On the streets of real estate gossip-land, you hear two contrary narratives about New York-based hyper-funded Compass. It is successfully powering through its growing pains, grabbing up market share from the old guard. Or, it may implode under the weight of its spectacular growth. When I travel the country talking with brokers, invariably Compass enters the conversation with them asking, “what do you hear?” They aren't trembling, but they probe for hints that the intruder might be tripping itself up. Whatever the truth, it has roiled local brokers, setting itself up for a purported lawsuit in one big market by a large national real estate company that is freaking out over agent and manager poaching. Compass argues most agents come to them. For sure, the start-up’s compass is pointed due north as it does the notorious tech land grab. Its sister company (unrelated but akin in hoopla and strategy) Redfin took ten years to get a foothold in markets throughout the US....
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