Compass has scooped up Conlon Real Estate, the luxury boutique brokerage run by Sean Conlon, to bolster its Chicago market presence. The acquisition of Conlon Real Estate, founded in 2009 and formerly of Christie’s, will bring Compass’s agent count in Chicago up to 300 agents and a sales volume in 2017 of $600 million, the New York-based brokerage said today in a press statement.
Compass first arrived in Chicago late last year, as part of its declared aim to gain 20 percent market share in the top 20 metro markets by 2020, with the first of three brick-and-mortar Chicago locations and the hiring of 20 new agents, including top producer, Jeff Lowe of The Lowe Group from Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and Joe Siciliano of Coldwell Banker.
The Birmingham-born, Irish-raised Conlon is a well known figure in the city, the host of CNBC show, “The Deed: Chicago,” a reality TV show on flipping homes which shows the actual hard work behind doing this kind of thing.
As for his deal with Compass, Conlon said in a statement: “This is a great move for our clients and agents alike, who will benefit from Compass’ technology and national network of luxury buyers, sellers and agents.”
Conlon later told Inman in a phone interview that he only had a conversation a week ago with Compass’ Chrissy Oliver and said it was the quickest deal he’d ever done.
Conlon also sought to clarify that, including referrals and deals that didn’t make the MLS, Conlon Real Estate netted over $700 million in sales volume in 2017. He said he’s had other real estate businesses before Conlon Real Estate. So why join Compass now?
“It would be a great ride,” Conlon told Iman, adding he’s been very impressed by the leadership team at Compass. “I think they are doing something that sets them apart in the business,” Conlon said. He went on to say that Compass liked his company’s infrastructure, with five offices strategically placed on the North Shore and in the upmarket western suburbs of Chicago, including Hinsdale and Winnetka.
Conlon told Inman that it would be his life’s ambition to lead a Compass London office (there are presently no overseas Compass offices).
Robert Reffkin, founder and CEO of Compass added in the prepared statement: “As we began to look at ways to grow our footprint in the Chicagoland area, it became clear that the expertise and community ties Conlon agents have in the market, paired with their dedication to supporting their clients through the entire real estate experience makes Conlon a great addition to Compass.”
Compass also confirmed today that its Seattle office was officially opened. It has acquired Northwest Group Real Estate (NWG) a brokerage of 25 agents led by founder Nick Glant. Compass has also hired 14 Seattle-based employees and will open substantial offices in Seattle and Bellevue.
“Seattle is a natural fit for Compass as a booming real estate market and headquarters to so many of world’s best technology companies,” said Reffkin.
The company committed today to expanding to every major U.S. city and opening 70 new offices this year in its press statement, no doubt buoyed by its massive $550 million in funding from investors late last year. Since launching in 2012, Compass has grown to a $2.2 billion company with more than 60 offices in 14 cities nationwide and 3,000 agents. The company said today it planned to enter five more of what it views as “top U.S. markets” before the end of 2018, a necessary move if it wants to reach Reffkin’s stated goal of having 20 percent marketshare in the top 20 metropolitan markets of the U.S. by 2020.
The tech-led brokerage is currently in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, Washington D.C., Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Orange County, The Hamptons, Santa Barbara and Montecito and Aspen.
A company spokeswoman said there was no news yet on a new CFO or CTO for the company, with the departures of CFO, Craig Anderson and former Chief Technology Officer Liming Zhao in March.