California-based real estate consulting firm T3 Sixty, for the first time today, released the Swanepoel Mega 1000
, a new inclusive ranking of real estate brokerages by sales volume that was exclusively previewed with Inman last week. NRT and HomeServices
of America tower atop the list, but newcomers like Compass and Redfin are rising through the ranks.

Stefan Swanepoel, chairman and CEO of T3 Sixty, wanted to take a different approach with his company’s list, so T3 Sixty included brokerages that previously declined to participate in industry rankings. Overall, the list features $60 billion more in annual sales volume than the REAL Trends 500, and $80 billion more than the RIS Media Power Broker Report.

“Due to the fact that the other lists exclude data from brokerages that decline to participate in their surveys, it has become imperative for T3 Sixty to create a new inclusive list that has more complete data so when we advise our consulting clients as well as write about trends we do so with the most accurate information possible,” Swanepoel told Inman last week, noting that his staff put more than 1,100 hours into data gathering, research and analyzation.

Competition among real estate brokerages can be fierce — especially when faced with low inventory. But the brokerages at the top of the list have been able to find a way to secure new listings and complete transactions with consistency.

NRT — one of 204 subsidiaries of Realogy Holding Group to secure a spot in the top 1,000 — smashed the competition finishing 2017 with more than $178 billion in total sale volume and completing 346,941 transaction sides. It’s been tops in the industry since 1996, according to Swanepoel.

Following NRT was HomeServices of America, an affiliate of Berkshire Hathaway. The company finished with more than $125 billion in sales and completed 328,355 transaction sides.

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Douglas Elliman, finished a distant third with $26 billion in sales, however, its the largest independent brokerage on the list. Scott Durkin, president and COO of Douglas Elliman, said being able to rank so highly without any other affiliation shows the success of their ever-growing nationwide expansion. “[Ranking so highly] packs a big punch when it comes to giving the customer the assurance that we have a very wide reach in our own company,” Durkin told Inman. “We’re not part of a franchise. We all speak a similar language. We’re all part of culture
and possess the same DNA.”

Redfin was one of the lists newcomers previously not ranked by other reports. While the company declined to comment on its ranking and the methodology used to determine its fourth place finish and $22 billion in sales, it did provide some insight into why it believes it placed so highly.

“We set up all of our agents to be top producers, with plenty of customers from our search site, and coordinators and showing agents to help with paperwork and some of the tours,” a spokesperson for the company said. “We are working to automate every task that can be automated to free up our agents’ time to focus on things that only human beings can do — like take a buyer on a home tour and sit at a seller’s kitchen table to evaluate offers.”

“Our software platform for agents automatically feeds customer information from our website and helps agents stay organized with appointments, offers, transaction milestones and customer follow-up,” the spokesperson added. “Because we meet customers through our website and referrals, our agents’ primary focus is not generating new leads, but helping our customers buy and sell homes. By organizing into teams, we can respond to customers faster than most individual agents could.”

Rounding out the top five was Weichert Realtors, which finished with $20 billion in sales. Weichert Realtors has also previously declined to participate in industry rankings.

Compass, the youngest company on the list since its founding in 2012, finished ninth in overall sales volume, with slightly more than $14 billion in sales last year. Chief Growth Officer Rob Lehman said the reason for their precipitous rise in such a short amount of time: building the world’s most agent-centric company. “The key to our success is that we build for agents and learn from them,” Lehman said. “Agents have never truly been treated as the primary client in this industry. Everything we do is about elevating agents and serving them as the CEOs of their business
with world class technology, marketing and support.”

Keller Williams had the largest presence on the list. In total, 304 franchises — including Keller Williams GO Management at 13 — made the top 1,000. Re/Max had 204 franchises on the list, finishing just behind Realogy and Keller Williams. “It’s exciting to see more than 300 of Keller Williams’ top producing brokerages recognized on the inaugural Swanepoel Mega 1000,” said Darryl Frost, a spokesperson for Keller Williams. “Taken altogether, our brokerages represent a full 19 percent of
the ranking’s total sales volume. And we’re proud to be in business with each brokerage recognized.”