Rapidly growing venture-funded brokerage Compass has opened for business in Houston, its 23rd major market nationwide and fourth market in Texas following Dallas, Fort Worth and Austin.
“We’re attracted to dynamic markets that represent really big opportunities,” said Compass Chief Growth Officer Rob Lehman in a statement. “Houston is on pace to become the third-largest city in the nation and is brimming with potential.”
“We are excited to be entering the market with this productive, diverse and collaborative group of agents, and look forward to helping them grow their business with our technology and support,” he added.
Compass’ Houston efforts will be led by Heritage Texas Properties’ Mike Mahlstedt and Marnie Greenwood, Greenwood King’s Courtney Robertson, Carol Rowley, Caroline Bean, Louise Carter and Leigh McFarlane, and John Daugherty Realtors’ Bryan Beene, who collectively have raked in $7.4 million in gross commission income over the past 12 months.
Although Compass has yet to choose a location for its flagship Houston office — it is deciding between The Galleria, River Oaks, and Upper Kirby — homebuyers are now able to browse more than 43,000 Houston listings on Compass’ site. The company has hired seven full-time local employees and aims to bring on additional expert marketers, designers and administrators to support the agents.
Compass launched in Nashville last week, moving the company closer to meeting its ambitious expansion goals that include gobbling up 20 percent of the market share in the top 20 U.S. metro areas by 2020 and bringing Compass to international destinations. The company currently has more than 8,000 agents across 165 offices in more than 80 cities nationwide.
Much of Compass’ rapid-fire expansion has been driven by $1.2 billion in venture capital funding led by the Soft Bank Vision Fund that invested $400 million in September 2018 and $450 million in December 2017.
Currently valued at $4.4 billion, Compass has also been making upgrades to its end-to-end agent platform, releasing new tech products such as a customizable smartphone-controlled listing sign, aggressively recruiting agents from top brokerages, and making big acquisitions.
Compass’ biggest competition in the market comes from three Keller Williams offices (Signature, The Woodlands, and Memorial), which closed a collective 14,268 transaction sides in 2017; Coldwell Banker United/Sotheby’s International Realty/Zip Realty/NRT, which closed more 8,680 transaction sides in 2017; Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene, which closed 8,616 transaction sides and Latter and Blum ERA, which closed 5,703 transaction sides according to REAL Trends 2018 Market Leaders report.