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{{{ data._highlightResult.name.value }}} {{{ data._highlightResult.display_name.value }}} Search by Algolia No results matched your query "{{ data.query }}" /**/ When readers buy products and services discussed on our site, we often earn affiliate commissions that support our workLearn more Categories Marketing Financing Accounting HR Retail Ecommerce Realtors Business Law Running a Business Sales Starting a Business Buyers Guides Company Reviews Glossary Company Info About Us We’re Hiring! Ask a Question Open Menu Best Real Estate Company to Work For 2018 By Emile L'Eplattenier on December 20, 2017 | Agent Basics, Real Estate | Comments (31)The training, support, and tools your agency gives you are crucial to success as a real estate agentIn this article, we review and compare the three largest national franchises–Keller Williams, RE/MAX, and Century 21The following guide has been written by an agent (myself) for agents like youRead on for my pick of the best real estate company to work forThe primary factors we used to evaluate each franchise were overall net compensation to the agent and the level of training and support each company providesThere’s more that goes into choosing a brokerage, but consider this guide a first stepWe also include our 2018 rankings for 25 more real estate companies at the end of the articleSick of paying high desk fees for an office you don’t use? Try a virtual brokerage like RealThey offer splits starting at 85%/$40, free IDX websites with landing pages and live chat, CRM, Dotloop, Cloud CMA, and moreLearn how Real can help put more money in your pocket this yearBest Real Estate Company to Work For: Keller Williams We recommend Keller Williams because of their straightforward and fair commission splits, profit sharing, best-in-class training, and increasing market dominanceVisit Keller Williams  Keller WilliamsRE/MAXCentury 21 Commission Split Learn More 64%/30%/6%Varies Varies + 8% Franchise Fee Desk fees Learn More $50-$80Varies by splitNone Profit Sharing (compensation for recruiting new agents) Learn MoreYesNoNo Marketing Budget Learn MoreVariesVaries Varies Training Learn MoreGreat GoodGood Offices on Real Trends 500 (by transaction sides) Learn More1618428 Brand Awareness Learn MoreGoodGreatGreat www.KellerWilliams.comwww.RE/MAX.comwww.Century21.com Best Overall Real Estate Company to Work for: Keller Williams We recommend Keller Williams as the best real estate company to work for in 2017 for four primary reasons: their fair and transparent commission plan, profit sharing, best in class training, and increasing market shareFair & Transparent Commission Plan For many brokerages, commission plans are always a bit of a mysteryKeller Williams, on the other hand publishes, their basic commission structure, so agents know what to expect from joining the firmOf course, their splits aren’t written in stone, so a brand new agent or one with decades of experience might get different offersThat said, Keller Williams’ plan seems to be the most straightforwardIt’s also a very fair plan, especially for newer or part time agents who may not want to pay high desk fees every month, but still want a better than average splitAt Keller Williams, agents get 100 % commission after they earn a certain amount, so the plan encourages agents to work harderNever a bad thing! Profit Sharing One of Keller Williams’ most attractive offerings to agents is their profit sharing planKeller agents who recruit other successful agents receive a portion of those agents’ commissionsIf the agent they recruit in turn recruits another agent, the original agent gets a small percentage of their commissions as wellAfter certain production goals are met, agents who receive profit shares join the leadership councilHere they are given a vote on decisions made for the entire agencyNo other company we reviewed offers profit sharingBest-in-Class Training Over the past few years, the Keller Williams brand has become synonymous with great trainingThey continue to lead the industry in trainingTraining Magazine recently ranked Keller Williams the number one training program in the country not just in real estate, but in all industriesIncreasing Market Dominance Considering that Keller Williams only started franchising in 1991, they have had incredible success in building market shareIn 2017 they have 161 spots on the Real Trends Top 500 by transactions sides per officeAs a result, Keller Williams brand recognition is growing at a rapid clipRE/MAX and Century 21 currently have higher brand recognition, but they have far fewer offices in the Real Trends 500Visit Keller Williams Best Real Estate Company for Experienced Agents: RE/MAX While many highly experienced agents reported being very happy working at Keller Williams, some very experienced agents might want nothing more than a very high commission split and a place to hang their licenseRE/MAX is a great choice here because a top producing agent can easily work out splits above 90%For newer agents, RE/MAX might not be the best choice because higher commission splits mean higher desk feesDesk fees need to be paid whether or not you’re selling homesIn addition, RE/MAX doesn’t offer as much training and support as Keller WilliamsVisit RE/MAX Best Real Estate Company for Brand Recognition: Century 21 Of the companies we reviewed, Century 21 had the best brand recognition with a whopping 96% of respondents recognizing the brandIn the real estate industry, they are about as