If you've just passed the real estate licensing exam, you are probably filled with enthusiasm and nervousness at the same time. Launching a new career as an agent can be a daunting task.
However, you might find the next step discouraging. You need to find a real estate company to work for.
Worse, you'll find it especially difficult to choose one brokerage firm from thousands of available options.
So how do you select the best real estate company to work for in 2023?
Well, you're in luck because we're going to make the decision process easier for you. We've scoured the web for the best of the best real estate companies in the US, and we've trimmed down the list to 5.
We will review each of the companies and go over their pros and cons to help you decide which one is best suitable for you.
So shall we?
Top Real Estate Companies to Work For
Below is the list of traditional and virtual brokerages that we will be looking into:
Let’s get into the details!
Keller Williams is the world’s largest real estate franchise by agent count and sales volume. It started in Austin, Texas, and is the brainchild of American entrepreneur and best-selling author Gary W. Keller. It is a world-class organization that provides world-class training and mentorship to real estate agents.
One of the best things about the company is its program called BOLD, which stands for Business Objective, a Life by Design. It is a seven-week long program in which new real estate agents learn marketing techniques and other essential skills from seasoned professionals.
Newbies get to experience simulated lead generation activities, sales calls, and closings.
Keller Williams is also known for its inclusive company culture that focuses on talent development. It offers equal growth opportunities for men and women. Its profit-sharing incentives, however, create internal tension and competition.
Coldwell Banker is one of the oldest real estate companies in the US, making it a recognizable brand. It has been around since the early 1900s and has remained one of the top brokerage firms since.
The agent training provided is one of the best in the country as it focuses on nourishing long-term growth. Its program, called CBU or Coldwell Banker University, offers a personalized touch to coaching and mentorship.
Also, despite it being an old name in the industry, Coldwell is the best pick for tech-savvy agents. This is because it provides a variety of tools and technology to help them grow in their careers.
The company's major con, however, is that its technology may not be best suitable for agents who are not accustomed to using advanced tools and platforms.
RE/MAX is another top performer in the real estate business and is part of our top picks. 57 out of 200 best agents in 2018 were from RE/MAX - proof of the brand’s reputation and reliability.
For 14 years, the company remained one of the top real estate brokerages in the country, according to Entrepreneur Magazine.
With RE/MAX, you will have limitless growth opportunities. Its program, known as RE/MAX University, offers a plethora of tools and resources that you can access through live sessions and online programs, which provide maximum flexibility and independence.
The main drawback with RE/MAX, though, is that it lacks teamwork and collaboration, which may be challenging for new agents.
eXp Realty only started in 2009, making it a new player in the real estate business.
However, the cloud-based firm quickly became an industry leader and even became the number one independent brokerage, according to the 2020 REAL Trends 500 Report. It was also the number one mover in transactions, with a whopping 77.8% increase from 2018 to 2019.
eXp University, the company’s learning platform, offers live and interactive training to new and old real estate agents. It provides over 50 hours of virtual classes that include a variety of topics, including real estate practices and accounting.
The company may not have a physical office, but its customer service team is available from 9 AM to 8 PM EST on weekdays to respond to concerns and queries.
Fathom Realty is another fast-growing virtual brokerage firm in the country. It is now the 11th largest independent real estate company in the US.
Fathom Realty offers plenty of training and learning resources, which are best suitable for new real estate agents. It maintains good leadership, and the managing brokers are supportive.
Despite being cloud-based, the company provides incredible management and educational support.
Fathom Realty is perhaps the best choice for agents who are looking to work part-time because of its flat-fee commission model. However, if you are planning to work actively, the company may not allow you to meet your full earning potential.
How to Choose the Best Real Estate Company for YOU
When looking for the best brokerage firm to work for, you need to consider the following...
Traditional or Virtual
Choosing between a traditional real estate company with a physical location and a cloud-based brokerage firm without an office is an integral decision. Either one can work to your advantage or disadvantage.
A traditional brokerage firm may be the more suitable choice if you prefer to have a dedicated working space outside your home. Distractions can often make your job more challenging, so having an office is an advantage. However, the downsides to having an office are often the commute and the work schedule, which may not always be flexible.
If you are a self-sufficient starter, a virtual real estate company may be the better option. Not only do you have the freedom to work on your desired schedule, but you also get the most out of your commissions because companies like eXp Realty often do not charge desk and franchise fees. However, the lack of physical location can be overwhelming as it is easy to feel isolated.
Another important thing to consider when choosing which real estate company to work for is the commission structure.
Agents typically earn on a per commission basis, however, different agencies have different compensation models. This is why agents have varying earning potentials.
In addition, some companies offer passive income opportunities, such as revenue and profit-sharing.
Below is a table that summarizes the commission fee structures and benefits of the firms listed above.
Commission Fee Structure
64/30/6 commission split among agent, broker, and the franchise; you will receive 100% of your commission once you reach your annual cap
80/20 commission split; you will receive 100% of your commissions when you reach your annual cap
Medical, dental, vision, disability, and life insurance benefits, as well as 401k plan, employee assistance, and paid leaves
*varying commission split options (95/5 is the highest)
Alternative Payment Plan without monthly fees
80/20 commission split; you will receive 100% of your commissions once you reach your annual cap
Revenue share and company stock through its Sustainable Equity Plan
Flat-fee commission of $85 per lease for residential transactions, 90/10 split for commercial real estate
Stock grants for every referral
As a recap, real estate brokerage firms can be either traditional or virtual.
There are many reputable companies that offer some of the best resources to help their agents succeed, but we found that these 5 firms stood out.
They offer different commission fee structures and benefits and provide varying training and education programs.
However, what matters most in choosing the best real estate company to work for, is knowing which one aligns with your preferences, needs, and professional goals.
In the end, the brokerage firm will become your partner in building and advancing your real estate career.