Real Brokerage joins Mid-Atlantic expansion wave
Fast-growing firm is the third to target region in recent months
A third residential brokerage is growing its footprint in the Mid-Atlantic region.
The Real Brokerage announced it expanded into Delaware and expanded its presence in the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore areas. The firm, which is one of the fastest-growing brokerages in the country, joins New York City-based Serhant and Douglas Elliman to target the redion in recent months.
Real tapped Ray Petkevis, formerly CEO of Keller Williams Realty Wilmington, to lead its Delaware operations. In the Baltimore and D.C. areas, it added Garner + Co. from Side and the Kilner & Kirk Group from @properties.
The brokerage’s moves come weeks after Ryan Serhant’s firm announced an expansion into six East Coast markets, including Pennsylvania. The founder said he targeted New York City feeder markets and those with strong referral networks with the city, including the Carolinas.
Douglas Elliman ventured into the region in November, when it opened three offices in the nation’s capital.
“We’re opening in markets in a slightly different way than those that just go out and buy other companies,” Elliman chairman Howard Lorber said on his company’s third-quarter earnings call.
The Real Brokerage, founded in 2014, has grown to operate in 46 states and has seen its agent count grow from 1,000 in 2020 to 10,000 this year.
The firm posted a loss of more than $20 million last year, despite having low overhead thanks to a backend platform that automated most employee positions and allows brokers to run their businesses digitally, allowing the company to have zero offices.
In the wake of its losses, the company announced in March it was raising fees charged to agents as it works towards becoming profitable.
Real raised its onboarding fee to $249 from $149 and raised the annual fee it charges agents to $750 from $500. It also started charging agents who participate in its revenue sharing to the tune of a $175 annual fee plus 1.2 percent of revenue share payments.
Several other fees were also increased, which Poleg said was done to prevent the firm from raising its $12,000 cap on commissions or raising its 85/15 commission split ratio: Once a broker pays the firm $12,000 a year, they keep all of their commissions.
“We didn’t want to touch the commission split and we didn’t want to touch the cap,” Poleg previously told TRD. “We also never want to touch them in the future.”
This article has been updated to include The Real Brokerage’s expansion includes Garner + Co. joining and the Kilner & Kirk Group from @properties.