close as it gets to a household nameThat means a lot of instant trust from clients and credibility for agentsVisit Century 21 In-Depth Overview: Keller Williams vsRE/MAX vsCentury 21 Commission Splits Let’s face it, finding the best real estate company to work for isn’t easyThere are a million and one things to consider and doing your research is incredibly importantThat said, commission splits are probably the most important factor for the majority of agentsAfter all, real estate is fun, but at the end of the day we need to put food on the table and pay the mortgageHere’s how the top three franchises in the country handle commission splits: Keller Williams: Part of the reason that Keller Williams has enjoyed such a meteoric rise in the industry is their commission structureKeller Williams starts new agents with a 64%/30%/6% commission split until they reach certain gross commission goals, called caps, for the yearAfter they reach their yearly cap, the agent keeps 100% of all commissions they earn for the remainder of the yearCaps are different for every KW officeIn Iowa for example, the cap may be set at $18,000 while in Miami beach the cap might be set at $30,000Keller’s capped plan not only offers new agents a great starting split, but is a great motivator as wellWho wouldn’t want to start earning 100% commissions during their first year in the industry? Experienced agents on the other hand, may not want to wait until they reach their cap to start earning high commission splitsHere’s how the split breaks down for a typical transaction side until GCI goals for the year are reached: 64% goes to the agent – Since many agencies start new agents at 50%, 64% is a big bump that can mean swim instead of sink for many new agents30% goes to the Franchise or “Market Center”– Known as the “Company Dollar,” this is the portion of commission that covers office expenses like rent, utilities, and E&O Insurance for the managing broker6% (capped at $3000 per year) goes to Keller Williams International as a franchise fee – This is the only profit that Keller Williams International makes per year from each agent Let’s see what that would look like for a newer or part time agent: Of course this chart doesn’t include the desk fee (explained below) which on the low end will come out to around $600 per yearThat brings the agent’s annual net down to $18,600Not a spectacular payday, but you can see why a newer agent might want to consider working at Keller Williams instead of a brokerage with a traditional split RE/MAX: One of the first real estate brokerages to offer a high split commission plan, Re/Max stays true to form and offers agents a wide variety of high split optionsAll RE/MAX agents we spoke with had very different splits and desk fees so a ballpark number is nearly impossible to getFor many agents, especially new agents, the idea of paying high monthly desk fees in exchange for a larger commision split is not very attractiveAfter all, 95% of zero dollars is still zeroSkeptical agents have even gone as far as dubbing the company ‘feemax”That said, new agents with a large sphere of influence (or a large savings account…) can have a more profitable first year at a high-split firm like RE/MAXLet’s look at the numbers for that same new/lower producing agent on a 95% split with theoretical $800 per month desk fees: Sales Volume: $1,000,000 Commission rate: 3% Gross commission: $30,000 Desk fee: $9600 Co $ paid to office: $1500 Net to agent: $18,900 Effective Split to Agent: 83% Of course assuming a $800 per month desk fee on a 95% commission is purely hypotheticalSince all RE/MAX franchises are independently owned and operated, plans will vary from office to officeI never said finding the best real estate company to work for would be easy, did I? Century 21: Century 21 has a more traditional approach to commission splits and generally starts new agents on a 50% split, and offers more experienced agents higher splits based on past performanceSome offices may offer new agents higher splits with higher desk fees or graduated plansThere is also an 8% royalty fee paid to Century 21In some offices this fee is split with the agent, and in others it is covered by the brokerageLet’s use the same hypothetical first year to see how a new agent would fare at Century 21: Sales Volume: $1,000,000 Commission rate: 3% Gross commission: $30,000 Royalty fee: $2400 Co $ paid to office: $15,000 Net to agent: $12,600 Effective Split to Agent: 42% Not that great, but keep in mind the agent hasn’t had to lay out a penny to the company before closing their dealsWorking for a “standard” split with no desk fees can be an ideal arrangement for new agentsAfter paying for their licensing course they can put all of their resources into lead generation and marketingFor more experienced agents, Century 21 might be the dominant brand in their market so joining them would be a strategic advantageRemember that experienced agents will generally be offered much higher splits than the example above Desk Fees Desk fees are another major factor in determining the best real estate company to work forWhile they can be as low as $50 per month, remember that desk fees are due whether or not you close deals$50 can become quite a burden unless you have enough savings to support yourself during your first yearHere’s a quick rundown of desk fees for each franchise: Keller Williams: In addition to the company dollar and franchise fees, Keller Williams also charges a modest desk feeDesk fees at Keller Williams cover errors