NeighborWho analyzed more than 39,000 real estate agencies with Yelp reviews to determine the best in the nation and in each state.
With the topsy-turvy times the real estate market has faced since the pandemic, finding a real estate agent that homebuyers and sellers can trust has never been more important. One of the top ways that consumers search for a real estate agent is through Yelp reviews.
Nearly one in five reviews on the Yelp website are related to home and local services, more than restaurant reviews (17% of total site reviews) and shopping (15%), according to Yelp.
So which ones are the best? NeighborWho, a property insights platform used by real estate professionals and consumers, analyzed more than 39,000 real estate agencies nationwide reviewed by Yelp users, and then filtered the list to the nearly 7,900 firms that have received at least 10 customer reviews for their services. We calculated the top agencies nationwide as well as for each state.
We also polled the top national winners to learn their best practices for getting and maintaining strong reviews on Yelp.
In addition to the number of reviews and the average rating received by each realty company, we analyzed and scored markets based on the number of real estate agents per capita to determine the states that have the most competitive real estate markets.
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Top real estate agencies by state
Top 10 rated real estate agencies nationally
Here we rank the top reviewed real estate agencies nationwide on Yelp. All have average five-star reviews and, collectively, are in some of the most competitive real estate markets in the nation. The score is based on the overall rating as well as the total number of reviews—meaning a top agency with more five-star-rated user reviews will have a higher score than one with fewer five-star-rated reviews.
1. Realty Austin, Central Austin, Texas
Courtesy of Realty Austin
Of the more than 39,000 real estate professionals with Yelp reviews that NeighborWho analyzed, no firm nationwide had a higher number of reviews with five-star ratings than Realty Austin. The firm has more than 630 agents who speak more than 20 languages and achieved $6.1 billion in sales in 2021.
“Let’s face it, in today’s world, your Yelp presence can make or break you—especially if you’re a Realtor,” said Gabe Richter, CEO of Realty Austin and Realty San Antonio.
“With countless people using Yelp to find and evaluate local businesses, including real estate agents, a strong presence on the platform is crucial,” Richter said. “By nailing your Yelp game, you can attract new clients, showcase your expertise and earn the trust of potential clients faster.”
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2. Cooper & Cooper Real Estate, New York
Founded by brothers Jordan and Jeremy Cooper in 2004, Cooper & Cooper is the only East Coast firm to make the national top 10 of best-reviewed real estate agencies. The Manhattan-based residential real estate firm represents buyers, sellers, renters and landlords throughout New York City.
The firm’s 50-plus real estate agents include Spanish and Mandarin speakers and focuses on the luxury market, as well as professional relocation services for global companies that are transferring employees to New York. The firm also hosts a series of educational seminars for buying, selling and renting property in New York.
“The truth is that buying a home in New York City isn’t easy—it’s hard, it’s a long, complicated process, it’s very different from buying a house anywhere else in the country,” said Jordan Cooper at a recent buyers’ seminar. “It’s expensive, there’s a lot of misinformation out there, a lot of misconceptions, and some illegal, unethical and shady stuff as well. At Cooper & Cooper, we believe there is a need for a company that’s ethical, honest and upright.”
3. The Elizabeth Do Team - Keller Williams Realty, Fountain Valley, California
Elizabeth Do began her professional career managing a skate shop at age 17. She started selling homes in Southern California in 2005, and by 2009 she was named one of Realtor Magazine’s “Top 30 Under 30,” which each year names “30 young rising stars in the real estate industry.”
Do now is now Team Leader at the Elizabeth Do Team - Keller Williams Realty in Orange County, California. By 2021, she had surpassed $1 billion in real estate sales for her career.
“We want to turn our clients into such raving fans that they will refer their children—we want to serve families for generations,” Do said in a 2021 blog post. Advice she gives for building a successful realty team includes: have a diverse staff (her agents speak six languages), focus on building a database of contacts, run client social events and educational seminars and maintain a strong social media presence.
4. The GreenHouse Group, San Diego
Courtesy of the GreenHouse Group
The GreenHouse Group, based in San Diego, bills itself as a nontraditional real estate consulting firm, helping clients buy and sell homes as well as operating a mortgage brokerage. Cofounded by Jesse Ibanez in 2006, about 92% of the agency’s buyers are purchasing a home for the first time.
