Luxury Brokerage Recruits Top Compass Agents for North Bay Expansion

Top all-star athletes aren’t the only ones being lured every which way by competition. Even in a decelerating economy, competition for top talent in every industry remains high.

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Universities attract the best college talents by offering free laptops upon admission (Berea College in Kentucky), indoor lazy river and waterfall at the gym (University of Missouri), surprisingly cheap campus healthcare (John Hopkins University).

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Giant tech companies like Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon also one-up each other to recruit the brightest minds in tech by offering the best healthcare and retirement plans, free $2,ooo a year travel expenses (Airbnb), free gourmet meals (Dropbox), 4-months paid parental leave (Facebook), and free hair stylists, massage, car washes, oil changes (Google).

Image result for free food at techPhoto: Wall Street Journal
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Image result for free food at airbnb company perksPhoto: Business Insider

To poach top-earning producers, companies certainly need to be creative, as their competitors already are.

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It is no different in the real estate industry where brokerages exert much effort, creativity and money into enticing top talent, as well. Privately-owned German brokerage, Engel & Völkers, with around 520 residential property offices and 49 commercial offices in the U.S., is an international real estate player actively operating in 39 countries.

The company brokers residential, retail, office/industrial spaces, investment properties, multi-purpose apartments/office blocks and has property portfolios that offer both private and institutional clients. Headquartered in London, Hamburg, Germany, New York, and Hong Kong, it has a workforce of more than 7,000 people, and is a major player in the Yachting and Aviation industries as well.

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Recently, Compass Real Estate lost several top agents and gained new competition next door now that international luxury brokerage Engel & Völkers has launched two new offices in Napa and St. Helena with former Compass agents. Engel & Völkers plans to eventually open three more in the North Bay, per Business Insider.

The new Engel & Völkers offices will include former Pacific Union International agents Stefan Jezycki, Agi Smith, Will Densberger and Pavi Micheli, who each have more than 10 years of experience with Pac Union before the company was absorbed into Compass last year.

They join Michael Muters and eight other agents from Bradley Real Estate Group, together adding more than $200 million in annual sales volume to Engel & Völkers.

Image result for engel & völkersEngel & Völkers Bahamas photo courtesy of The Nassau Guardian

Compass has lost notable top talent since it acquired Pacific Union in September. Last month Marin mansion super-agent Tracy McLaughlin left to lead the new Marin branch of The Agency. Not long after, Steve Gothelfswitched to Sotheby’s International covering the same luxury residential market in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights as he did for four decades at Pacific Union. Both agents have sold more than $1 billion in luxury real estate over the course of their careers.

“Stefan and Agi are great agents and we wish them the best,” said Peter Jonas, Compass west region president, in a statement.

Image result for compass real estate san franciscoPhoto of Compass office at 891 Beach St courtesy of San Francisco Real Estate

Were the Compass agents recruited?

Benson said that the new agents from Bradley and Compass were not recruited, but that partnerships formed “organically” as a fit for E&V’s strategy to emphasize hyper-local expertise over agency size.

“The concept was, rather than hire 50 agents for a market, we have this elite group,” Benson said. “If we work smart, we can cover the corridor with less agents.”

Muters said E&V’s international name recognition and professionalism were a strong attraction to join the company, and that he was especially sold on Benson’s vision for the E&V’s near-future growth.

“He told the story and he told it well,” Muters said. He will serve as E&V’s general manager of the North Bay, acting as liaison between the Bay Area offices and Benson.

This is not something new. Last year in August 2018, Compass entered Fort Lauderdale by recruiting agents from Engel & Völkers, per Business Journals.

While Compass might now be keeping one eye on Engel & Völkers, there are also others in the playing field to watch out for – compared to Engel & Volkers, Long & Foster generates $29.9B more revenue; Coldwell Banker has 3,602 more employees than Engel & Volkers; and RE/MAX generates 288% the revenue of Engel & Volkers.

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Photo: Huffington Post
Sources: Business Insider, BusinessBlogs, Wikipedia, Business Journals,

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