• Top 9 Real Estate Agencies in Japan: An Overview

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    Japan is a popular country for overseas real estate investors, many come from mainland China, Singapore, and Hong Kong in the Asia Pacific region.

    Having said that, finding a local real estate agent can be difficult unless you speak the local language and have sufficient knowledge of the market.

    It’s often beneficial working with an international agent with in-depth experience that can guide you through the buying process and give recommendations.

    In this article, we review the top nine agencies available, focusing on property agents in the Tokyo area.

    1. Ken Corporation

    Ken Corporation established its first office in 1972 and now has seven offices in Tokyo and one in Yokohama. Having as many as 480 employees and managing around 13,000 properties, the company has established a great footprint in Tokyo.

    You’ll also find a number of affiliated companies directly connected to Ken Corporation, working with a number of services like hotel management, investment advice, design & construction, and more.

    Property types

    The company mainly manages residential properties such as apartments, condos, and houses.

    Services offered

    • Sales and leasing
    • Property management
    • Expat assistance

    Office address

    1 Chome-2-7 Nishiazabu, Minato, Tokyo 106-8640, Japan

    2. Cushman & Wakefield Japan

    Cushman & Wakefield is one of the biggest real estate agencies in the world with around 45,000 professionals in 70 countries.

    They opened the first office in Japan in 1997 and currently have around 100 professionals. The team comprises both Japanese and foreigners.

    The firm has won different awards over the years, including The Best Employer for Women by Forbes in 2020, America’s Best Employers by Forbes in 2019, and more.

    Property types

    The company manages both residential and commercial properties, including:

    • Apartments
    • Houses
    • Hotels
    • Office space
    • Retail properties

    Services offered

    • Tenant Advisory
    • Agency Leasing
    • Capital Markets – Investment Sales & Asset Management
    • Valuation & Advisory
    • Project & Development Services
    • Retail Services
    • Logistics Services
    • Japan Desk

    Office address

    Sanno Park Tower 13F 2-11-1 Nagatacho 2-11-1 Nagatacho Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo,, Japan, Chiyoda, Tokyo 100-6113, Japan

    3. CBRE Japan

    CBRE is the biggest commercial real estate company in the world and opened up its first Japanese branch in 1970.

    The company has grown quickly and currently serves many other cities: Sapporo, Sendai, Yokohama, Osaka, Nagoya, Kanazawa, Hiroshima, and Fukuoka.

    CBRE Japan’s management consists of many foreigners who have long experience in the real estate industry. The company has received many awards in previous years such as:

    • “Office Team of the Year” – RICS 2016 Hong Kong Property Awards
    • “Best Deal of the Year” – RICS 2015 Hong Kong Property Awards ​​​​

    Property types

    CBRE works with large clients and commercial real estate, managing warehouses, data centers, offices, and more.

    Services offered

    • Sales and leasing
    • Valuation
    • Property management
    • Consulting
    • Others

    Office address

    Meiji Yasuda Seimei Building, 2-1-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0005

    4. Colliers International Japan

    With more than 15,000 professionals working in 69 offices worldwide, Colliers is one of the biggest real estate agencies globally.

    It was originally founded in Canada in 1898 but became a major player as a result of the merger with three other companies. The company moved to the United States in 1976.

    Despite being one of the biggest agencies globally, Colliers announced they will set up their first office in Tokyo in September 2017.

    Property types

    Colliers manages both residential and commercial properties, including apartments, houses, factories, retail properties, office space, and more.

    Services offered

    • Tenant representation
    • Corporate solutions
    • Project management
    • Capital markets
    • Investment services
    • Valuation & advisory

    Office address

    6 Chome-9-6 Shinbashi, Minato, Tokyo 105-0004, Japan

    5. JLL Japan

    Jones Lang Lasalle (JLL) was established in 1783 and one of the oldest and most renowned real estate agencies globally. The company has almost 80,000 professionals working in 80 countries and is a Fortune 500 company.

    JLL opened its first office in Tokyo in 1985 and has added two more offices, in Fukuoka and Osaka. The company has 1,000 professionals in Japan, helping both local and foreign buyers.

    The following companies are related to the main company JLL K.K.:

    • Integrated General Administration Services K.K.
    • Jones Lang LaSalle Constructions K.K.
    • JLL Mall Management K.K.
    • JLL Morii Valuation & Advisory K.K.

    Property types

    Include both residential and commercial properties, for example, retail properties, office space, apartments, houses, and more.