and omission insurance, CRM, eMarketing, Google Apps, paperless document handling, websites, iOS/Android apps, efax, and phoneDepending on the region, desk fees can range from $50-$80 per month RE/MAX: High desk fees are almost always the trade off for high commission splitsBeing a high split brokerage, the only way RE/MAX can recoup paying out high commissions is to charge high desk feesAfter speaking with a number of RE/MAX agents, we found desk fees were all over the mapSome agents were paying $1000+ per month in desk fees for 95% splits, some paying much lessAs a general rule of thumb, if you are a newer agent, you will pay higher desk feesIf you have a great track record, you will pay lower desk feesSome RE/MAX offices also offer graduated plans where you pay certain desk fees per month until you reach a cap for the year, then you pay nothing or a lower feeFor example, here are a few of the options on offer at RE/MAX Signature in Long Island, NY Century 21: Unlike the other two firms, Century 21 charges no desk fees at allThis can be a godsend for new agents who need every penny they have to generate leads and pay their billsThat said, they do charge a royalty or franchise fee of 8%The agent may have to pay all of this or may split it with the broker Marketing Budget Marketing can get expensive quickly in this industryNew agents in particular may have a hard time paying for their own marketing in the beginningWhile this is an important criteria when deciding the best real estate company to work for, most brokerages don’t cover marketing expenses Keller Williams: Many Keller Williams agents we spoke with said that their broker covered yard signs and some color printing costs, but that’s about itAgents had to pay for photography, direct mail costs, personal web sites, and all other marketing expenses RE/MAX: Like Keller Williams, most RE/MAX agents we spoke with said yard signs were generally covered, but very little elseRE/MAX does offer all agents complimentary access to their “Design Center” a web-based platform that has templates for mailing pieces, show sheets, drip campaigns, single property web sites, and YouTube compatible listing videos Century 21: Like Keller Williams and RE/MAX, Century 21 also covered yard signs, but not much else.Like RE/MAX, they also offer print and online ad templates, video templates, and social media tools Profit Sharing Since all real estate agents are independent contractors, it can be very difficult for a franchise to get individual agents involved in the company beyond a weekly office meetingProfit sharing, not only gets agent’s involved, but makes the performance of other agents affect their bottom lineIn practice, profit sharing is very simple; an agent recruits a new agent, then gets a percentage of that agent’s commissionsIf the new agent recruits another agent, the original agent gets a percentage of their commissions as well Keller Williams: Keller Williams is the only company that offers agents a profit sharing planProfit sharing is based on the performance of agents that another agent has recruited to the company (also agents THAT agent recruits, up to seven levels removed) as well as overall performance of the market centerIn 2014, Keller Williams paid out $98 million in profit sharing income to agentsHere’s how it works: If you work at a Keller Williams office and recruit your friend Larry to join the company, you will get a small percentage of Larry’s commissionsIf Larry ends up recruiting Jane, you will get a small percentage of both Larry and Jane’s commissions RE/MAX: Though there may be bonuses for agents who recruit other successful agents, there is no offical profit sharing program at RE/MAX Century 21: Though there may be bonuses for agents who recruit other successful agents, there is no offical profit sharing program at Century 21 Franchises on Real Trends Top 500 For those that haven’t heard of it, Real Trends is an independent company that ranks large real estate companies by transaction sides, sales volume, and moreThink of it as the OSCARS for real estateWhile participation is voluntary, all large franchises and brokerages participateThe offices listed on Real Trends Top 500 by transaction sides are the most active real estate offices in the country, closing more deals than any other officeWhile the number of transactions sides by office is a great way to see how successful an individual office is, there are some other variables at play hereFor example, let’s say two offices each closed 100 transactions sides per monthYou would say they were both equally successful, right? Not so fastWhat if one office has 50 agents and the the other office has 100 agents? The first one is more successfulJust keep in mind that transaction sides are certainly an important measure of market dominance, but sometimes the numbers can be slightly misleading Keller Williams: Keller Williams was far and away the winner here with an astounding 161 offices on the Real Trends Top 500 by transaction sidesWhile this is an incredible achievement for a relative newcomer, Keller Williams does generally have more agents per office than other companies.The agents we spoke with noted that Keller Williams seemed to have more part time agents than other high split firms like RE/MAXConsidering their relatively high starting split and cap plan, this makes perfect senseMost part time agents can’t justify high monthly desk fees if their only close a handful of deals per year RE/MAX: RE/MAX came in second here with 84 offices on