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What makes a CRE brokerage elite?
The best commercial real estate brokerage firms operate from the knowledge that each property, investor, and business is unique, with different assets, challenges, and needs.
They provide customized solutions, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.
If you’re engaging the services of a commercial real estate brokerage firm, look for one that shares this philosophy, but that also has considerable experience working with clients similar to yourself.
The list below isn’t a bad place to start, however.
Top Commercial Real Estate Brokerage Firms
These are the top commercial brokerage firms doing business today, covering everything from regional firms, to national firms, and even those with a global reach.
Cushman and Wakefield
Incorporated in 1917, Cushman and Wakefield began as a small family business in New York.
Over the last 100 years, they’ve become a global commercial real estate powerhouse, with offices in 70 countries in the Americas, Europe, and Asia Pacific.
They provide comprehensive services for investors looking to buy, sell or lease commercial real estate and are experienced with all asset types including office, industrial, retail, multifamily, hospitality, senior housing, and healthcare.
Cushman & Wakefield Services
Cushman and Wakefield provides deal structuring, investor intelligence, strategic marketing, and access to international capital for the sale, purchase, or lease of property.
They partner with on-the-ground brokerage, valuation, and corporate services professionals in order to provide a comprehensive knowledge of local and national market conditions.
They also maintain a large database of assets, buyers, sellers, and pricing information.
With regards to financing, Cushman and Wakefield cultivates and maintains relationships with more than 1,500 capital sources, and their corporate capital markets professionals provide traditional investment banking services as well.
From its 1904 roots in San Francisco, CBRE has grown into one of the world’s leading full-service real estate services and investment organizations, with offices worldwide.
They’ve been voted the industry’s top brand by the Lipsey Company for 18 consecutive years.
CBRE offers a broad range of integrated services, including:
- Facilities, transaction, and project management
- Property management
- Investment management
- Appraisal and valuation
- Property leasing
- Strategic consulting
- Property sales
- Mortgage services and development services
- Equity raising
- Deal sourcing
- Structured financing
- Agency leasing
- Property accounting and disposition
CBRE’s clients include domestic and foreign-based real estate investors, REITs, opportunity funds, and entities with tax-sensitive exit strategies.
They are a world leader in the acquisition and disposition of income-producing properties for third-party owners and corporate occupiers across all commercial real estate asset classes.
CBRE integrates property sales with lending capabilities, while the CBRE Deal Flow dashboard connects investors to an extremely large and diverse for-sale inventory.
CBRE also actively leverages the latest technology, such as virtual and augmented reality, to differentiate assets in the marketplace.
The SVN brand was founded in 1987 and is now a globally recognized commercial real estate brand with offices across the United States as well as in Australia, Canada, Mexico, Romania, Russia and South Korea.
As a full-service brokerage firm, SVN offers assistance for the full spectrum of commercial real estate needs, including acquisitions, investment sales, and property management.
SVN Accelerated Sales solutions include online and/or live bidding to maximize value for sellers plus create simplicity for buyers.
They also offer both national reach and local expertise for commercial sales and leasing services across all property types, including office, retail, industrial, and vacant land.
SVN’s Institutional Capital Markets advisory team is comprised of experts in national investment sales, as well as debt and equity financing for all major asset classes.
They understand not only the needs of the institutional buyer, seller, and borrower but also the level of detail and sophistication required to fully market, sell and finance commercial properties in all price ranges.
Lee & Associates
In 1979, Bill Lee opened the first office of Lee & Associates in Orange County, California.
With regional offices throughout the United States and Canada, Lee & Associates is now the largest commercial real estate firm in North America owned entirely by real estate professionals.
A strategic alliance with Gerald Eve extended the company’s reach into Europe.
Lee & Associates Services
Lee & Associates offers a comprehensive range of commercial real estate services delivered by local market experts.
The company includes product specialists in a wide range of commercial real estate market sectors – office, self-storage, industrial, multifamily, retail, senior housing, and healthcare properties.
Their clients range from small businesses and local investors to major corporate users and institutional investors.
JLL buys, builds, occupies, and invests in a variety of assets including industrial, commercial, retail, residential, and hotel real estate.
With more than 3,700 capital markets professionals in 47 countries, their reach is worldwide.
From tech startups to global firms, their clients span industries including banking, energy, healthcare, law, life sciences, manufacturing, and technology.
They work with buyers, sellers, lessors, and lessees across all property types.
JLL’s commercial real estate brokers can help clients access real estate data, insights, and market intelligence from around the world.
They also assist clients in locating on- and off-market properties and portfolios in all sectors and markets.
They have plenty of experience bringing client assets to market and structuring profitable deals.
Colliers is a leading global real estate service and investment management company.
Originally established in Australia, Colliers expanded its presence to the United States in 1978.
Today they have operations in 68 countries and are one of the leading commercial real estate firms in the U.S., with more than 150 offices nationwide.