    Services offered

    • Sales and leasing
    • Facilities management
    • Consulting
    • Portfolio management
    • Others

    Office address

    JLL K.K., Prudential Tower, 2-13-10, Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0014

    6. Century 21

    Century 21 has one of the largest networks of franchised real estate agencies globally. Over 100,000 professionals work in 7,000 different offices in almost 80 countries.

    Century 21 Sky Realty was founded by Kenneth Arbour in Tokyo in 1985 and currently has 11 employees, including both foreigners and Japanese nationals.

    Kenneth has resided in Japan for decades where he also has his family.

    Property types

    The company mainly sells residential properties like apartments and houses in Tokyo.

    Services offered

    • Residential leasing
    • Office leasing
    • Asset and property management
    • Investment transactions

    Office address

    Century 21 SKY Realty, Inc., Yatsuka Bldg. 1F, 1-3-8, Higashi-Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0044, Japan

    7. RE/MAX Japan

    RE/MAX is, together with Century 21, one of the biggest franchised real estate networks in the world. The company was founded in Denver, Colorado, in 1973 and has more than 90,000 professionals in over 7,000 offices.

    The first Japanese office was opened in 2013 and they have managed to expand much since then.

    The company is a member of the Tokyo Real Estate Association, the National Association for Real Estate Transaction Guaranty, the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan, and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

    Property types

    Include all kinds of residential and commercial properties, for example:

    • Houses
    • Land
    • Condos
    • Retail properties
    • Office space
    • Others

    Services offered

    The company helps locals and foreigners to buy, sell, or rent properties in Tokyo, but also other cities.

    Office address

    Access map 4th Floor, Yotsuya ISY Building 2-12-5 Yotsuya Ward, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0004

    8. Savills Japan

    Established in London in 1855, Savills is one of the oldest and biggest real estate agencies in the world. The company has 30,000 professionals worldwide and hundreds in Japan.

    Savills Japan has grown rapidly since it was established through Savills acquisition of GMAC Commercial Mortgage Japan in 2004, at that time, part of General Motors.

    The company is particularly active in the property management industries in Asia, something that can be noticed in countries like Vietnam and Thailand.

    Property types

    The company manages both commercial and residential properties, for example, apartments, houses, office space, retail property, and more.

    Services offered

    • Investment Advisory
    • Research & Consultancy
    • Valuation
    • Tenant Representation
    • Property Management
    • Office Leasing

    Office address

    15F Yurakucho ITOCIA, 2-7-1 Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 100-0006, Japan

    9. Mitsui Fudosan Realty

    Mitsui Fudosan is one of the biggest real estate developers in Japan, but also has a handful of brokerages. They have been ranked as a top agency that supports foreigners and locals alike.

    On contrary to many of the above-mentioned agents, Mitsui Fudosan Realty focuses primarily on residential units.

    Mitsui Real Estate Sales Co., Ltd. was started in 1969 and merged with the subsidiary of Mitsui Rehouse, and established Mitsui Fudosan Realty Co., Ltd.

    Property types

    • Office Buildings
    • Retail Properties
    • Hotels and Resorts
    • Homes and Living

    Office address

    3-2-5, Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan

    How much do I have to pay my real estate agent?

    You generally pay 3% of the sales or assessed value, plus JPY 60,000, and minus consumption tax as the brokerage fee.

    Just making some comparisons, in Hong Kong you pay 1%, and in the Philippines 2-3%.

    Can I get a property loan as a foreigner in Japan?

    Obtaining a property loan as a non-resident foreigner is difficult and you generally have to fulfill any of the following requirements:

    • Be married to a Japanese spouse
    • Work in Japan
    • Having a spouse that possesses a residence permit
    • Be a permanent resident

    Should I hire a solicitor in Japan?

    Even if Japan has a transparent and well-functioning legal system, you need to work with a local solicitor to help you in the conveyancing process. Your real estate agent can generally help you to identify one.

    The seller might not be able to speak Japanese and a lot of documents will be written in the Japanese language.

    Solicitors can help you with many items, for example:

    • To communicate with the seller
    • Draft the contracts
    • Manage communication with local authorities
    • Check the title deed at the LAB (the Legal Affairs Bureau)

    Keep in mind that you can deduct Solicitor fees from the withholding tax, which is charged to the rental income.


  • Disclaimer: The content on this website is provided for general information about buying property in Asia, developments, agencies, regulations, taxes, and other related topics. However, we don't guarantee that we keep the content up to date or that it's free from error. We do make mistakes from time to time. We never provide legal advice and financial advice of any sort.
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