The Real Deal New York

Inside a Compass job offer

Corcoran suit reveals details of compensation package startup offered to key manager

March 24, 2015 06:14PM
By E.B. Solomont

Compasscontract

(Credit: Juan Zielaskowski)

UPDATED: 8:19 p.m., March 24: When Gene Martinez, the former Soho manager for the Corcoran Group, decamped to Compass earlier this year, he accidentally left a key document on his Corcoran work computer: a copy of his job offer from Compass.

Now, thanks to a new lawsuit in which Corcoran accuses Compass of “brazenly” poaching agents, that offer has come to light, offering a glimpse at how the startup brokerage lured so many top agents and managers in recent months.

According to the suit, a copy of which The Real Deal obtained yesterday, Corcoran got its hands on the job offer after hearing that Martinez was working in New York and not in Miami, as he allegedly told Corcoran. In an affidavit, CEO Pam Liebman said: “Martinez left a copy of the Compass/Martinez Agreement on his work computer at Corcoran and it was discovered during a review of Martinez’s work email after rumors surfaced during the week of February 23, 2015 that Martinez was present and working in New York.”

Corcoran spotted a red flag while combing through the contract, the suit says. Despite Martinez’s agreement to forgo work for a Corcoran competitor for nine months, he told Compass otherwise, according to the suit.

“You represent that you are not bound by any employment contract,” says Compass’ offer to Martinez, a copy of which is included in the case file. “[Compass] acknowledges you had a prior agreement with The Corcoran Group which shall not be deemed applicable to this provision.”

According to court documents, Martinez was earning a salary of $350,000 at Corcoran. Compass, which is backed by serious venture capital money, offered Martinez a base salary of $400,000 plus other incentives, according to court documents.

In a statement to TRD, Compass claimed: “At Corcoran, Gene’s all-in compensation was in excess of $600,000. Gene elected to take a lower compensation package at Compass because he firmly believes in the vision of the company.”

The statement added: “Given that he is working in DC and Miami, and that he received explicit approval from Corcoran to do so at Compass in those regions, Gene and Compass agreed that his New York non-compete provision with Corcoran was not deemed applicable and stated so in his agreement.”

Details of the offer Compass made to Martinez are below.

Compass’ offer to Gene Martinez (source: lawsuit filed by Corcoran on March 23, 2015)

Base salary

2015: $400,000 (annualized)

2016: $425,000

2017: $450,000

2018: $475,000

Signing bonus

One-time payment of $120,000

Annual individual bonus amount (Based on his performance as Compass’ lead employee for “sourcing, recruiting, hiring and retaining agents” that generate $10 million in gross commission income for the company.)

$175,000 (first year)

$150,000 (second year)

$125,000 (third year)

$100,000 (fourth year)

Referral fee

20 percent of Compass’ gross commissions, for clients referred to the firm

Expense account

$3,500 monthly for travel, food and lodging in Miami in connection with Compass’ expansion there

Benefits

20 days vacation

Stock options

Incentive stock option to purchase 58,979 shares of common stock at the “fair market value.” (The total number of shares issued by Compass was not disclosed, but the startup was valued at about $360 million in July, following a $40 million Series B round.)

 

  • Clownpass

    Wow. Nice package but it doesn’t cover the damage of a soiled reputation inside the real estate industry.

  • HamHocks

    for all the talk of innovation and new ways of doing business, looks like they are just buying talent by paying them much bigger splits and salaries than their track records have earned them, like so many other startups that have tried to break into the NYC market over the years.

  • Marvin Weiss

    The lawsuit makes a lot more sense now.

  • Wall Hilkie

    No wonder people are fleeing their firms to go to Compass. This sort of pay far surpass what I got as a manager for Halstead.

  • NYC Penthouses

    Eyeopening!

  • YourJoeBroker

    What can I say, but WOW. Is there a career page on Compass’ homepage, because I am leaving this rag tag firm I work for and jumping ship.

  • NYC Broker

    It’s scary that Corcoran is looking through their peoples personal files and hacking their emails. Cleary Gene didn’t give them this document. Everyone at Corcoran should be scared of what’s flowing through their emails and what Corcoran is stealing. Also, if Corcoran could do this and smear Gene’s name, one of the nicest people in the industry, they could do it to any of their managers and agents.

  • Urban Buddha

    Oof

  • “Nice Compass Offer”

    Sounds like a Corcoran Martinez problem, give Gene a good spanking for breaking his Corcoran contract.

  • Private Info

    I have a hard time believing Gene accidentally left his contract on his computer. Corcoran is clearly going through peoples private files and hacking their emails. I don’t know how anyone could work for a company that would do this. Gene was one of the golden children of Corcoran and one of the nicest people in the business. If they could smear his name they could do that to anyone.

  • Am I missing something

    I feel like I’m missing something. Does anyone really think Compass will lose a suit or pay damages? This suit reads the same as the other NRT / citihabitats suit that went nowhere. All that happened is Corcoran gave Comass a level of credibility they could only dream of. To have the most powerful brokerage in the largest real estate market in the world sue Compass for hiring their agents and taking their associated revenue, only signals to the world that Compass is having a real impact on the space. The winners get sued — Facebook, Goldman, google, Uber. Not a good historical outcome for those that sue. Good luck Corcoran.

    • Hennessy

      TOWN won a very similar lawsuit last year that they had filed against Reid Price. Some people take written agreements very seriously.

      • What?

        What are you talking about??? Reid Price broke his town non compete by working in NYC. Gene works in Miami and DC and received permission from Pam to do so. Maybe you didn’t read this article. Maybe he visited NY for a few days but he is in Miami.

  • Corcoran Broker

    I’m a Corcoran broker and am disgusted that they treated Gene this way. I want to be proud of my company but this makes it hard. Not going to Compass but not staying at Corcoran either.

  • Skeptic

    I don’t believe Gene accidently left his offer letter on the computer. Agents should be worried that these firms are looking through their personal emails and personal files.

    • Genius

      Umm… Personal emails and personal files belong in gmail accounts accessed through personal iPads . Every independent agent agreement and management contract in this business contains the clause stating that anything and everything used or accessed through company email and servers are the property of the company.

  • Smoking Gun

    SMOKING GUN — if gene broke his non-compete from having a job in NY, then why would his Facebook pictures be in miami — see this picture of his new car in Miami — https://m.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10203539623392798&id=1280974874&substory_index=1

    • NYC Broker

      The worst part about this is Corcoran leadership are Facebook friends with him and they knew he moved to miami.

    • Hennessy

      So many New Yorkers also have homes in Florida, and a car lease on an Audi is chump change to someone making mid six figures, especially when it’s being expensed.

  • TomDUWS

    I guess the real question may be – can Corcoran prove he was actually working in NY? Or as someone else suggested, just visiting here after relocating to Miami.?

MENU