Whether you’re looking to purchase investment property or sell commercial assets, the experts at Colliers can connect you with the people you need to know—owners, developers, and local and institutional investors.
They offer services for properties across the CRE spectrum – office, industrial, retail, land, multifamily, hospitality, healthcare, and special purpose.
They can also ensure that you have the financial instruments you need, from private equity and pension funds to CMBS and sovereign wealth fund placements for both debt and equity.
NAI Global, a leading global commercial real estate brokerage firm headquartered in New York City, has more than 375 offices located throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa, and the Asia Pacific.
Annually, the firm completes in excess of $20 billion in commercial real estate transactions.
NAI Global Services
NAI Global helps both institutions and private investors with every aspect of the property ownership life cycle, for any scale of property or portfolio, ranging from portfolios of owned real estate and non-performing loans to single-tenant net leases, multifamily properties, hotels, industrial parks, and corporate headquarters.
Their office property experts provide a full spectrum of transaction expertise including single building and portfolio acquisitions, dispositions, leases, subleases, lease renewals, lease expansions, land acquisitions and dispositions, build-to-suits for purchase, build-to-suits for lease, sale/leasebacks, tax-free exchanges, and sealed bids.
In the industrial sector, they provide all the resources necessary to complete complex transactions for institutional and private clients whose business lines range from manufacturing and distribution to 3PL, supply chain, and service companies.
They have extensive experience working with municipalities, economic development agencies, LEED certification, architectural and construction trades, material handling vendors, due diligence consultants, and financial institutions.
NAI Global represents retailers ranging from single shops to global chains, helping them both expand and downsize as the market changes.
Their retail teams advise clients regarding local, regional, national, or global market research, site selection, lease negotiation, and expansions.
They also have experts specifically designated to handle land brokerage, hotel and hospitality brokerage, and multifamily property transactions.
Avison Young is a full-service commercial real estate firm that consistently ranks among the fastest-growing real estate firms in the world.
Founded in 1978, with legacies dating back more than 200 years, the company comprises approximately 5,000 real estate professionals in 120 offices in 20 countries.
Client relationships are typically led by the firm’s principals, who are also the company’s owners. There are no hand-offs to junior brokers or corporate departments.
Avison Young Services
Avison Young’s experts provide investment sales, leasing, advisory, management, and financing services to clients across the office, retail, industrial, multifamily and hospitality sectors.
They also offer a range of specialty practices.
Avison Young sources investment opportunities and provides investment sales execution for clients throughout Canada, the Unites States, Europe and Asia for all asset classes, including office, industrial, retail, multi-family, hospitality, leisure, and land development.
The firm represents a range of buyers and sellers, including REITs, pension funds, insurance companies, private equity firms, opportunity, and hedge funds, and both public and private companies.
Avison Young specializes in innovative debt financing solutions, advising clients on a variety of financing options including acquisition, refinance of conventional insured loans or CMBS debt, pre-sale debt alternatives, and sell versus finance analysis.
Their strong relationships with conventional financing institutions and non-bank lenders provide their clients access to a wide variety of financing options with favorable terms.
Transwestern is a privately held commercial real estate company of collaborative entrepreneurs specializing in agency leasing, asset services, occupier solutions, capital markets, and research.
They have 34 offices in the United States and assist clients in 37 countries through strategic alliances with France-based BNP Paribas Real Estate and Canada-based Devencore.
Transwestern provides acquisition and disposition services for investors, owners, and occupiers of all major commercial property types including healthcare, industrial, and retail.
Working on behalf of a diverse group of institutional and private investors and sellers, their dedicated net lease team taps into the company’s national platform to ensure the successful acquisition, repositioning, and disposition of single-tenant and net-leased properties.
The firm’s structured finance teams deliver access to capital for their clients, facilitating transactions by maintaining capital connections.
And company investment advisors have a broad range of experience in the disposition and acquisition of all major product types.
Marcus & Millichap
In 1971 George M. Marcus and William A. Millichap launched a new real estate investment business model based on a unique method of matching each property with the largest possible pool of pre-qualified investors.
Today, Marcus & Millichap is a leading firm specializing in commercial real estate investment sales, financing, research, and advisory services, with over 80 offices across North America.
They close 4.7 transactions every business hour—more than any other real estate investment brokerage firm in the United States.
Over 60% of these transactions involve a 1031 exchange, allowing clients to defer capital gains tax when they sell an investment property and buy another like-kind property.
Since the early 1980s, Marcus & Millichap has maintained a central listing database of exclusive properties.
It’s nationally recognized for its size, thoroughness, and quality.
Marcus & Millichap Services
Marcus & Millichap both provides national scale and local market expertise for all major property types and capital markets.
The scope of their services covers transactions, research, advising, and financing.
The firm’s Institutional Property Advisors (IPA) division is one of the country’s leading providers of institutional-quality investment services, including portfolio and property-level analysis, capital market solutions, research, acquisition sourcing, and property sales.
