Episode 352: EXP, KW, COMPASS, Which Real Estate Brokerage Should an Agent Join?

Episode Timeline

For the 352nd episode of Mail Right Show, Jonathan Denwood and Robert Newnan did a brief analysis to compare major real estate brokerages, such as eXp, KW, and Compass. The episode discusses these real estate brokerage marketing and digital strategies to help agents decide which company to choose. Robert Newman has been working in the real estate SEO business as the CEO of Inbound REM, an inbound marketing firm. Meanwhile, Jonathan Denwood is the founder and CEO of Mail Right, an organization that streamlines and simplifies multiple digital tools into a single, simple-to-use package.


EXP is one of the best real estate brokerages right now. They haven’t done everything right, but they did everything much better than everybody else. EXP is probably one of the brokerages out there that is keeping up with technology today and tops the list in many ways. They are cloud-based and remote, dropping brick-and-mortar costs and seeking out agents that are comfortable and familiar with operating at a digital level.

While KW gets the same results that everybody else did by partnering with people, KW is finding experts in each system, paying those people a share of the profit to turn around and teach EXP. So it’s not so much that they’re using different tools. They are educating and training with greater expertise than any other brokerage out there because they are incentivizing their agents and brokers.

Another area in which EXP excels is its cost, which is 30% lower than every other brokerage, and for every billion dollars that are made, EXP makes 300 million more. What they do With that money is they give a lot of it back to the agents and brokers in the form of stock returns. Everybody is trying to keep up with EXP in terms of the incentives they’re giving the agents; however, they’re not going to be able to because EXP has a much lower-cost infrastructure.

EXP is still in expansion mode and is not building internal tools. However, in the long term, they have to do that, not just have people join them in the cloud for their meetings, the cost and infrastructure, or the reward systems, because some of the traditional brokerages out there, such as Compass and KW understand what the need is.

KW (Keller Williams)

KW hit a leadership role inside the real estate business because they can be the apple of the real estate business. The company provides agents with tools to learn, it will be inside a safe infrastructure, and they’ll probably systemize to help agents learn about real estate marketing.

One interesting thing that KW did is you can only get paid for your deals through KW if you run your deal through KW command, which they are trying to gain control over the brokerage’s information. It is an excellent move for KW and is a solid technology step, but it is not good for an independent broker model.

KW is still three to five years away from having the product it should have and, eventually, will have something that will help with your lead flow, manage your contacts better, and simplify things. They’ve got years and years of work left before they get command to where it needs to be, but KW is committed to finding the right people to run the projects.


One of the impressive moves Compass made is they bought the company from Barbara Corcoran, one of the Premier, if not the premiere, real estate Brokerage in New York. Today, Compass has a significant foothold and is probably the number one real estate player in New York. However, recently Compass has been experiencing a lot of months of loss after loss.

The founder of Compass, Robert Reffkin, jumped into the real estate world with a mobile app for agents and one that’s branded. Compass is a great competitor in the luxury space because they have instantaneously created this brand feeling around Compass. The mobile app also raised seven billion dollars, some of the most money anybody had ever raised in the real estate world for a new real estate concept. And Compass has been riding that way for the last five years. In the meantime, Compass is getting praised by all the agents they’ve recruited as a major-like technology company for better websites, phone apps, back-end systems, and marketing.

Many also say Compass has an excellent real estate technology package and is a great marketer. More than that, Compass does a better job when it comes to concierge service, where once you turn the deal in, Compass seems to have a white glove service on the back end, which separates them from others. But that seems to be human assets backed by internal technology, which is not revolutionary.