Look out, Pacific Northwest: Compass, the New York-based real estate brokerage that emphasizes its unique technology, will soon expand to Seattle and Bellevue with new brick-and-mortar outposts, Inman has learned.
The company, which has rolled out new locations in Chicago, Dallas and San Diego since November 2017, when it first announced its plan to gain 20 percent market share in the top 20 metro markets by 2020, will open locations in the adjacent Pacific Northwest cities within the next eight to 10 weeks, Compass Chief Revenue Officer Rob Lehman told Inman on Monday.
“When you look at the landscape, it’s one of the largest residential and one of the largest luxury markets in the country,” said Lehman, who added that 11 full-time employees have already been tapped to prepare for the opening. “What’s been interesting is the way some of these tech giants like Amazon and Microsoft and Zillow have changed the makeup of the city, and what we see in Seattle is that buyers and sellers are incredibly sophisticated and they’re demanding more from their real estate agents.”
The new Pacific Northwest outposts come just months after the launch in January of a brick-and-mortar location in Dallas’ Uptown neighborhood anchored by a team of 13 agents from The Collective, a year-old brokerage founded by Christy Berry and Jonathan Rosen. Since then, the outpost at 4012 Oak Lawn Avenue has swelled to include 66 agents, a Compass spokeswoman said.
In San Diego, where the company acquired the brokerage P.S. Platinum along with 40 agents, Compass has added 28 new sales agents since opening in February, the spokeswoman said.
“We’ve been really excited about the reception we’ve received in both of those markets,” Lehman said. “This is a very important year for us. In order to launch the number of markets we want to successfully, we need to see traction very quickly, and the rate in which we’ve seen inbound traffic, the rate with which we’ve seen these markets embrace us, tells us that there’s been a gap in the market.”
The company’s 2020 vision plan, known internally as “2020 by 2020,” also calls for expansion into Phoenix; Austin, Texas; Houston; Atlanta; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Philadelphia by later this year. Compass currently operates in New York City; The Hamptons; Boston; Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles and Orange County; Santa Barbara and Montecito, California; Aspen, Colorado; Chicago, Dallas, San Diego and the San Francisco Bay Area.
Compass’s expansion, ushered along with a record-setting $550 million Series E funding round late last year through the Softbank Vision Fund and Fidelity Investments, will run in tandem with plans to create a custom Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform for the company’s 2,000 agents, new digital marketing tools and new solar-powered sales signage.
The Seattle opening, meanwhile, comes just weeks after the abrupt departures in March of Chief Financial Officer Craig Anderson and former Chief Technology Officer Liming Zhao, who resigned shortly after he was reassigned to the position of chief information security officer.
Anderson, who joined Compass in September to replace longtime CFO David Snider, “parted ways” with the company, in part as a result of the $550 million Series E funding round late last year that greatly magnified the company’s scale, and thus necessitated the talents of a CFO with prior experience overseeing the financials of a company of such a size.
Zhao, company executives said at the time, intends to launch his own company.
“After four and a half years at Compass, Liming Zhao has decided that he would like to start his own company,” Reffkin told Inman in a prepared statement last month. “As a company of entrepreneurs building for entrepreneurs, this is something we celebrate at Compass. We are grateful for Liming’s many contributions to Compass.”
On Monday, a Compass spokeswoman said the search to fill the CFO position was continuing.
Email Jotham Sederstrom