The companies all debuted within a few slots of established player Realogy and highlight both the role of tech in real estate and the rise of bitter rivalries.
In news that is likely to fuel the fires of real estate’s biggest rivalries, Zillow, Opendoor and Compass all made their debuts Monday on the prestigious Fortune 500 list.
The list, which ranks companies by revenue, awarded the 424th spot to Zillow. IBuying giant Opendoor was one slot, behind at 425, while Compass scored the 495th place. The triple debut comes after an explosive two years in the housing market, with soaring prices and record sales across the U.S., and highlights the ascendency of the real estate industry generally.
In the case of Opendoor and Compass, their debut on the list also comes shortly after the firms went public. Opendoor debuted on the stock market in late 2020, while Compass began selling shares in spring 2021.
Landing on the list also puts the trio of companies in rare company. The only other dedicated brokerage firm on the list was Realogy, which scored the 427th place. The list refers to parent of brands such as Coldwell Banker and Corcoran as Realogy, though the company changed its name to “Anywhere” earlier this month.
The fact that a trio of tech companies are now standing side-by-side with Anywhere is likely to only intensify already bitter rivalries within the business. In particular, Anywhere and Compass are currently locked in a lawsuit, with the former accusing the latter of engaging in “illegal schemes” to gain marketshare. Compass has similarly earned the ire of other real estate companies for, among other things, its aggressive recruiting tactics.
Despite the lawsuits, Compass has continued to grow rapidly and less than a month ago dethroned Anywhere (then still called Realogy) atop the prestigious Mega 1000 ranking of real estate firms by sales volume.
Rivalries involving Opendoor, Zillow and other industry players exist as well. IBuyers, for instance, have become a source of anxiety in some corners of the agent community. And Zillow’s latest big moves — including its acquisition of ShowingTime and the shuttering of its iBuying operations — were some of the biggest and most polarizing real estate events in recent memory.
Though Zillow, Opendoor and Compass all operate using very different business models, the one thing they have in common is that they all brand themselves as technology-first real estate companies. Such companies have taken a beating in the stock market recently, but Monday’s news about the Fortune 500 shows that despite soft share prices, they have continued to gobble up more and more of the real estate industry. Their new rankings also hint at a prominent role for technology in real estate. Zillow is also involved in a lawsuit right now with discount brokerage REX Real Estate.
It’s also notable that all three companies are large and centrally operated; none of the three new real estate arrivals on the Fortune 500 list is a franchisor, for example.
Though brokerages were few and far between on the latest Fortune 500, other ranked housing sector companies include homebuilder Lennar, which landed in the 131th spot, and investment firm Blackstone at 159. Berkshire Hathaway, a massive conglomerate that among many other interests is the parent of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, scored the No. 7 spot on the list.
News Corp, owner of Realtor.com parent Move Inc., scored the 374th spot. Expedia, which owns short-term rental platform Vrbo and which was co-founded by Zillow’s Rich Barton, was ranked 404th on the list
The list also ranked Fannie Mae No. 33 and Freddie Mac No. 56.
Inman reached out to Zillow regarding its debut on the Fortune 500 and will update this story with any response the company provides.
In an email to Inman, Opendoor Chief Financial Officer Carrie Wheeler said that “to debut on the Fortune 500 after our first year as a public company is a prestigious honor.”
“Since our founding in 2014, we’ve been on a path to reimagine the process for the millions of consumers who buy and sell a home every year and to modernize the real estate industry,” she added. “This recognition is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our team members over the years and we thank them for always putting our customers first.”
In a statement Monday morning, Compass CEO Robert Reffkin — who founded the brokerage in 2012 — said the company’s tens of thousands of agents and employees made it possible to join the Fortune 500 list “so early in our journey.”
“This honor validates our belief,” Reffkin added, “that empowering the country’s top agents with the industry’s most advanced technology platform is the best way to deliver an exceptional experience to every home buyer and seller.”
Update: This post was updated after publication with additional information from the latest Fortune 500 ranking and with a statement from Opendoor.
Email Jim Dalrymple II