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A founding agent of Compass’ Houston office is jumping ship to Martha Turner Sotheby’s as the now-public company reaches a critical juncture, according to a report.
Beene was attracted by the global reach of the Sotheby’s brand, he said in a press release shared by Sotheby’s.
“I am excited to join the brand; the unparalleled global reach of Sotheby’s International Realty will certainly benefit my business, and the agents, staff and culture of Martha Turner Sotheby’s International Realty on the ground here in Houston are an added benefit,” Beene said in the press release.
Beene worked for the luxury brokerage John Daughtery before it was purchased by Douglas Elliman as their Houston outpost. He represented buyers and sellers in transactions totaling over $32 million in 2021, according to Sotheby’s.
“Brian’s departure was in the best interest of both parties,” Seita Jongebloed, Managing Director for Compass in Greater Houston said in a statement provided to Inman. “We wish him the best in his future endeavors and look forward to continuing to work with him through our Compass agents across Greater Houston.”
Beene’s departure from Compass follows that of his partner Ashton Martini. Compass’ footprint in Houston remains large, with six of the top 10 small teams in Houston in terms of 2021 sales volume all affiliated with Compass.
Compass has seen the winds shift in recent weeks after its second-quarter earnings revealed its losses ballooning 1,325 percent year over year from $7.1 million to $101 million, which the company attributed to “higher expenses related to strategic business initiatives, noncash stock compensation, depreciation and amortization as well as restructuring costs.”
The earnings news was followed by several belt-tightening measures including Compass eliminating its equity and financial incentives for new agents as part of an effort to save the company $320 million over the next year.
The tech-focused brokerage known for its aggressive expansion strategy in recent years suddenly faced a reexamining as a publicly traded company, with real estate expert Mike DelPrete dubbing it the ‘world’s most unprofitable brokerage ever’ in an interview with Motherboard.
“[Compass has] a cash burn problem,” DelPrete said in the interview. “Fundamentally, Compass is a business that spends more money than it makes. And it’s been spending more money than it makes for years now, since inception, so perhaps a decade, and it’s doing it at a scale unprecedented in the real estate space. Compass is the world’s most unprofitable brokerage ever.”