Real estate ranked as top workplaces



  • Real estate firms ranked as top workplaces.
  • The Denver Post ranked top workplaces.
  • LIVE Urban was ranked as No. 1 small business workplace.

By John Rebchook

Live Urban employees are pleased to be ranked No. 1 as a small business workplace.

Live Urban employees are pleased to be ranked No. 1 as a small business workplace.

Real estate ruled as a top place to work in Colorado, according to a special section in Sunday’s Denver Post.

There were at least 18 real estate or real estate related companies that made the list in the fourth annual Top Workplace published by the Post, according to an analysis of the top ranked companies by IREN included residential real estate companies, mortgage lenders, title insurance firms and construction companies as real estate companies.

By that metric, about twice as many real estate companies were ranked than in other popular workplace categories such as finance and health care.

All told, companies in the real estate field accounted for about 13 percent of the 140 companies ranked.

Workplace Dynamics surveyed 219 companies in Colorado. In other words, almost 64 percent of the companies surveyed made the list as having a top workplace. The Top Workplaces program recognizes good employers on 30 regional lists and one national list. The evaluations for the list are based purely on employee opinions.

Real estate companies did especially well in the Small Employers category, defined as those with 150 local employees.

Three companies in that category made the top 10: Live Urban Real Estate, No. 1; PorchLight Real Estate Group, No. 2; and 8z Real Estate, No. 9. (8z is the sponsor of

Griffis Residential, Nova Home Loans, RedPeak Properties, Madison & Co. Properties, Pinnacle Real Estate, Swinerton Builders and Citywide Loans, also made the Small Employers list as a top workplaces.

Another way to look at it: one out of every four small companies on the list was in the real estate business.

John Skrabec, who founded Live Urban, in West Highland, was thrilled with the No. 1 ranking as a small business. (The Post article incorrectly said that Live Urban was in Highland.) Skrabec owns Live Urban with his co-founder, Mark White.

“We are really excited about this award,” Skrabec said on Monday.

He opened Live Urban a decade ago.

“(We) created Live Urban when we were looking for a real estate brokerage that we wanted to work for and we couldn’t find one,” Skrabec said.

“Ten years later, we have a really special group of agents and I can honestly say that I actually like each and every one of them,” Skrabec continued

“That’s pretty rare…to honestly enjoy every single person that you work with,” Skrabec said.

Comments from LIVE employees include:

  • “LIVE has created a great culture. They attract people with positive attitudes;”
“LIVE is a creative and collaborative working environment. Our managing brokers respect us;”
“The working environment is supportive, innovative and within the context of life as a whole;”

  • “Creativity, critical thinking and commitment to the agents;”
  • “I am given the resources to do my job effectively;”
  • And, “I totally trust the owners and managers to give me the feedback I need to do my job well.”

Kentwood Real Estate was no. 5 as far as Midsize Employers, the top real estate company in that category. Midsized businesses are those with 150 to 499 employers.

Also making the list as Midsized Companies were: Apartment Investment and Management Co, or AIMCO; GE Johnson Construction; and First American Title Insurance.

There also was a Workplace Achievers category for companies that would have made a list in another region.

Mortenson Construction, Pinnacle Mortgage Group, Redwood Trust (a real estate investment firm) and Yes! Communities, a property management company, were ranked in the Workplace Achievers category.

No real estate companies were ranked in the Large Employers category, although arguably, HomeAdvisor, a Golden-based company, could be considered in the real estate field, as it provides referrals for a large number of home construction firms and individuals. Its business sector was classified as “consumer services” in the ranking.

HomeAdvisor was ranked No. 22 out of 25 on the list. It has 832 local employees.

U.S. Bank, which makes a lot of real estate loans, also was ranked as one of the Top Employers. Although based in Minneapolis, it has 2,576 local employees. It was ranked 18th.

Have a story idea or real estate tip? Contact John Rebchook at is sponsored by 8z Real Estate. To read more articles by John Rebchook, subscribe to the Colorado Real Estate Journal.



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John Rebchook

John Rebchook has more than 30 years of experience in writing and communications. As the Real Estate Editor for the Rocky Mountain News, he wrote about residential and commercial real estate for 26 years. He has won numerous awards for business stories and columns that he wrote, both as an individual and part of teams. In addition to real estate, he also covered economic development, banking and financing, the airlines, and cable TV for the Rocky. In addition, he was one of the original freelance writers for, covering commercial real estate for the Internet publication.

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