The companies all debuted within a few slots of established player Realogy, highlighting both the role of technology in the real estate industry and the rise of bitter rivalries.
In news that is likely to stoke the fires of real estate’s biggest rivals, Zillow, Opendoor and Compass made their debuts on Monday’s prestigious Fortune 500 list.
The list, which ranks companies by revenue, ranked Zillow 424th. iBuying giant Opendoor was one spot behind with 425, while Compass was 495th. The triple debut comes after two explosive years in the US housing market of soaring prices and record sales and underscores the rise of the real estate industry in general.
In the case of Opendoor and Compass, their debut on the list also comes shortly after the companies’ IPOs. Opendoor debuted on the stock exchange in late 2020, while Compass began selling shares in spring 2021.
Landing on the list also brings the trio of companies into rare company. The only other dedicated brokerage firm on the list was Realogy, which came in at 427th place. The list refers to higher-level brands like 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 shoulder to shoulder with Anywhere should only add to the already bitter rivalries within the business. Anywhere and Compass, in particular, are currently locked in a legal battle, with the former accusing the latter of engaging in “illegal schemes” to gain market share. Compass has similarly drawn the wrath of other real estate companies for its aggressive recruiting tactics, among other things.
Despite the lawsuits, Compass has continued to grow rapidly and less than a month ago dethroned Anywhere (then Realogy) from the top spot in the prestigious Mega 1000 real estate firm ranking by sales volume.
There is also rivalry between Opendoor, Zillow and other industry players. IBuyers, for example, have become a source of anxiety in some corners of the agent community. And Zillow’s recent big moves — including acquiring ShowingTime and shutting down its iBuying operations — have been some of the biggest and most polarizing real estate events in recent memory.
Although Zillow, Opendoor, and Compass all operate from very different business models, they have one thing in common that they all describe themselves as technology-driven real estate companies. Such companies have taken a hit in the stock market of late, but Monday’s news on the Fortune 500 shows they’ve been swallowing up more and more of the real estate industry, despite weak share prices. Their new rankings also suggest a prominent role for technology in real estate. Zillow is also currently embroiled in a legal battle with discount broker REX Real Estate.
Also of note is that all three companies are large and centrally operated; For example, none of the three real estate entrants on the Fortune 500 list are franchisors.
Although there were few brokerage deals in the last Fortune 500, other companies in the housing sector include homebuilder Lennar, which landed at No. 131, and investment firm Blackstone at No. 159. Berkshire Hathaway, a huge conglomerate that owns, among many other interests, the Parent company, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, scored 7th on the list.
News Corp, owner of Realtor.com’s parent company, Move Inc., ranked 374th. Expedia, which owns short-term rental platform Vrbo and was co-founded by Zillow’s Rich Barton, ranked 404th on the list
The list also ranked Fannie Mae No. 33 and Freddie Mac No. 56.
Inman reached out to Zillow regarding his Fortune 500 debut and will update this story with any response from the company.
In an email to Inman, Opendoor’s chief financial officer, Carrie Wheeler, said that “debuting 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 journey to transform the process for the millions of consumers who buy and sell homes every year and 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 firm in 2012 — said the firm’s tens of thousands of agents and employees made it possible to be included in the Fortune 500 list “so early in our journey.” will.
“This award validates our belief,” added Reffkin, “that arming the best agents in the country with the most advanced technology platform in the industry is the best way to deliver an exceptional experience for every home buyer and seller.”
Update: This post was updated after publication with additional information from the latest Fortune 500 ranking and a statement from Opendoor.
Email to Jim Dalrymple II