Compass is set to acquire Stribling & Associates, a New York City-based rival, the company confirmed to Inman on Wednesday. 

Compass is set to acquire Stribling & Associates, a New York City-based rival, the company confirmed to Inman on Wednesday.

Elizabeth F. Stribling | Credit: Stribling

The move gives Compass an even bigger presence in New York City, where it was founded as Urban Compass in 2012.

“I could not be more excited to begin a new life at Compass,” Elizabeth F. Stribling, founder and chairman of Stribling & Associates said in a statement. 

“Compass represents the future of real estate brokerage, and Stribling will now be a part of this exciting new world,” Stribling added. “Because of their solid core values, innovative thinking and exceptional platform, we have enthusiastically chosen Compass.”

Elizabeth Ann Stribling-Kivlan, the current president of the brokerage founded by her mother in 1980, said in a statement that she’s watched Compass from the sidelines for the past five years and has been “awed by the marketing, technology and culture that they have and are continuing to build.”

Elizabeth Ann Stribling-Kivlan

Stribling-Kivlan told Inman that she and her mother have no plans to go anywhere and will continue to remain with the company as it enters this new phase, as will the current managers. The company will slowly, over time, be rebranded to Compass.

Stribling-Kivlan also confirmed that Stribling & Associates has been approached by many different companies about acquisition over the years, but only Compass seemed like the right fit. She praised Compass’ culture, technology tools and platforms, as well as it’s agent-centric approach.

“I believe that Compass is the future of real estate,” Stribling-Kivlan told Inman. “I believe they are changing the game.”

Stribling & Associates hasn’t been shy about developing new technology itself, all of which Compass will now own. Stribling & Associates launched Stribling Analytics last year, a consumer-facing site for agents and consumers that acts as a live data center for sales activity in New York City. 

Compass also gets Stribling Marketing Associates in the deal, the project marketing arm of the brokerage, which works with marketing new developments. Compass has its own proprietary marketing software and the addition of Stribling Marketing Associates will no doubt bolster that platform.

A Compass source told Inman that Stribling & Associates’ strength in the area of new development was of particular interest. 

Earlier this year Compass acquired a Contactually, a popular customer relationship management (CRM) tool in an effort to enhance its own CRM, which was powered by Contactually.

Compass, according to the recent Swanepoel Mega 1000, reported sales volume of more than $45 billion, an increase of more than 200 percent over 2017, landing as the third-most productive brokerage in sales volume behind NRT and HomeServices of America. The ranking did not factor in Compass’ early-year acquisition of Alain Pinel Realtors’ more than $12 billion in sales volume.

The New York-based Stribling & Associates closed $1.6 billion in sales volume in 2018, according to the Swanepoel Mega 1000, and the brokerage has 304 agents.

Compass CEO Robert Reffkin | Credit: Compass

Compass is the third-biggest brokerage in New York City in terms of sales volume, and Stribling & Associates is ranked fifth by the same metric, the companies both confirmed to Inman.

“I have always admired Elizabeth, her daughter Elizabeth Ann and the hundreds of impressive agents and managers at Stribling,” Robert Reffkin, founder and CEO of Compass said in a statement. “We’re honored that they have chosen to align their impressive organization with ours.”

“It’s humbling to join forces with such revered industry professionals, and I feel certain that together we can further build an exceptional environment for agents to thrive and further enhance the consumer experience,” Reffkin added.

Stribling & Associates was one of the last big indie brokerages in New York City. Douglas Elliman is owned entirely by Vector Group, a holding company that also includes a tobacco manufacturer. Corcoran is owned by Realogy, both Brown Harris Stevens and Halstead are owned by Terra Holdings and CORE Real Estate is partially owned by The Related Companies. 

“Among the top tier firms I am now the last man standing,” Frederick Peters, CEO of Warburg Realty told Inman.


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