Five biggest brokerages in Miami-Dade County

Prohibition Miami, Pies n Thighs and TALDE Miami Beach

Miami-Dade’s biggest brokerages offer a handful of incentives to bring in and keep agents – including high commission splits, online tools and tailored training.

The Real Deal ranked real estate firms in Miami-Dade County by the number of actively licensed agents and spoke to executives about recruiting strategies, commissions and top sales for the year.

Here are the top five:

#1 Beachfront Realty | 1,079 agents

Beachfront Realty, a tri-county firm based in Aventura, takes the lead in the number of actively licensed agents. Ed Roberts, owner of Beachfront Realty, said the firm doesn’t charge hiring fees and provides a 90 percent commission. “That’s why we’re so big,” he said. “All of our recruiting is word of mouth.”

As of mid-October, Beachfront agents sold 1,052 properties with a combined $1 billion in sales so far this year, Roberts said. He said the firm’s top sale this year was $8.5 million for a unit at the Continuum South Beach.

“In our case, the larger majority is condo sales, developer sales and single-family home sales,” he said.

#2 Keyes Company | 956 agents

Keyes, a family owned and operated company, has 11 offices in Miami-Dade County. The full service firm has an in-house mortgage partner, and title and insurance companies. Statewide, Keyes hires more than 1,000 agents every year, targeting both newly licensed agents and, using corporate recruiters, agents from other firms.

Steve Reibel, vice president of recruiting, said that commission splits between the agent and company vary “pending the level of production that associates bring in.” He said it ranges from 60 percent for associates, to nearly 90 percent.

To date, Keyes has more than $2.9 billion in sales volume this year. The top transaction was the sale of a 37-unit condominium building, Harbor Point, at 5000 North Ocean Drive in Riviera Beach for $15 million.

“At the end of the day, it’s about doing more transactions,” Reibel said.

#3 Florida Realty of Miami | 680 agents

Florida Realty offers agents 100 percent commission with a $400 fee per transaction, according to the company’s website. “We make a little on a lot of people instead of a lot on a few people,” the website reads.

The Miami-based firm has two offices, one in Hialeah and one in the Kendall area.

Juan Baixeras, owner of Florida Realty, could not be reached for comment.

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#4 Coldwell Banker | 649 agents

Coldwell Banker recruits anywhere between 200 and 250 agents a year in Miami-Dade, regional senior vice president Duff Rubin said. Rubin said the company uses a tailored assessment profile that analyzes the skills of potential agents to see if they’re a good match.

“It gives us a look into their weaknesses,” he said.

Rubin would not disclose the company’s commission split policy but said, “We as a company try to be more of a value-proposition brokerage,” including Coldwell Banker’s tools, management and support. “Commission splits are typically based on production. You’re only as good as your production,” he said.

Each quarter, the firm reaches between $1 billion and $1.5 billion in sales, he said. Rubin would not disclose year-to-date earnings or annual earnings.

Coldwell Banker’s most prominent team, The Jills, are involved in a dispute over claims they allegedly altered the MLS to hide listings. Luxe Realtor Kevin Tomlinson allegedly tried to extort Jill Eber and Jill Hertzberg for $800,000, threatening to go public with his claims if they didn’t pay up.

#5 Esslinger Wooten Maxwell | 623 agents

EWM, a Coral Gables-based Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, has eight offices in Miami-Dade.

Ron Shuffield, EWM president, said the firm focuses on full-time hires, both newly licensed and those who have been in the industry. “I think a lot of people don’t realize it’s not a part-time job,” Shuffield said.

“Most people who come to work with us are people who have some kind of connection to the company,” he said. “We’re not doing mass mail-outs.”

Shuffield would not disclose the company’s commission split policy, but said that the tools EWM offers make up for the difference in commission splits.

EWM’s top transaction this year was the $33 million sale of 5800 North Bay Road to Phil Collins. The full service firm is on track to close anywhere from $2.8 billion and $3 billion in sales this year.

TRD Researcher Will Parker contributed reporting.

Data used for this story comes from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. TRD pulled the number of actively licensed real estate agents on Oct. 19, and ranked the firms based on the number of agents. This is the first in a series.