the Real Trends top 500 by transaction sidesA very impressive number, but still much smaller than Keller Williams.That said, RE/MAX had a higher overall number of transaction sides (spread among fewer offices) in general, as well as a higher number of transaction sides per agentExpect to see a LOT of competition between RE/MAX and Keller Williams as they fight for top agents and market dominance in the next few years Century 21: Century 21 had the lowest number of offices on the list and around half as many transaction sides as either RE/MAX or Keller Williams with only 28 brokerages on the list Training While many agents focus almost solely on commission plans, training should be at the very top of your list when deciding the best real estate company to work forYesEven if you’ve been in the industry for decades! For new agents, the value add here is simpleThis can be a very difficult industry to succeed in and quite often hard work is not rewardedI’ve known many agents who spun their wheels for a year or so, then just gave up because they weren’t seeing any resultsGood training can make or break a new agentExperienced agents may think they know it all, but technology is changing this industry very, very quicklyYou need to adapt or get left behindGood training can make it easier to learn new technology, and it can mean fewer false starts and quicker results Keller Williams: From the beginning Keller Williams tried to stand out from the crowd by being synonymous with top notch trainingGenerally speaking, they offer more training opportunities than many other companies.Through their various training platforms, Keller Williams offers their agents an astounding number of materialsThrough their MAPS coaching program, the company offers agents 310 instructor led classroom sessions, 2000 online self-paced modules, and 82 hours of formal planned training provided to individual employees annuallyIn 2014 Keller rolled out their Mega Agent Expansion program (MAE) that expanded their educational opportunities even furtherKeller’s training is so good, that Training Magazine ranked their program as not only the best in the real estate industry, but the best in ANY industry for 2015 Perhaps the best part of Keller Williams training and a big part of the reason they are dominating many markets these days is that they offer many materials online for free to any agent, not just Keller agentsI honestly can’t think of a better marketing tool to attract new agentsWant to see some examples? Here are dozens of 100% free buyer and seller scripts available to the publicIf you search a bit, you will come across dozens and dozens of high quality Keller Williams training materials online RE/MAX: Though their offerings may be a bit less robust than Keller’s, RE/MAX also offers their agents excellent training programs.Through their RE/MAX University program, the firm offers on demand videos, classroom training, and coaching to their agentsAmazingly, they offer material from some of the best real estate coaches and trainers in the industry like Brian Buffini, and Tom FerryIf you’re interested in learning more about real estate coaches, check out our guide here Century 21: Like Keller Williams, Century 21 also has very highly regarded training programsTheir Century 21 System is ranked as the 30th best training program in the country by Training Magazine Like RE/MAX they also offer exclusive Brian Buffini content and great online training options Brand Awareness While it’s true that most people choose a realtor rather than a company, brand awareness can have a huge impact on your careerHaving a globally recognized brand means that you have instant trust and accountability from almost everyone you come acrossNewer firms do not have this luxuryIt also means that their websites will get more traffic, which means more leads for agentsWhile listing agents will more than likely see the most traffic from Zillow and buyer’s brokers from the MLS, having more traffic is never a bad thingHere’s how the brands stack up for brand awareness: Keller Williams: As a relative newcomer compared to RE/MAX or Century 21, Keller Williams has the least recognizable brandAccording to a study by Milward Brown, Keller Williams came in 5th behind Century 21, RE/MAX, Prudential, and Coldwell banker, in terms of brand recognition.As Keller continues to gain ground however, their brand awareness will likely increase RE/MAX: Since they have been a dominating force in the industry for many years, RE/MAX has a very recognizable brandAccording to the Milward brown study, 91% of respondents recognized the Century 21 brandingFinding the best real estate company to work for is never easyAfter researching the top three franchise real estate companies in the country, we found that Keller Williams offered the best combination of high commission splits, transparency, and great training Century 21: Century 21 has been the king of brand recognition since 1999According to the same study mentioned above, 96% of survey respondents recognized Century 21’s branding compared to 44% for Keller Williams and 91% for RE/MAX 25 Best Real Estate Companies to work for 2018 BrokerageBest for Keller Williams (learn more)Best Overall Brokerage RE/MAX (learn more)Best high split brokerage Century 21 (learn more)Best brand recognition Real (learn more)Most innovative virtual brokerage Climb SFMost creative marketing & tech CompassBest branding & agent tools Corcoran (NRT)Most influential New York City brokerage The AgencyBest luxury brokerage Los