The biggest real estate companies in the US have always been the driving force behind emerging property trends around the world. In 2024, the sector continues to demonstrate extraordinary growth. Studying the top-performing real estate companies helps you build better expansion strategies, formulate investment plans, and identify profitable opportunities.

Our experts at Business2Community have compiled a list of the 10 biggest real estate companies in the US. We will go through their business models, property management strategies, and revenue to unravel their key to success. From real estate agents to property developers to investors, this article benefits anyone keen on taking a deep dive into the lucrative real estate industry and making big money.

The USA’s Biggest Real Estate Companies

According to Statista, the US is the second-biggest real estate market in the world, right after China. Its market value was estimated to be $119.79 trillion in 2024. The figure is expected to exceed $142 trillion by 2028, showcasing a CAGR of 4.51%.

The rapid growth is facilitated by the rise in demand for residential real estate, which contributes to the majority of the market share. In 2024, the residential real estate segment was worth $94.39 trillion, more than triple the commercial real estate segment value ($25.37 trillion).

US real estate market

With a thriving market like the US, studying the leading companies allows you to gain invaluable market insights so you can make informed business decisions that emulate the best in class. Let’s take a look at how these industry giants shape the real estate world and how you can learn from them to transform your business model.

1. Prologis – $124.48 Billion

Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Prologis is the world’s best real estate company by market cap with a market value of $124.48 billion as of March 2024. The real estate investment trust was founded by Douglas Abbey and Hamid Moghadam in 1983 before T. Robert Burke joined the year after. Initially, the company was named the AMB Property Corporation.

Prologis warehouse

In its early days, the company focused on investing in the real estate industry through buying and upgrading existing units to sell. From office spaces to community buildings to factories, the real estate brokerage traded different properties for institutional investors.

Security Capital Industrial Trust (SCI), which would later merge with the AMB Property Corporation, was incorporated and began its operations in 1991. SCI’s business model was to trade properties for top-performing firms with a global reach. It was also one of the first real estate firms that entered the Denver market in the early 1990s, following the real estate crash.

By the time SCI had its initial public offering in 1994 on the New York Stock Exchange, it already owned over 16.1 million square feet of industrial property across 16 cities in the US. In 1997, the AMB Property Corporation completed its initial public offering, gathering $2.8 billion in assets.

SCI officially changed its name to Prologis in 1998 when it acquired the Meridian Industrial Trust for $1.5 billion. That same year, Prologis started its operations in the UK after the acquisition of Kingspark Holding S.A. for $157 million.

At the beginning of the 2000s, Prologis actively expanded its real estate market presence in Asia, Europe, and Mexico.

In 2002, the Prologis Japan Properties Fund was formed with the Government of Singapore Real Estate for $1 billion. The following year, the company was listed on the S&P 500.

2011 was a recent turning point for Prologis. That year, AMB Property Corporation formed a joint venture with Allianz Real Estate for $648 million. It also merged with Prologis, which has over $40 billion in assets under management. The merger set the tone for the modern Prologis real estate company that dominates the US market.

By the end of 2023, Prologis owned around 1.2 billion square feet of real estate properties in nearly 20 countries, providing around 6,600 clients with its B2B and retail fulfillment services.

Company Name Prologis
Headquartered In San Francisco, California, USA
Market Cap $124.48 billion
Founded In 1983

2. American Tower – $96.05 Billion

The next US real estate industry giant on our list is American Tower, a real estate investment trust that specializes in wireless communication infrastructure development. The company had a recorded market cap of $96.05 billion at the time of writing.

American Tower was first created as a subsidiary of American Radio in 1995. In 1998, its parent company was sold and American Tower became a separate entity and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

In order to expand its service scope and gain more market share, American Tower acquired one of its biggest competitors at the time, SpectraSite Inc., for $1.3 billion in 2005.

The deal granted each SpectraSite shareholder 3.575 shares of American Tower’s Class A common stock. The acquisition helped the leading real estate company to conquer the wireless tower sector, making it the biggest tower company in the US.

american tower cell tower

In the late 2000s, American Tower experienced exponential growth. It expanded its operations to overseas markets like Peru, Chile, India, and Colombia.

In 2013, American Tower bought the largest private tower operator in the country at the time, Global Tower Partners, for $3.3 billion in cash. The purchase brought American Tower 5,400 domestic towers and property management rights for over 9,000 sites.

