Days after posing in the buff for racy photos meant to entice homebuyers into purchasing a sleek $1.29 million Los Angeles home, luxury agent David Ferrugio has been stripped of his duties at New York-based Compass.
Ferrugio posted nude-but-for-a-robe photos of himself on Instagram scrambling eggs in a kitchen, sleeping in a bed and reading a newspaper in the driveway.
The photos, in and out of 6340 Monterey Road in Monterey Hills, received a rush of mostly positive comments on social media after the agent posted the images on Oct. 11, but he was nonetheless “disassociated” from Compass five days later due to a violation of the company’s social media policy, a spokesman told Inman.
“Compass disassociated the agent in question for violating our social media policy, which prohibits the use of obscene or offensive images,” the Compass spokesperson told Inman.
Beside Instagram, the nude-but-blurred photos initially appeared on TheMLS.com before being yanked off the website by administrators, the Compass spokesperson said, adding that the multiple listing service contacted the brokerage upon viewing the images and promptly issued a separate “violation penalty” to Ferrugio. Compass learned of the illicit photos from the multiple listing service, the spokesperson said.
A version of the Compass listing that does not feature nudity remains on their site, Zillow, Redfin and realtor.com. On Monday, Ferrugio told Inman he made the decision to limit the adult photos to Instagram while keeping the listing on Zillow and realtor.com “professional.”
On Tuesday neither The MLS nor Ferrugio returned calls for comment on the situation.
Although it’s not uncommon for brokerages to monitor agents’ use of social media, the decision by Compass to distance itself from Ferrugio was swift, coming in the wake of similar listing campaigns in which agents appeared to mostly, if not always, avoid penalty.
In one 2018 incident, Texas Realtor Kristin Gyldenege was spared by her brokerage, the Home Pros Real Estate Group, despite a decision by the Houston Association of Realtors to pull pictures from its website after the agent hired models to pose in underwear for marketing photos of 590 Mosswood Drive in Conroe, Texas.
In 2016, meanwhile, Coldwell Banker fired two agents who posed nearly naked in a “Men of Glastonbury Chamber” calendar outside of their professional roles.
Previously, Ferrugio had deployed humor on Instagram to discuss real estate, in one case riffing on commonly mispronounced Los Angeles street names and in another offering up parodies of “The Office.”
Prior to joining Compass in June, Ferrugio tallied stints at luxury brokerages Rodeo Realty and Revel Real Estate. As for his most recent listing, Ferrugio told Inman on Monday that his clients had enthusiastically agreed to the shoot in order to draw attention to the home, which boasts three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a backyard patio memorably captured in a photo of the agent casually sitting naked, legs akimbo.
“My clients are amazing for being open-minded and giving this a fair shot,” Ferrugio said Monday, days after Compass severed ties with the agent.