Top 15 Most Powerful Brokerage Firms of 2020–CRE

Last year was a blockbuster for investment sales as well as leasing. Here is the annual CPE ranking of the industry’s most active transaction advisers.

RankCompany2019 Investment Sales Volume ($MM)2019 Square Feet Leased (000s)No. of BrokersProperty Types
1CBRE$264,6001,600,0009,250O, I, R, M, X
2Cushman & Wakefield$133,000693,0004,506O, I, R, M, X
3Newmark Knight Frank$170,7116,613O, I, R, M, H, Ho, St, Se, X
4NAI Global$15,00051,0006,500O, I, R, M, H, Ho, Se
5Colliers$27,295388,981O, I, R, M, S, X
6SVN International Corp.$12,30028,5761,300O, I, R, M, Ho, X
7Marcus & Millichap$49,7062,021O, I, R, M, H, Ho, St, Se, X
8Kidder Mathews$4,624170,967432O, I, R, M, X
9TCN Worldwide$21,47666,0581,500O, I, R, M, X
10Matthews Real Estate Investment Services$4,7096,627141O, I, R, M, H
11SRS Real Estate Partners$1,6788,774154R
12Stream Realty Partners$98940,208181O, I, R, H, X
13Transwestern$3,31359,120380O, I, R, M, H, X
14Greysteel$1,36849R, M
15Berkadia$9,215122O, M, Ho, S, Se, X

Key: O = Office, I = Industrial, R = Retail, M = Multifamily, H = Health Care, Ho = Hospitality, St = Student Housing, Se = Senior Housing, X = Other (incl. land).

Top 10 LeasingTop 10 Sale
RankCompany NameRankCompany Name
1CBRE1Newmark Knight Frank
2Kidder Mathews2Cushman & Wakefield
3Cushman & Wakefield3CBRE
4Colliers4NAI Global
5TCN Worldwide5Colliers
6Transwestern6Marcus & Millichap
7Stream Realty Partners7SVN International Corp.
8NAI Global8TCN Worldwide
9SVN International Corp.9Matthews Real Estate Investment Services
10Matthews Real Estate Investment Services10Berkadia

Note: The following noteworthy firms did not submit responses: JLL, Avison Young and Eastdil Secured.

Deal-Making Pauses After Banner Year

By Maddie Winship, Senior Research Analyst, Yardi Matrix

Commercial real estate was extremely attractive to investors before the pandemic, and will likely continue to draw interest. But the coming months will be telling, since many deals have been put on hold. While the industry grapples with COVID-19’s real estate impacts, our 2020 Most Powerful Brokerage Firms ranking highlights the top firms to watch.

Our survey respondents reported strong levels of investment sales activity, with a combined volume of nearly $725 billion. CBRE retained its long-standing top position in this year’s ranking, boasting an investment sales volume of $265 billion, up more than 15 percent from the previous year. CBRE’s investment volume was spread out across asset classes, with the highest volume occurring in the office and industrial sectors. CBRE also ranked No. 1 in the leasing category, with 1.6 billion square feet leased in 2019—an increase of more than 25 percent over 2017.

Newmark Knight Frank and Cushman & Wakefield rounded out the top three in the investment sales ranking with a respective $171 billion and $133 billion in transaction volume. NKF ranked No. 1 in sales—a 23 percent increase in volume from the previous two years (see methodology). Most of its transaction activity occurred in the multifamily and office asset classes and about 52 percent of the firm’s volume came from outside the United States.


The CPE-MHN rankings of the Most Powerful Brokerage Firms are based on self-reported data from all firms. We used a weighted formula, considered various factors including a firm’s performance in 2019 and previous years, and reviewed data that reflects investment sales and leasing activity. The rankings represent what we feel is a logical balance between firm growth and market share. Ranking factors are not limited to the data that appear on this page.