According to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, American Tower had a total of 224,502 communications sites around the world in 2023 with the following distribution:

  • 42,905 units in North America
  • 77,647 units in Asia
  • 24,229 units in Africa
  • 31,241 units in Europe
  • 48,480 in Europe

Its annual sales reached $11.14 billion in 2023, demonstrating a 4% year-to-year growth rate. Its net income revealed an even bigger growth rate, totaling $1.37 billion, increasing by nearly 20% from its 2022 figures.

Company Name American Tower
Headquartered In Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Market Cap $96.05 billion
Founded In 1995

3. Equinix – $84.55 Billion

Equinix was founded in 1998 in Silicon Valley as a data center provider. It later transformed into a real estate investment trust in 2015 and has been one of the top real estate companies in the US since.

Equinix became one of the most successful investors in the real estate industry through trading commercial properties and offering real estate brokerage services. In 2015, Equinix bought the UK-based TelecityGroup for $3.6 billion and sold 8 data centers in Europe to Digital Realty, another top real estate company on our list, for $874 million.

In the late 2010s, Equinix strengthened its overseas operations by acquiring new properties in countries like Brazil, India, and South Korea. Equinix entered the Malaysian market in 2022 by building the new International Business Exchange data center for $40 million.

From 2016 to 2022, Equinix generated roughly the same amount of annual sales volume from its local and overseas markets. In 2022, its local US market produced around $3.3 billion in revenue while its overseas markets saw a transaction volume of $3.8 billion.

Statista Equinix revenue

In 2023, Equinix owned 260 data centers in 33 countries across 6 continents, serving over 10,000 global clients.

In March 2024, it had a market cap of $84.55 billion with transactions totaling $8.2 billion during the previous fiscal year.

Company Name Equinix
Headquartered In Redwood City, California, USA
Market Cap $84.55 billion
Founded In 1998

4. Simon Property Group – $56.16 Billion

With over 400 retail centers in 24 countries under its belt, Simon Property Group is one of the largest real estate companies in the retail space. The Indianapolis-based property management giant specializes in property management, real estate marketing, and investing in shopping malls and community centers.

simon malls

According to Simon Property Group, the company pays annual sales taxes of around $4 billion each year and has invested $9 billion in its development projects, consolidating its status as a leading real estate company in the US.

Its websites generate 258 million annual visits, making it one of the most visited real estate websites in the US.

Simon Property Group owns several iconic luxury properties in the country, including the Crystals in Las Vegas, Woodbury Common Premium Outlets in Central Valleys, New York, and Sawgrass Mills in Sunrise, Florida.

Simon Property Group mall

Founded in 1993 in Indianapolis, Indiana by brothers Melvin Simon and Herbert Simon, the Simon Property Group raised $839.9 million in its initial public offering that year, setting the record for the biggest real estate investment trust’s initial public offering until today.

Simon Property Group runs a successful business model by helping retailers produce more sales volume in their rental properties and become the best recognizable brand. It provides experienced professionals to offer marketing strategies for brands to boost visibility for its clients as well as its own luxury listings.

As of 2022, the King of Prussia in Philadelphia was the biggest shopping mall owned by Simon Property Group with a gross leasable area (GLA) of 2.72 million square feet. The publicly traded company had a market cap of $56.16 billion as of March 2024.

Company Name Simon Property Group
Headquartered In Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
Market Cap $56.16 billion
Founded In 1993

5. Welltower – $52.08 Billion

In 1970, Bruce Thompson and Fritz Wolfe established the Health Care Fund, the company that would later become Welltower, in Lima, Ohio. At the time, the company owned two nursing facilities with a total value of $800,000, which set the foundation for its future real estate development.

The company would grow to focus on investing in healthcare facilities and providing top-quality listings for public and private senior homes alongside its experienced real estate agents.

In 1985, the Health Care Fund was incorporated as the Health Care REIT and moved its headquarters to Toledo, Ohio. By 1987, its total assets reached $182 million. Through a series of mergers and acquisitions, Health Care REIT grew exponentially.

Health Care REIT acquired one of the top senior home sellers in Canada, Chartwell Seniors Housing REIT, for $925 million in 2012. Then, in 2015, the company officially changed its name to Welltower with around $30 billion in real estate asset value.

Today, Welltower dominates the healthcare real estate market in the US and is a successful real estate agent in sourcing the most suitable facilities for potential customers.

It delivers project management services and real estate brokerages to companies, offering neighborhood information, real estate agents, and business strategies to foster growth and development.

According to the company’s public filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the company had operations in the US, Canada, and the UK as of the end of 2023.