After 50 years in the market, Kidder Mathews is the largest independent commercial real estate firm on the West Coast, with 800 professionals in 22 offices across Washington, California, Oregon, Nevada, and Arizona.
Kidder Matthews Services
They offer a complete range of brokerage, appraisal, property management, consulting, project and construction management, and debt and equity finance services for all property types.
The brokerage division focuses its expertise in the following areas of specialization: industrial, office, retail, investment, multifamily, technology, life sciences, R&D, and corporate services.
Newmark Knight Frank
With roots dating back to 1929, Newmark Knight Frank (NKF) is one of the world’s leading commercial real estate advisory firms.
Today NKF’s 16,000 professionals operate from approximately 430 offices in established and emerging property markets on six continents.
Newmark Knight Frank Services
NKF’s fully integrated platform of services provides clients with a single-source solution for every phase of owning or occupying a property.
They service prominent multinational corporations and institutional investors across the globe as well as owners, occupiers, and developers of real estate.
They offer a full range of real estate capital markets services as well as several complementary, integrated services.
Representing buyers and sellers, NKF has closed $3 billion in complex financial transactions.
They maintain direct relationships with an extensive investor base, including local, national, and offshore entities, public and private investors, users, and developers.
Their advisors are experts in 300+ markets and provide asset-specific customization.
By leveraging NKF’s proprietary database, each advisor has ready access to unique market intelligence to drive demand and match each client’s assets to a robust group of investors – from private and institutional owners to global entities.
NKF specializes in arranging equity and debt for most types of value-add commercial and residential real estate including land, condominium conversions, subdivisions, office, retail, industrial, multifamily, hotels, and special-use properties.
RE/MAX Commercial, part of the world’s most productive real estate network, is a leader in the commercial and investment arenas.
With a presence in over 100 countries and territories, RE/MAX Commercial closes more than $11.1 Billion in total commercial volume from over 25,000 transactions annually.
RE/MAX Commercial Services
RE/MAX Commercial practitioners around the world represent individual buyers, investment professionals, institutional clients, and municipalities.
They’re qualified to handle all critical elements of the acquisition process.
And when it comes to property sales, the firm’s practitioners have the resources to provide client properties the broadest exposure to potential buyers.
They can also help with locating properties for lease and negotiate effective lease rates.
For owners of commercial rental property, RE/MAX Commercial brokers will conduct thorough searches to aggressively prospect, locate and qualify the best tenants, and then negotiate leasing agreements with the highest possible rates of return.
Keller Williams Commercial
With an international reach, serving both the US and Canada, KW Commercial is a division of the fastest-growing real estate company in North America.
Their team consists of knowledgeable, results-driven brokers providing integrated real estate services for clients in virtually any market.
Keller Williams Services
Sectors served include office, multifamily, retail, industrial, land and development, hospitality/specialty, tenant representation, manufactured housing, healthcare, and government services.
KW Commercial associates provide market information, brokerage advisory, acquisition, disposition, and financial guidance for transactions of all sizes.
KW Commercial provides associates who specialize in land brokerage and development services.
The firm’s healthcare specialists facilitate the disposition, acquisition, and lease of surgical facilities, clinical properties, medical office buildings (MOBs), and hospitals.
Founded in the United Kingdom in 1855, Savills is one of the world’s leading real estate service providers with agents in more than 70 countries worldwide.
Savills offers a wide range of commercial real estate advisory services in the areas of tenant representation, capital markets, project management, workforce/incentives, and workplace strategy/occupant experience.
Savills provides services across an expansive range of industries:
- Architecture, engineering & construction
- Financial services
- Life sciences
- Luxury brands
- Nonprofits & associations
- Professional services
- Technology, advertising, and media
Working on behalf of investors of commercial real estate, Savills represents clients at all stages of the transaction process, from opportunity sourcing to due diligence.
Savills industrial specialists integrate brokerage services with a full range of complimentary services for industrial space users across all industries.
As specialists in retail real estate, Savills also provides comprehensive consulting and brokerage services to clients representing every category of retail.
Savills’ transaction expertise encompasses all aspects of leasing, acquisitions, dispositions, land and building purchases, and space consolidations.
From the world’s leading banking institutions to boutique financial advisory firms, they craft fully customized real estate solutions designed to help their clients’ businesses thrive.
Coldwell Banker Commercial (CBC)
With representation in primary, secondary, and tertiary markets, Coldwell Banker Commercial professionals assist clients in identifying industrial, retail, office, agriculture, and other types of properties for sale or lease, and to market commercial properties of all types for sale or lease.
The firm’s list of specialties is extensive:
With locations in over 40 countries, the CBC brand has a large geographical footprint.
Founded after the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, the Coldwell Banker organization is now a global powerhouse.
Coldwell Banker Services
Their network of affiliated professionals helps clients buy, sell, and lease commercial real estate across the United States and around the globe.