Compass, last week, quietly made a big change to the way it displays listings on its consumer-facing website. Every non-Compass listing now shows the listing agent and contact information for the listing agent, making Compass’ site aesthetically more similar to Zillow or realtor.com than a brokerage website.

Screenshot from a competitor’s listing on Compass’ website

“We are now showing the true listing agent on every listing on our website, even when they are not Compass agents, ” Compass CEO Robert Reffkin said, in a statement. “We hope other brokerages will appreciate the transparency and trust of always showing their listing agents.”

Accompanying that contact information is a form for agents to fill out to contact the listing agent, again, even if that agent works for a rival brokerage.

The only exception would be if a buyer is already working with a Compass agent and that Compass agent sent the buyer a listing. In that case, the Compass agent would be the point of contact for the buyer.

The move comes at a time when many in the industry are skeptical of Compass’ loud and expeditious growth. When the company acquired industry-beloved customer relationship management tool Contactually, there were concerns that Compass would now have access to competitors data, despite the company’s insistence that would not be the case.

Compass’ acquisitions of both brokerages and talent have drawn plenty of criticism from rivals as well.

This is a, “play nice,” move from Reffkin, who once told Inman in an exclusive interview that he regretted the arrogant tone of Compass’ early marketing.

With the listing agent on their consumer-facing site, Compass is going somewhere that not even Redfin — which has the brokerage-leading listing site — has gone.

A quick survey of listing websites from brokerages showed in every case that the site has the multiple listing service identification number and the name of the brokerage that owns the listing. None have the contact information for the agent.

It also sets Compass up, in the future, to challenge listing portals like Zillow or realtor.com by providing outside listing agents the same level of transparency. Compass has repeatedly called itself a real estate technology company.

Email Patrick Kearns

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