Twenty-two agents have moved to Dudum Real Estate Group since May, 20 of who were previously members of Alain Pinel Realtors, a brokerage Compass acquired last year.

A total of 22 San Francisco Bay Area Compass agents have moved to Dudum Real Estate Group since the end of May, 20 of which were previously with Alain Pinel Realtors (APR), a family-owned brokerage Compass acquired last year.

APR had been operating in the Bay Area for about 30 years, and was one of a few brokerages that Compass had acquired in the San Francisco Bay Area in recent years.

Julie Del Santo | Dudum Real Estate Group

The group of agents who have transitioned includes Lori Legler, who was previously in an upper management role at Compass, and is now serving as Dudum Real Estate Group’s regional vice president. Rick Turley, a veteran leader of APR, also recently moved to Engel & Völkers from Compass at the beginning of June. The 22-agent migration will add about $200 million in transactions to Dudum Real Estate Group’s ranks of 160 agents, according to Julie Del Santo, founder of the brokerage.

Agents from Compass’ Danville and Orinda offices will now operate out of Dudum Real Estate Group’s Danville and Lamorinda offices in an effort to seek out a more familial culture during a time of crisis, Del Santo told Inman.

“The common theme was, and is, ‘Wow, this feels like family again,'” Del Santo said of the sentiment among agents that recently made the move.

In their discussions, Del Santo said former Compass agents had told her that they were struggling to fit into the company’s culture, which they felt was entrenched in its tech platform, even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. But, once the pandemic hit, Compass agents told Del Santo, “I feel like our whole support structure just fell below us when we needed it the most.”

“I respect [Compass] as a company, but I think it’s just a different philosophy,” Del Santo said.

The broker/owner noted that she’s had a few agents onboard from other brokerages within the past month as well — including from The Agency and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices — but nowhere near as many as have come over from Compass.

Kaaren Brickman, a former agent of Compass’ Orinda office who’s now been with Dudum Real Estate Group for about three weeks, said the pandemic made her reflect on how she could best help her community during a time of crisis, and that she ultimately determined that joining a smaller, local brokerage would be the best way to do that.

Kaaren Brickman | Dudum Real Estate Group

“I thought it was important to get focused back on [the] community, so I did some research and decided to join a firm that was community-based,” Brickman told Inman. “I think everybody was trying to find ways to support their community, whether it was buying gift cards to local restaurants [or something else]. And I thought joining a local brokerage would be a good way to do that.”

Regarding other agents who recently made the switch from Compass to Dudum, Brickman said she couldn’t speak to anyone’s specific experience, but she does believe many were seeking “like-minded” individuals focused on community and supporting each other.

“I definitely feel like I’m not the only one who valued and treasured the importance of a smaller brokerage,” Brickman said. “I think it was being around like-minded individuals who care about the community where they sell.”

“We respect their decision and wish them well in their next chapter,” Peter Jonas, president of Compass West, said in a statement, regarding the recent outflow of agents.

Del Santo told Inman that a few additional Compass agents are currently considering making the move to her brokerage as well, but Compass is making its case with competitive counter-offers.

“I won’t compete with 100 percent splits,” Del Santo told Inman. “It’s not who we are. It’s hard to go against, but it’s not our philosophy.”

The brokerage’s supportive staff and marketing capabilities are what Del Santo believes sets Dudum Real Estate Group apart from other brokerages.

“Our differentiating factors [are] support staff that cares, extraordinary marketing, and we give that true company culture even during a pandemic,” Del Santo said.

Email Lillian Dickerson

Compass | coronavirus
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