2021 Most Powerful Brokerage Firms

CPE unveils the leading overall brokerage firms—and the top performers for investment and leasing—in the latest edition of our annual ranking.

Research Center CPE

You can also read our other Most Powerful Brokerage Firms rankings.

 
RankCompany2020 Investment Sales Volume ($MM)2020 Square Feet Leased (000s)No. of BrokersProperty Types
1CBRE$181,644.811,200,0009,450O, I, R, M, Ho, X
2Cushman & Wakefield$88,000.00738,0004,036O, I, R, M, X
3Newmark*$72,590.89199,9251,941O, I, R, M, H, Ho, St, Se, X
4Colliers$23,548.84403,0102,427O, I, R, M, Ho, X
5Lee & Associates$10,056.00285,3071,092O, I, R, M, X
6NAI Global$17,000.00166,0006,000O, I, R, M, H, Ho, St, Se
7Marcus & Millichap$43,406.822,097O, I, R, M, H, Ho, St, Se, X
8Avison Young$9,900.0080,3001,937O, I, R, M, X
9TCN Worldwide$21,847.5364,9271,500O, I, R, M, X
10SVN International Corp.$12,500.0029,2051,340O, I, R, M, X
11Kidder Mathews$3,857.7631,084470O, I, R, M, H, X
12NorthMarq$2,085.9441M
13SRS Real Estate Partners$2,047.127,803168O, I, R, M, H, X
14Matthews Real Estate Investment Services$4,072.7192240O, I, R, M, H, X
15Transwestern Real Estate Services$3,323.6239,145430O, I, R, M, H, X
16Coldwell Banker Commercial$5,400.002,635O, I, R, M, Ho, X
17Stream Realty Partners$1,052.2637,892182O, I, R, H, X
18Berkadia$8,000.00112O, I, R, M, H, Ho, St, Se, X
19James Capital Advisors$332.0831O, I, R, M, H, X
20Voit Real Estate Services$831.2414,115125O, I, R, M, X

Top 10 Firms in Leasing

Top 10 Firms in Sales

RankCompany Name
1CBRE
2Cushman & Wakefield
3Lee & Associates
4Colliers
5Newmark
6Avison Young
7Kidder Mathews
8NAI Global
9Transwestern Real Estate Services
10Stream Realty Partners
RankCompany Name
1CBRE
2Newmark
3Cushman & Wakefield
4NorthMarq
5NAI Global
6Colliers
7Marcus & Millichap
8Lee & Associates
9SRS Real Estate Partners
10Avison Young

* Newmark’s figures represent the brokerage firm’s North American operations only.

Key: O=Office, I=Industrial, R=Retail, M=Multifamily, H=Health Care, Ho=Hospitality, St=Student Housing, Se=Senior Housing, X=Other

To be included in upcoming surveys, email Jeff Hamann at jeffrey.hamann@cpe-mhn.com

Navigating a Changed Landscape

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting many aspects of the commercial real estate industry, top brokerage firms were able to quickly adjust and continue providing services for their clients.

Office sales volume did drop substantially in 2020 to $60 billion, a 44 percent decline from the $108 billion in 2019. Despite this drop, pricing per square foot remained relatively stable at $274, a 2 percent increase from 2019. Sales volume will likely increase in 2021 but is expected to remain below pre-pandemic levels. As the industry finds its way forward, our 2021 Most Powerful Brokerage Firms ranking highlights the top firms to watch.

CBRE retained its long-standing position at the top of this year’s overall ranking and additionally placed first in our leasing and sales rankings. Even though the firm’s investment sales volume dropped 31 percent from 2019, it reported $182 billion across asset types—the highest among our respondents. CBRE’s investment volume was spread across asset classes, with the largest volume occurring in the office and industrial sectors. The brokerage’s leasing volume was down as well, with 1.2 billion leased in 2020, a 25 percent decline from the previous year.

Rounding out the top three are Cushman & Wakefield and Newmark, with $88 billion and $73 billion in sales volume for 2020, respectively. Both firms saw a decline in sales volume in 2020, with Cushman & Wakefield’s volume declining by 22 percent and Newmark’s decreasing by 12 percent. Out of all companies surveyed, the largest percentage of investment sales volume occurred in the multifamily sector, followed closely by industrial and office.

In the leasing ranking, Cushman & Wakefield ranked second with 738 million square feet leased in 2020, and Lee & Associates was third, with 285 million square feet leased. Industrial leasing made up more than half of all activity, at 51 percent of total volume. Office leases accounted for 35 percent of the total.

Methodology

Commercial Property Executive‘s rankings of the Most Powerful Brokerage Firms are based on self-reported data from all firms. We used a weighted formula, considered various factors including a firm’s performance in 2020 and previous years, and reviewed data that reflects investment sales and leasing activity. The rankings represent what we feel is a logical balance between firm growth and market share. Ranking factors are not limited to the data that appear on this page.

—Madeline Harper, Senior Research Analyst, Yardi Matrix

Read the June 2021 issue of CPE.

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