At the time of writing, the company had a market cap of $52.08 billion. From 2001 to 2024, the real estate company experienced gradual growth, with a sharp decline in market cap during COVID-19 when the pandemic severely stunted growth for the entire industry.

Company Name Welltower
Headquartered In Toledo, Ohio, USA
Market Cap $52.08 billion
Founded In 1970

6. Public Storage – $49.49 Billion

With a market cap of $49.49 billion, California-based Public Storage is the best real estate company in terms of operating margin (97.81%) in the US. The company invests in self-storage services with more than 2,200 locations in North America and Europe.

The real estate company was founded by Wayne Hughes and Kenneth Volk in 1972 with $50,000 in seed money when Hughes noticed how well real estate professionals in the self-storage sector were doing. Since then, it’s been investing in self-storage facilities and companies.

In 1998, the company bought Storage Trust Realty for $400 million, expanding Public Storage’s market cap to $5 billion that year. Almost a decade later in 2006, Public Storage acquired Shurgard Storage Centers, Inc. for $5.5 billion, taking over 2,100 facilities in 38 states and 7 European countries.

With an employee count of over 5,000, Public Storage is the largest self-storage facility operator in the world. As of December 2023, it owned over 3,000 properties had 90,000 clients globally, and had a revenue of $4.52 billion.

Over the years, Public Storage has seen a stable and gradual upswing in transactions, illustrating a positive growth path for the company. Its performance remained strong through adverse situations like the 2008 financial crisis and the pandemic.

public storage revenue

Company Name Public Storage
Headquartered In Glendale, California, USA
Market Cap $49.49 billion
Founded In 1972

7. Crown Castle – $48.44 Billion

Crown Castle is the US’ biggest shared communications infrastructure provider. At the time of writing, the company had over 40,000 cell towers and 90,000 route miles of fiber, building its strong presence in the real estate industry with a market cap of $48.44 billion.

Crown Castle logo

Crown Castle began its journey in 1994 with 133 cell towers in its portfolio. Four years later in 1998, the company had its initial public offering and was listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market. In the year it was first listed, its revenue skyrocketed from $11 million in 1997 to $75 million in 1998.

Then, in 2001, Crown Castle switched from NASDAQ to the New York Stock Exchange with the symbol “CCI”.

Throughout the years, Crown Castle quickly expanded to become one of the largest real estate companies because of its investment strategy.

In 2011, it bought NextG Network for $1 billion. The year after, Crown Castle acquired 7,200 cell towers on a 28-year lease from T-Mobile for $2.4 billion. Then, in 2017, Crown Castle bought Lightower, another established fiber network operator, for $1.7 billion in cash.

Crown Castle had a reported revenue of $6.5 billion in 2023, a jump from its 2022 figure of $6.2 billion. Site rental revenue was the company’s largest source of income, representing 94% of the pie. Inside the site rental revenue segment, 66% of revenue came from the tower segment and 34% came from the fiber segment.

Its biggest tenant by revenue was T-Mobile, which contributed to 38% of its total rent revenue, followed by Verizon at 19% and AT&T at 18%.

crown castle tenant by rent

Company Name Crown Castle
Headquartered In Houston, Texas, USA
Market Cap $48.44 billion
Founded In 1994

8. Digital Realty – $47.69 Billion

Digital Realty was founded by GI Partners, a leading middle-market private equity firm based in San Francisco in 2004, and went public that same year.

It’s a top-performing international real estate investment firm that engages in data center acquisitions, provides property management and real estate brokerage services, and offers mortgage financing solutions to clients.

Its parent company, GI Partners, gradually sold off its ownership and fully exited the investment in 2007.

In 2015, the company acquired the leading data center provider, Telx, for $1.886 billion. Then, the company bought 8 data centers in Europe from Equinix for $874 million in the following year.

Digital Realty closed its acquisition of the European data giant, Interxion, for $8.4 billion in 2020.

digital realty

As of 2023, its biggest institutional shareholders were the Vanguard Group Inc. (15.23%), Blackrock Inc. (10.59%), and Cohen & Steers Inc. (7.19%). It had a market cap of $47.69 billion.

The company records on the US Securities and Exchange Commission in 2023 stated that the biggest market for Digital Realty in terms of annualized rent were:

  • Northern Virginia (19.5%)
  • Chicago (9.0%)
  • London (6.6%)
  • New York (6.2%)
  • Silicon Valley (6.1%)
  • Frankfurt (5.7%)

As of 2024, Digital Realty had over 5,000 global customers and more than 300 data centers across all 6 inhabitable continents.