“Yelp isn’t Zillow—Zillow is the traditional real estate site,” Ibanez said. “We were never going to be the traditional RE anything. The GreenHouse Group is just like Yelp in that way and therefore Yelp works great for us. Yelp tends to favor our demographic–first timers–along with anyone otherwise healthily suspicious of review sites in general.”
The best way to get and keep good reviews? “Here comes a message from Captain Obvious,” Ibanez said. “Number one, do a kickass job; number two, finish what you start; number three, make the experience of working with you the real reward.”
5. Anderson Real Estate Group, Long Beach, California
Led by Jeff Anderson and his husband, Torey Carrick, the Anderson Real Estate Group has had more than $1.2 billion in total sales volume, specializing in neighborhoods from Long Beach and the South Bay to Greater Los Angeles, Orange County and the Inland Empire region of Southern California.
Anderson Real Estate was recently ranked No. 170 nationwide in “The Thousand” Rankings of best real estate agents on REAL Trends. The group was ranked No. 18 nationwide in 2022 for team sales volume by LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance.
“We pride ourselves on being a trusted source, using integrity and authenticity to make a positive impact on every person we meet and the communities we serve,” Anderson notes on the company’s Gay Realty Network profile.
6. Flyhomes, Seattle
Founded in 2016, Seattle’s Flyhomes is the only nontraditional real estate agency ranked in the top 10 nationally by Yelp users. Flyhomes describes itself as an end-to-end real estate brokerage and technology company that closed on more than $5.5 billion worth of homes at prices ranging from $150,000 to $7 million in Seattle and Washington state markets, as well as markets in five other states.
Programs include Flyhomes Cash Offer, which arranges short-term cash loans for quicker turnaround on competitive sales (with loans then refinanced into a long-term mortgage), and Buy Before You Sell, which enables users to purchase their new home before selling their existing house.
“Real estate is a crowded space with no shortage of options for buyers and sellers. Standing out in the crowd is hard, but having hundreds or thousands of past clients affirm the value that you deliver is incredibly helpful to differentiate,” said Jared Berman, vice president of client success for Flyhomes. “Focus on your clients and the rest will follow.”
7. The Matt Laricy Group, Chicago
The Matt Laricy Group, a boutique agency that focuses on selling real estate in downtown Chicago, is the best-reviewed real estate agency in the Midwest. Laricy, a third-generation real estate agent, began selling real estate when he graduated from college and, by 2013, was named one of Realtor Magazine’s “Top 30 Under 30” realtors in the nation. Last year, the Matt Laricy Group had the second-highest residential sales in Chicago, at $303.7 million.
“Our business is all about the customer. We make sure we give the best customer experience we can, and hope that the customer returns the favor by spreading some love online,” Laricy said. “Being the best isn’t just about sales, it’s about making sure you are known for putting the customer first. Our reviews speak for themselves.”
8. Tanya Dzhibrailova - NHB Real Estate, San Francisco
Luciana Mortula - LGM/Shutterstock
Emigrating to San Francisco from her native Moscow at age seven, Tanya Dzhibrailova has become one of the top real estate agents in the Bay Area, perennially listing on the REAL Trends list for best agents in the US. With more than $1 billion in sales since 2004, Tanya Dzhibrailova - NHB Real Estate serves San Francisco, South and East Bay, Contra Costa and Marin County.
“For me, that means a client relationship that runs from beginning to end of the transaction– and continues long after. I carefully cultivate such relationships and it pays off: they refer their friends. To that point, 90% of my business is referral,” Dzhibrailova told Luxe SF. “The online press—Yelp, Zillow and Trulia—help keep me visible, but you can only sustain that image if you do good, honest work for your clients.”
9. Danielle Lazier - Vivre Real Estate, San Francisco
With 21 years of experience, Danielle Lazier is founder of Vivre Real Estate, with more than $1 billion in sales in the San Francisco area. Her firm was named one of the top small teams by volume in the 2021 REAL Trends ranking.
