Top commercial real estate brokerages boost head count

Median number of brokers at the largest B.C. companies jumped 32% over the past year

British Columbia’s largest commercial real estate brokerages appear to be bucking the down-bound trend of 2020’s overall economy.

The average number of brokers at the top commercial real estate firms grew by 5.2% in 2020 compared with 2019, and the median number of brokers jumped 32.4% over the past year, according to data collected on Business in Vancouver’s Biggest Commercial Real Estate Brokerages in B.C. list.

The gains made in the average and median number of brokers followed losses in 2019 of 1.9% and 22.7%, respectively. The 2020 increase in the average and median number of brokers was enough to surpass the top firms’ previous highs in 2018.

No. 8 William Wright Commercial Real Estate Services had the largest one-year growth on the list, raising its number of brokers by 52.4% to 32 in 2020 from 21 in 2019. Of the top five, No. 3 CBRE had the largest one-year percentage increase in brokers, accounting for half of the company’s growth over the last five years. In 2020, the company grew 14.3% to 80 brokers from 70 in 2019. No. 2 Re/Max Commercial boasted the highest five-year growth in the top five with a 50.7% increase to 110 brokers in 2020 from 73 in 2016. However, all of that growth occurred in 2017 when Re/Max peaked at 120 brokers.

Unlike some smaller companies on the list, No. 1 Colliers International posted a decline in its number of brokers in 2020 to 2018 levels after reporting a small increase in 2019. No. 5 Cushman & Wakefield ULC also shrank, with a 5.1% decrease in brokers in 2020 after peaking at 79 in 2019.