The more than $2.2 trillion in collective 2021 sales volume reported by the Top 1,000 respondents to RISMedia’s 34th Annual Power Broker Survey is truly historic. Yet it doesn’t tell the complete tale of last year’s residential real estate market. The missing piece? Compass.
While recent industry media coverage has declared Compass “the largest brokerage firm in the United States” in terms of closed sales volume for 2021, RISMedia uncovered that the firm’s reported sales data is imprecise for the purposes of the Power Broker Survey.
The Problem With Compass’ Data
Compass’ distinction as the largest firm was made based on its 10-K annual report, which states that the firm’s total sales volume for 2021 was $254.2B. This data would have placed Compass in the No. 1 spot on the 2022 Power Broker Report, surpassing Realogy’s more than $246B reported sales volume for 2021. However, a representative of Compass confirmed to RISMedia that its 2021 total sales volume includes commercial real estate transactions, making the data inadmissible.
For 34 years, RISMedia’s Power Broker Report & Survey has ranked firms based on closed residential sales volume and transactions only. Compass declined to provide RISMedia with its residential-only sales volume and transaction data and, therefore, could not be included.
Extrapolating the Data
How much of Compass’ $254.2B sales volume represents commercial transactions?
According to a Compass representative, it’s a “very small amount” based on the fact that only about 1% of Compass agents are responsible for commercial transactions. Compass reported 26,257 agents in the Power Broker Survey, which would mean about 262 agents handling commercial transactions. Could that account for its $8B advantage over Realogy? Without the reporting of Compass’ exact residential sales volume, we’re unable to officially say.
Additionally, given the company’s report of losses during its earnings call last month, placing Compass in the No. 1 spot in the 2022 Power Broker Report would be a dubious honor. Compass reported a $175 million net loss in Q4 of 2021 and $494 million on the year, putting positive cash flow well out of the company’s reach.
Honoring Residential Real Estate’s Leaders
Meanwhile, RISMedia’s Top 1,000 Power Brokers depict the historic results of 2020’s frenzied real estate market, reporting a more than $500B increase in collective sales volume over 2020—an increase that would be considerably higher if it included Compass’ residential data.
Despite ongoing struggles due to depleted inventory—named the No. 1 challenge by 79% of respondents—Power Brokers amassed nearly 5 million transactions. And although uncertainties, from inflation to the long-term effects of the war in Ukraine, abound in the current market, Power Brokers surveyed for our report are bullish on the remainder of 2022, with 39% of the Top 1,000 describing their markets as “Booming.”
See the full results of RISMedia’s 34th Annual Power Broker Survey in the forthcoming 2022 Power Broker Report, including our ranking of the Top 1,000 brokerage firms by both sales volume and transactions, exclusive research on market conditions and in-depth insights from dozens of the country’s leading brokers.
Maria Patterson is RISMedia’s executive editor. Email her with your real estate news ideas, email@example.com.