“We take a team approach to real estate. Buying or selling a home in San Francisco is a complex, sophisticated and often deeply personal endeavor,” Lazier told America’s Top 100 Real Estate Agents. “The client deserves the full service and attention that only a team of experts can consistently provide.”
10. Mark Allen Realty, Chicago
Mark Allen Realty, founded by Matt Liss, is the second real estate agency in our top 10 from Chicago. Liss, who started as a general contractor, has been a real estate agent for nearly 20 years, and was recognized by the Chicago Association of Realtors as one of the city’s top producers from 2005 to 2021.
“Our presence [on Yelp] grew organically. We started to ask for reviews—exclusively on Yelp versus other sites—once we built a strong brand and were seeing results from consumers,” Liss said. “There are several trusted real estate-related sites that brokers use for reviews. I wouldn’t say Yelp is the end all be all, but having a strong presence is valuable. Buyers and sellers will research you, and having the credibility of consumer reviews has value.”
Top-rated real estate agency in each state
Here are the top-rated real estate agencies in each state, according to NeighborWho analysis.
|Real estate agency
|Jessica Barbeau - RE/MAX Dynamic Properties
|Nathia Urban - Capstone Realty
|Jason Curtis - Limbird Real Estate Group
|John Gluch - EXP Realty
|The Elizabeth Do Team - Keller Williams Realty
|PorchLight Real Estate Group
|Gregory Broadbent- RE/MAX Coast And Country
|District of Columbia
|The Mandy & David Team - Compass Real Estate
|Donna Marshall - RE/MAX Point Realty
|The Justin Landis Group
|Chris Kew, Realtor
|Richard & Kirsten Powell - Powell Fine Homes Group
|The JuanSells.com Realty
|Mary Hutchison - Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate
|Team Pannell Real Estate
|Buyers Brokers Only
|Robyn Porter - Long & Foster Real Estate
|Jeremy Lock- Waypoint Brokers Collective
|Jessica Juel - Arterra Luxe Collection
|The Odd Couple Team - Keller Williams
|The Key Consultants Keller Williams Realty
|Marcie Hahn-Knoff - Knoff Group Real Estate
|Justin Burleson - Premier Agents Network
|Michelle Aarsvold - Park Co., Realtors
|Mike Salkin - Berkshire Real Estate
|David Hansen - Your Golden Rule Realtor
|Zamir Group Real Estate
|Eloff Perez - Las Vegas Realty Specialists - Black & Cherry RE
|Cooper & Cooper Real Estate
|Lee Ritchie-RE/MAX Partners
|Jarrett Carter - ERA Courtyard Real Estate
|PDX Green Team
|Philly Home Girls
|The Rhode Guide Real Estate Co
|Charleston Empire Properties
|Amy Stockberger Real Estate
|Realty Austin - Central
|Salt Lake City
|Chris Ognek - Q Real Estate
|Element Real Estate
|Peter Adams - Coldwell Banker Realty
States with the most competitive real estate markets
California, by far, has the most top Yelp reviewed real estate agencies in the country—16 of the top 25 reviewed firms nationally come from the state. Our analysis suggests that’s because the state is also by far the most competitive for real estate agents: California has 5.8 agents per thousand population, more than double second-place Hawaii (2.4).
|State density of real estate agents*
|District of Columbia
*Number of real estate agents per 1,000 population
Yelp business reviews: How the best-reviewed real estate agents handle them
We interviewed our national top 10 best-rated real estate agents to get their thoughts on the importance of Yelp and the best practices for leveraging Yelp to boost their business. Here are some central themes they raised:
Yelp reviews are for real
While many may wonder whether reviews are gamed, real estate agents polled said Yelp is among the toughest real estate platforms to get good reviews. “I remember back in the day there were a lot of review games being played, and a lot of people were—let’s just say—’spicing up’ the amount of five-star reviews they were getting, which curiously seemed to far exceed the actual deals they were doing,” said Ibanez of San Diego’s GreenHouse Group.