Since its formation, Digital Realty has experienced stable revenue growth. Its 2023 recorded revenue was $5.34 billion, up from $4.69 billion in 2022.

Company Name Digital Realty
Headquartered In Austin, Texas, USA
Market Cap $47.69 billion
Founded In 2004

9. Realty Income – $44.81 Billion

Established over half a century ago in 1969, Realty Income is one of the biggest real estate companies in the commercial property sector with a market cap of $44.81 billion at the time of writing. Realty Income has a proven track record of targeting high-value real estate agents in the industry, acquiring powerful companies to polish their portfolio, and expanding their reach.

realty income logo

The real estate business was formed after William and Joan Clark bought a Taco Bell property directly from its founder, Glen Bell, in Northridge, California, in 1969. Then, the company began leasing and trading office and commercial spaces to tenants and investors. In 1994, Realty Income was listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “O.”

In 2013, it acquired the American Realty Capital Trust for $3.2 billion. The following year, it paid over $3 billion in dividends to shareholders, showcasing a strong return on investments. In 2021, it merged with VEREIT for $17 billion.

According to its public filings at the US Securities and Exchange Commission in 2023, Realty Income owned 13,458 properties across all 50 US states, Europe, and Puerto Rico. That same year, Realty Investment had made a total investment of $9 billion in commercial properties.

The same report stated that Realty Income had approximately 2.1 million leasable square feet and $27.4 million in annualized contractual rent as of December 2023. Its biggest tenants by rent amount included:

  • Dollar General (3.8%)
  • Walgreens (3.8%)
  • Dollar Tree / Family Dollar (3.3)
  • 7-Eleven (3.0%)
  • EG Group Limited (2.5%)
  • Wynn Resorts (2.5%)

realty income by client

Company Name Realty Income
Headquartered In San Diego, California, USA
Market Cap $44.81 billion
Founded In 1969

10. CoStar Group – $35.80 Billion

The final entry on our list of the biggest real estate companies in the US is the CoStar Group. The company was founded by Andy Florance, who continued to serve as the company CEO as of March 2024, in 1987, in Washington DC. Currently, CoStar Group employs around 5,000 people globally with 75 offices in 14 countries, including Canada, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

CoStar Group owns several popular property search sites including Homes.com and Apartments.com. Its main expansion strategy is to acquire other brokerages and market leaders.

costar group brands

In 2014, it bought Apartments.com for $585 million in cash. The acquisition would turn out to be the most successful investment decision for the company as Apartments.com was revealed to be CoStar Group’s most profitable business segment, generating over $1 billion in 2023.

The market giant also acquired Homes.com from Dominion Enterprises, a Virginia-based software, for $156 million in cash in 2021.

At the time, Homes.com had around 5 million visitors per month and 1.8 million listings. Most agents and companies in the country were using the platform to offer brokerage services. After the acquisition, Homes.com continued to grow. In 2024, the website sold $4.5 million in net within a week.

In 2023, CoStar Group bought the leading UK commercial property search tool for home sellers and buyers, OnTheMarket, for £1.10 ($1.41) per share, totaling £100 million ($127.59 million). Since then, the agent count on the site has shot up, with thousands more agents joining the portal when 57,000 listings were added following the acquisitions.

CoStar Group aims to digitalize the real estate industry, matching home buyers with home sellers through digital channels, allowing greater flexibility and visibility.

The CoStar Group’s 2023 revenue was $2.46 billion, a 13% increase from last year.

Company Name CoStar Group
Headquartered In Washington DC, USA
Market Cap $35.80 billion
Founded In 1987

Becoming the Biggest Real Estate Company in the US

The thriving real estate industry brings tremendous opportunities to companies and agents in the sector. These largest real estate companies drive prices and the future development of real estate brokerage in the US. In 2024, they continue to bring in trillions of dollars to the US economy, providing immense opportunities for professionals and investors.

The companies we covered all have a track record of making smart business decisions in mergers and acquisitions with other leading agents and property owners in the real estate industry. A major trend across the real estate industry in the US is the use of acquisitions to drive growth and increase sales, square footage, and agents without time-consuming organic growth strategies.

As a growing realtor, this can help you to develop an exit strategy, knowing that once you reach a certain size, you have companies up the chain ready to realize your value. As an investor, you can use this list to identify strong companies and REITs to help diversify your portfolio. The lessons you can learn from these major real estate players can give you both guidance and inspiration when you operate in the real estate sector.

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