Compass announced Friday the launch of a new luxury division to focus on the company’s growing footprint in luxury real estate markets. The move is aimed at giving Compass’ luxury agents a differentiated experience and tools to market towards wealthy clients and high-priced properties.
“Talented agents continue to choose Compass as the best place to grow their business,” Robert Reffkin, Compass co-founder and CEO, said in a statement. “A growing number of Compass agents represent a sector of luxury listings that require an exceptional, additional level of support.”
Agents that are part of Compass’ luxury division get access to different services, including, “detailed listing strategies, bespoke marketing, public relations offerings, targeted buyer searches and client mapping, national market reports, digital, social media and print initiatives, and exclusive events,” according to a company release.
The initial launch will include about 75 agents, according to a Compass source, and includes every market in which Compass currently operates. The luxury offering will be available for the most distinctive listings across the country, but the standards on what that specifically constitutes will vary from market-to-market, based on a variety of factors, according to a source.
It’s not clear if agents will operate on a different split, in order to have access to these exclusive tools, as the company specifically declined to disclose agent splits.
The division will be overseen by Lena Johnson, a former advertising and marketing executive at Vogue magazine and Felipe Hernandez, who served in senior marketing roles at luxury retail brands Diane von Furstenberg, Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren.
Prior to leading the luxury division, Johnson and Hernandez launched Compass Curated Portfolio, a newsletter published by the company that highlighted its most elite properties from luxury agents.
“Luxury is not a one-size-fits-all concept and commands a specialized level of support that Compass is uniquely equipped to provide,” Johnson said, in a statement. “I’m excited to build on the wealth of knowledge from our agent community to redefine the luxury real estate space across the country.”
Compass has ramped up its recruiting of top luxury agents in the past year, as the company’s growth strategy shifted from launching new markets to going deeper in existing markets. The company added headline-grabbing agents like Chris Cortazzo, a $500 million-plus agent from Coldwell Banker, the third-ranked agent in the country, as well as Ginger Glass, also a top-75 agent in the country, from Coldwell Banker.
Compass has also grabbed a number of agents from The Agency, a California-based luxury brokerage, as well as other rivals.
In 2019, more than 75 Compass agents were ranked among the top 1 percent of real estate professionals, according to the Real Trends Thousand, Compass said in a release. The company also said a sizable percentage of the $88 billion in real estate that Compass agents sold in 2019 were ultra-luxury properties.
Launching a luxury division isn’t a new concept to the industry. Outside of franchise and brokerage operations like Engel & Völkers and Sotheby’s Internation Realty, which bill themselves as luxury real estate brands, Coldwell Banker has a dedicated luxury division, called Coldwell Banker Global Luxury, which offers luxury agents a differentiated marketing approach and access to some of the world’s most affluent clients.