Compass ranked No. 1 in sales volume among all U.S. brokerages in 2021.
- New York, NY
- Annual sales volume:
- $254.2 billion (2021)
- Number of agents:
The company was started by Robert Reffkin, a former investment banker, and Ori Allon, a software engineer, as a technology-powered brokerage that blended in-person assistance with online tools. Avi Dorfman was later acknowledged as a member of the founding team after the company settled a lawsuit with Dorfman in 2021. Originally called Urban Compass, the new brokerage was seeded with $8 million by several venture capital firms and focused on the New York City rental market, but soon expanded into residential real estate. The company now has offices in 67 markets, according to their website. Compass reported assets of more than $1.8 billion in 2021, the year it was listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and was ranked the No. 1 brokerage in sales volume for 2021 in T3 Sixty's Real Estate Almanac.
In addition to their tech initiatives, Compass differentiates itself with "private exclusives" not listed on public websites and shown only to buyers who work with a Compass agent. The brokerage also offers a concierge service that finances home renovations in exchange for the agent receiving a higher commission on the sale.
In 2022, amid substantial losses over the first half of the year, the company announced it would cut expenses by $320 million and laid off 10% of its workforce. It also ended its equity incentive program for new agents which had been central to the company's recruitment efforts.
How they describe themselves
Compass describes itself as "the future of real estate, with the solutions-driven mindset of a startup and the sophistication of a luxury brand." As a tech-forward company, they claim their proprietary software platform "is changing how agents and clients navigate the process of buying and selling a home."
What others are saying
"What Compass did offer to the brokers it recruited, beyond financial promises, was a premium brand ... the ethos at Compass was to build the Nike of real estate," reported Curbed. Despite presenting itself as a disruptor, "the consumer-facing process of working with Compass is scarcely different from that of any other brokerage. If Compass hopes to reach profitability, it will face pressure to stop lavishing its agents with incentives."
Compass established Compass Cares in 2019 to support "meaningful causes locally." The company set a goal of $10 million to give back to the local communities it serves, and in announcing the program, Reffkin stated that 100% of transactions would result in Compass giving a donation.
Did you know?
Consistent with its tech focus, Compass was the first residential brokerage to develop an agent-facing real estate app, according to Entrepreneur.com.