass and eXp, on the other hand, were vastly smaller three years ago and have evolved over that period into behemoths. Which is to say, they simply had a lot more room to grow than did their legacy competitors.

But it’s also possible to read these numbers — which appear to be telling a similar story over multiple years — as signs of a critical inflection point in the real estate industry. Consider a possible analogy: Up through the 1990s, small book sellers were common in many American cities. Then big boxes such as Borders and Barnes and Noble came along, followed by Amazon. There are still small bookshops here and there, but big money and national organizations fundamentally changed the sector — even as reading, generally, remained popular.

Or another analogy: Also through the 1990s, most small communities had local newspapers, while bigger cities had several. Today, most of those smaller city papers are defunct, as are some of the bigger ones as well. Many cities, such as Denver, actually saw population growth during this period, which theoretically should have added to their newspapers’ customer base. But for a lot of reasons, news consumers have shifted to national outlets such as CNN and Fox News, while smaller local firms have withered.

Similar stories about national consolidation have played out in the restaurant industry, retail more generally, entertainment, and a variety of other fields.

In real estate, the debate is often about whether or not real estate agents themselves will stick around. The question is if they’ll go the way of travel agents.

But the soaring numbers and growing market share of big companies suggests a different question may be more relevant: Will real estate ultimately consolidate around a few national players in the massive way that the book selling, media and retail industries have? And if that happens, who is the real estate analog to Amazon, Borders, Target or The Shop Around The Corner1This is the name of Meg Ryan’s doomed bookstore in You’ve Got Mail.?

Time will tell, but companies such as Compass and eXp — non-franchises with hot new compensation models, among other things — appear to be writing a new chapter in real estate that could end up looking different from what came before.

Here are the top 100 companies in the 2022 Mega 1000:

  1. Compass
  2. Realogy Brokerage Group
  3. HomeServices of America
  4. eXp Realty
  5. Redfin
  6. Douglas Elliman
  7. Howard Hanna Real Estate
  8. Weichert Realtors
  9. HomeSmart
  10. At World Properties
  11. William Raveis Real Estate
  12. RE/MAX Gold, representing Gold Nation
  13. Peerage Realty Partners
  14. Brown Harris Stevens
  15. Majestic Realty
  16. United Real Estate
  17. Keller Williams GO Network Offices
  18. RealtyOneGroup
  19. John L. Scott Real Estate
  20. Fathom Realty
  21. Premier Sotheby’s Realty
  22. The Agency
  23. Samson Properties
  24. RE/MAX Results
  25. Keller Williams Pinnacle Partners Group
  26. First Team Real Estate
  27. Coldwell Banker Bain
  28. BHHS PenFed Realty
  29. Corcoran Global Living
  30. The Keyes Company |Illustrated Properties
  31. Baird & Warner
  32. MyHomeGroup
  33. One Sotheby’s Realty
  34. Keller Williams Austin
  35. Crye-Leike Realtors
  36. Equity Real Estate
  37. Rodeo Realty
  38. Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage
  39. Golden Gate Sotheby’s Realty
  40. William Pitt | Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s Realty
  41. Real Estate One
  42. Keller Williams Cunningham Group
  43. Pacific Sotheby’s Realty
  44. Keller Williams Ben Kinney Companies
  45. West USA Realty
  46. Russ Lyon Sotheby’s Realty
  47. Realty Austin
  48. Sereno Group
  49. Parks | Village | Pilkerton Real Estate
  50. Silvercreek Realty Group
  51. Keller Williams The Rawls Group
  52. Latter & Blum
  53. Keller Williams Heritage | Memorial | Coastal Bend
  54. Professional Realty Services International
  55. RE/MAX Alliance
  56. BHHS Utah Properties
  57. John R. Wood Properties
  58. Keller Williams The Haggard Group
  59. JPAR Brokerage
  60. Century 21 Affiliated
  61. TTR Sotheby’s Realty
  62. Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Group
  63. Pinnacle Estate Properties
  64. Daniel Gale Sotheby’s Realty
  65. Keller Williams Keystone Partners Group
  66. RE/MAX Integrity | Northwest
  67. Tomlinson Real Estate Group
  68. Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s Realty
  69. Michael Saunders & Company
  70. BHHS The Preferred Realty
  71. Schmidt Family of Companies
  72. Keller Williams Forward Living
  73. Keller Williams Bergen County Partners
  74. BHHS Homesale Realty
  75. Vanguard Properties
  76. Big Block Realty
  77. Hilton & Hyland
  78. Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage
  79. Keller Williams The Virginia Realty Alliance Group
  80. LoKation Real Estate
  81. Coldwell Banker Apex
  82. Lakes | Jackson Hole | Steamboat Sotheby’s International Realty
  83. Pearson Smith Realty
  84. Engel & Völkers Gestalt Group
  85. Gibson Sotheby’s Realty
  86. Premiere Plus Realty
  87. Kuper Sotheby’s Realty
  88. RE/MAX Professionals (Colorado)
  89. Watson Realty
  90. RE/MAX Estate Properties
  91. Realty One Group West
  92. Keller Williams Jay Crow Group
  93. Realty Executives Phoenix Yuma
  94. HUNT Real Estate ERA | Key Realty Services
  95. Keller Williams Chadwick Group
  96. Keller Williams Xperience Brokerage Network
  97. Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers
  98. BHHS Drysdale Properties
  99. Keller Williams Heart of Atlanta Group
  100. Keller Williams Federal Way

Email Jim Dalrymple II

Compass | eXp Realty | Realogy
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