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In the midst of one of the most confusing markets in recent history, New York City’s independent brokerages led the way in agent count growth and retention — two metrics at the top of most leaders’ minds as we inch closer to entering a mild recession.
Casa Blanca, SERHANT. and Highline Residential were near the top of real estate license education platform Corofy’s 2022 brokerage round-up, which ranked firms based on agent count growth (percentage and raw numbers), agent retention and overall agent count. The platform used independent third-party sources, open public data and proprietary data to compile the list.
“Each year, we analyze the New York City brokerage industry to uncover which brokerages are leading the way in terms of overall growth, agent headcount, and retention,” the report reads. “While nationally recognized brokerages still have a strong standing in the market, our 2022 report shows that boutique firms are on the rise, ranking in the top 10 across all categories. The New York City real estate market is consistently dynamic and 2022 was no different in this respect.”
Casa Blanca, SERHANT., Coldwell Banker Reliable, Century 21 Future Homes Realty and Highline Residential had the highest agent count growth by percentage, with Casa Blanca’s agent count ballooning 362.50 percent from 2021 to 2022. SERHANT. also had growth in the triple digits (+156.10 percent), with the remaining three brokerages in the top five securing annual growth of more than 60 percent.
“We have a team-based culture that uniquely positions us to support our agents in their growth while assisting with their needs,” Casa Blanca co-founder and CEO Hannah Bomze said of her team’s growth. “We also have a robust support staff to help with many of the operational tasks that typically take up much of an agent’s time, freeing them up to spend more 1 on 1 time with clients.”
However, when looking at raw agent count growth, eXp Realty bested the competition in its recruitment efforts. EXp added 382 agents in 2022 with Highline Residential (+136), SERHANT. (+128) and Compass (+117) all adding more than 100 agents to their ranks. Compass team Compass Greater NY rounded out the top slots with 92 new agents.
Highline Residential President Bilal Haris Khan said technology made the difference in recruiting agents, with most recruits looking for a brokerage that frees their schedule from the rigamarole of paperwork and other time-sucking tasks.
“We strongly believe we have the best technology platform in New York City for agents. Agents add the most value when they spend the majority of their time with their clients building relationships,” he said. “Our platform and infrastructure allow our agents to focus on clients through automation and streamlining of tedious and laborious tasks. Our recruiting process is simple, we show agents our technology and let them decide if they want to continue the conversation.”
On the retention front, Casa Blanca (93.75 percent), SERHANT. (89.02 percent), City Connections Realty (88.31 percent), Sotheby’s International Realty (86.41 percent) and Winzone Realty (86.11 percent) kept more than three-fourths of their agent base in 2022, with the average retention rate for all NYC brokerages landing at 87 percent.
“Beyond any metric, our stellar retention of agents is what we are most proud of,” SIR EVP of Sales Marissa Ghesquiere said of her brokerage’s ranking. “When agents join Sotheby’s International Realty, they become part of a luxury brand that is both meaningful and powerful and not only resonates with their existing clientele but provides an opportunity to interview with sellers that are not already in their spheres of influence.”
Lastly, Corofy provided a list of the top 50 NYC-based firms based on agent count, which placed Douglas Elliman (4,219), Compass (2,911), Corcoran Group (2,490), eXp Realty (1,784) and Compass Greater NY (988) at the top.