Steve Frankel, a 20-year veteran of Coldwell Banker, closed $98.5 million in sales volume in 2018, making him a top producer at the brokerage.

Three weeks ago, it appeared as though Steve Frankel, an agent who has generated nearly $100 million in sales volume, was set to follow in the footsteps of Chris Cortazzo and Ginger Glass in jumping from Coldwell Banker NRT to Compass.

But after just three weeks at Compass, Frankel has returned to Coldwell Banker.

“The history and parallel values I share with Coldwell Banker, along with the forward direction of the brand in this fast-paced industry, are all of great significance to me,” Frankel said in a statement. “In my commitment to provide my clients with the highest level of service and most effective tools, I feel most at home with the company that I’ve known for more than 20 years.”

Steve Frankel, Coldwell Banker

Steve Frankel, Coldwell Banker

Frankel, a 20-year veteran of Coldwell Banker, closed $98.5 million in sales volume in 2018, which ranked 151st in the country, according to the Real Trends Thousand. The Beverly Hills resident has been a consistent top producer for the company, ranking eighth in sales volume for all Southern California Coldwell Banker agents in 2018 and spending a decade in Coldwell Banker’s Society of Excellence, a top honor at the company.

“We are so proud of [Frankel] for making the decision to return,” Jamie Duran, president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Southern California, said in a statement. “[Frankel is one of the most dedicated, hard-working professionals affiliated with our company, and I know that it’s important for him to know that he’s supported by a team that works just as hard to ensure his clients receive the superior level of service they require and expect.”

A Compass source told Inman that Coldwell Banker made three separate counter-offers to Frankel, whereas Compass only made the initial offer to Frankel that led to his departure. As of now, four agents that came to Compass with Frankel, will stay with Compass.

“Compass is at the forefront of a swiftly changing real estate industry,” Kamini Lane, Compass’ president for the Southern California region, said in a statement, regarding the change. “Through our innovative technology and services like Compass Concierge, we have created something far more progressive than the traditional brokerage model.”

“Innovation means change, and sometimes, an agent is simply not ready to make that change,” Lane added. “We have the highest regard for [Frankel] and wish him continued success in his future pursuits. We look forward to working with those agents from his team who will remain at Compass.”

The recruitment of the two high-profile agents last August, came on the heels of Compass’ latest $370 million funding round, and rival brokerages have accused Compass of using its $1.5 billion raised from venture capital firms to recruit agents with high signing bonuses.

That allegedly aggressive recruitment led Coldwell Banker NRT’s parent company Realogy to file a lawsuit against Compass over “unfair business practices and illegal schemes to gain market share at all costs.”

In the lawsuit filing, Realogy alleges “Compass offers compensation packages to competitors’ employees and real estate agents that are so inflated that Compass is sure to operate at a loss, and not just in the short term.”

“Compass has leveraged more than $1 billion in funding from outside investors to make up for the losses it has incurred by grossly overpaying, and thus poaching, its competitors’ employees and independent real estate agents,” the complaint continues.

Last summer, Coldwell Banker CEO Ryan Gorman compared Compass’ recruiting efforts to snag top agents to “shoplifting,” at Inman Connect in Las Vegas. 

Update: Story updated with comment from Compass.

Email Patrick Kearns

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