2014 Most Powerful Brokerage Firms

Last year’s Most Powerful Brokerage Firms ranking depicted a dramatic increase in investment sales over years prior. This year proves no different, with nearly half a trillion dollars in sales attributed to the firms on this list.

(Best sure to check out our podcast examining the current state of real estate brokerage and investment sales trends.)

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Pushing New Heights

Last year’s MHN-CPE Most Powerful Brokerage Firms ranking depicted a dramatic increase in investment sales over years prior. This year proves no different, with nearly half a trillion dollars in sales attributed to the firms on this list.

We are now at that point in the cycle where prices in core markets are higher than pre-recession peaks, and owners that held off selling during the downturn—or acquired and added value over the past few years—are cashing out.

0714_Brokers_Chart_PostThe office sector once again led the industry in sales volume, securing 38 percent ($52.9 billion) of total sales volume disclosed by these companies.In an interesting reversal of last year’s findings, multifamily landed the second spot on the podium, with 22 percent ($29.9 billion), trailed by retail in third with 17 percent ($24.1 billion). This switch is likely more a function of investors questioning the future of retail rather than an increased fervor for apartments. Industrial and hospitality made up the difference lost by retail, securing a respective 11 percent and 7 percent of total sales volume, up from 8 percent and 4 percent in last year’s results.

The number of brokers employed at these firms increased from 54,300 in 2012 to 62,700 in 2013, a 16 percent gain. The extra hands on deck were certainly necessary, given the amount of activity over the past year.

Methodology

The MHN-CPE Index of the Most Powerful Brokerage Firms is evaluated statistically, based on information collected from a number of surveys conducted over the past few years. For this index, we examined how the firms have performed over several years, what their results have been for investment sales as well as leasing, and what sectors they covered, including office, multi-family, retail, industrial, mixed-use, healthcare and hospitality. We then generated a composite score for each, which provided the basis for the ranking. All of the firms in our index are industry leaders in some sense. Some have a very strong following in just one sector, while others have demonstrated leadership in LEED buildings and services.