Angeles Citi Habitats (NRT)Best New York City rental brokerage @PropertiesBest Chicago brokerage (by volume) NooklynBest startup brokerage— Brooklyn RedfinBest low fee real estate brokerage Douglas EllimanBest Long Island brokerage (by transaction sides & volume) Pacific UnionBest San Francisco brokerage (by transaction sides & volume) Homesmart LLCBest Arizona brokerage (by transactions sides & volume) Ebby HallidayMost influential texas brokerage The Keyes Company/Illustrated PropertiesBest Florida Brokerage (by volume) Hanna HoldingsBest brokerage to work for in Pennsylvania (by transactions sides & volume) Nest Seekers InternationalBest brokerage for a chance to be on TV Baird and WarnerOldest real estate brokerage in the US founded in 1855 Long and Foster Best Virginia brokerage (by transactions sides & volume) Coldwell BankerLargest real estate brokerage in Florida Sotheby’s International RealtyMost prestigious international brokerage to work for HomeServices of America, Inc.Best real estate company to work for in Minnesota (by transactions sides & volume) Allen Tate CompaniesBest real estate company to work for in North Carolina (by transactions sides and volume) How we ranked the 2018 best real estate companies to work forOur rankings for the best real estate companies to work for is based on Real Trends 2017 national brokerage rankings by sales volume and transaction sides, as well as our editor’s and contributor’s own subjective market assessmentsFor example, best branding is subjective, but we felt Compass was head and shoulders above other companies in their branding efforts and consistencyHave a company you think deserves to be in our rankings? Let us know in the forumBottom Line Finding a brokerage to work for is not an easy taskMany agents think first of the large national franchisesOf these, we recommend Keller Williams as the best real estate company to work forThey have a transparent and motivating commission plan, profit sharing, excellent training, and increasing market shareHave you had a different experience at one of these three companies? Let us know in the commentsVisit Keller Williams About the AuthorEmile L'EplattenierAs a Real Estate Sales and Marketing Analyst at Fit Small Business, Emile is responsible for the editorial direction of the site’s real estate content as well as curating actionable insights from top producing agents and brokerages from across the countryA licensed New York City Real Estate Agent and veteran of the marketing department at Tishman Speyer, Emile has been involved in every aspect of residential real estate from brand new developments to pre-war rentals and resalesEmile also regularly provides market insights and commentary for publications like Realtor.com, Fox News, Yahoo, and US News & World ReportWhen he’s not writing or editing, Emile enjoys collecting vintage furniture and playing his guitarAsk a QuestionRelated PostsReal Estate Door Hangers – Leads From Front Door Marketing12 Jan 2018Real Estate Exam Prep – Ace Your Real Estate Test on The First Try04 Jan 2018Comments (31) Post Your Comment Anna Ivanova January 16, 2018 at 8:29 pm Hi Emile, Thank you for the articleA lot of useful information! Can you recommend a good real estate school in nyc that will help me to pass the state licence exam? Thank you in advance! Anna 0 0 Reply Emile L'Eplattenier January 16, 2018 at 8:40 pm Hey Anna, I went to NYREI which was pretty decentI know that Kaplan has classes here as well, but NYREI is kind of the go toBest of luck! 0 0 Reply John Jordan January 4, 2018 at 7:19 pm i see no mention of Weichert in your article, or comments? 0 0 Reply Emile L'Eplattenier January 4, 2018 at 8:39 pm Hey John, To tell you the truth I don’t know too much about Weichert and don’t know anyone who works for themWhat’s your take on the company? 0 0 Reply Natalie September 28, 2017 at 12:15 pm Hi Emile, I am a Real Estate Economics student (B.Sc.) at Nürtingen-Geislingen University in GermanyI really like your articleCurrently I am doing research on my term paper “Critical analysis of franchising systems in the USA (concerning real estate companies)” and would like to know more about the downside of the franchising real estate industryIn Germany for example a lot of new agents take the knowledge and the contacts from their office owner and leave after a short time to do their own thing or join another franchiseeAre there similar effects in the U.S.? Looking forward to your answerThank you very much! 0 0 Reply Emile L'Eplattenier September 28, 2017 at 6:13 pm Hi Natalie, In the United States all real estate agents are independent contractorsThis means that they are not employees of the brokerage they work for, but are autonomous contract workers that are far less beholden to the brokeragesThat means that non compete or non disclosure agreements are rare, and agents are generally free to bring clients and contacts to a new brokerage when they (inevitably) switch brokeragesThat said, since agents must always work under a licensed real estate broker, once a deal is started with one brokerage, an agent can’t just jump ship with their client and switch brokeragesThat’s because sales and rental contracts and agreements are technically made between the client and the broker of record for the brokerage, not between the agent and client as many people assumeHowever, once a deal is concluded there is nothing to stop an agent from pitching their former client once they switch to a new broke

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