“The funny thing about Yelp is, they don’t play around when it comes to filtering reviews. It’s actually a super-tall bar,” Ibanez said. “It’s the most aggressive algorithm for efficacy I’ve ever seen. That garners a ton of respect. So for the buyers, sellers, borrowers that take the time to know [and] see that you’re winning on the hardest review playing field that exists, then they know you’re legit.”
How to respond to Yelp reviews
Reviewers don’t hold back if they’ve had a bad experience. “Consumers LOVE to write scathing reviews, so we are very diligent in our real estate practice. Honesty and a thoughtful approach goes a long way,” said Matt Liss, owner of Mark Allen Realty.
Adds Matt Laricy of the Matt Laricy Realty in Chicago: “In today’s day and age, people believe online reviews more than personal recommendations, so having a good online reputation is everything.”
Those who succeed at Yelp reviews take the impact of comments seriously. “Some of the strongest challenges of using Yelp for real estate agents include the potential for negative reviews and criticism, the difficulty of getting clients to leave reviews, the need to maintain a consistent and professional online presence, and the time and effort required to manage and respond to reviews effectively,” said Jolene Weinstein, COO of Realty Austin, the nation’s best-reviewed Yelp real estate agency.
Yelp reviews can be integral in building businesses
Yelp and other website reviews are often the first stop, especially for first-time homebuyers. “For years, online reviews have been part of the agent/brokerage selection process for people looking to either find a real estate agent or to vet one that they have already met,” said Jared Berman, vice president of client success at Flyhomes.
“Yelp is an established and trusted platform, so having a strong presence on Yelp with hundreds of detailed, personal reviews is key to growing your business,” Berman said. “Readers of Yelp reviews get a taste of the experience you will provide, which, if you are doing it right, will help you grow.”
Yelp gives an SEO push for higher Google search results
As Ibanez at the GreenHouse Group notes: “Yelp wins at SEO,” or search-engine optimization, to garner top page results. People often search for “something like ‘best real estate agent and mortgage broker in San Diego’,” Ibanez said. “Because of Yelp, we tend to rank pretty high there—a feat we could never complete on our own.”
Advice on getting—and keeping—strong reviews on Yelp
- Be proactive. “First and foremost, make sure to ask your satisfied clients to leave a review on Yelp—most people are happy to do so if you ask politely,” said Kara Jones, vice president of Realty Austin and Realty San Antonio. “Providing high-quality service and going above and beyond for your clients is also key to earning positive reviews, and using photos and other media can help enhance your profile and showcase your recent work."
- React to negative reviews promptly. “When you do get reviews, be sure to respond to all of them promptly and professionally, whether they’re positive or negative,” Jones said.
When you do get a negative review, “it’s up to us to put on the hero costumes, shoulder that negative emotion and repurpose all that into a positive direction,” said Ibanez of the GreenHouse Group. “That’s a skill set all in itself.”
- Have a process in place for managing reviews. ”At our company, we meet these challenges for our agents by emphasizing the importance of Yelp and online reviews to clients through automated email workflows encouraging them to leave a review,” said Weinstein of Realty Austin. “We’ve also developed a system for monitoring and responding to reviews on behalf of our agents.”
“The only way to receive glowing client reviews is to deliver an incredible client experience [they’ll] want to share with the world,” said Berman of Flyhomes. “Focusing on the experience you provide to clients is far more important than focusing on tactics to solicit reviews. Reviews and referrals will follow if you deliver on the customer experience.”
NeighborWho analyzed 39,419 real estate agencies nationwide who had at least one Yelp review. The list was filtered down to the nearly 7,900 agencies that have received at least 10 customer reviews for our national and state lists of top-reviewed agencies. For rankings, we examined the most populated cities in each state, while real estate agencies are ranked on their business location separately. Ranking combined average score and total number of reviews. For Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming, top agencies with five or more Yelp reviews were considered. No firms in West Virginia received five or more reviews and met our quality standards and were omitted from this study. Ratings were current as of November 2022.
For our analysis of states with the most competitive real estate markets, we measured the total number of real estate agents against the population in each state.
NeighborWho’s mission is to help real estate professionals and property owners discover in-depth insights about properties and property owners in the US. Our database contains records for millions of residential properties, including home valuations, sales history, equity records, deed information and much more. Searching a property has never been easier.