No deeds are yet trading hands, but new-kid-on-the-Hamptons-block Compass is buying up other assets: the top brokers at rival firms.
The startup’s latest hire, Ed Petrie — the No. 2 agent at the Sotheby’s International Realty office — comes two days after Compass nabbed Ed Reale, a top manager in the Hamptons for Brown Harris Stevens.
All the while, Compass was reportedly negotiating with Sotheby’s top agent, Harald Grant, but Grant will stay put after talks broke down, according to the New York Post.
Compass’ moves have set off a wave of concern among established brokerages that their star agents could be next, sources told The Real Deal.
“It’s an earthquake,” said one industry insider, describing the magnitude of Petrie’s move and the mere prospect of Grant switching firms.
The loss of Petrie is a body blow for Sotheby’s. A top producer for years, he holds claim to $230 million worth of listings, including a $95 million estate spread over 25 acres in Wainscott, N.Y.
Petrie sold more than $205 million worth of real estate last year, according to a ranking by research firm Real Trends. In addition to the $95 million listing, he’s also marketing an East Hampton Beach mansion where the Clintons spent several summers. That property is on the block for $32.5 million.
It’s unclear how many listings Petrie will bring to his new firm, which aggressively poached top agents from competitors in Manhattan and Brooklyn since launching in 2013, also prompting multiple lawsuits from rivals.
“Ed Petrie is a highly successful broker and we are proud of everything he has accomplished at Sotheby’s International Realty,” Sotheby’s President and CEO Kathryn Korte said in a statement. “We wish him continued success and all the best in his future endeavors. Our door is always open should he decide to return.”
The Hamptons market can be a lucrative one for brokers: The average sales price was $1.57 million during the second quarter, up 2.5 percent year over year, according to real estate appraisal firm Miller Samuel. In the luxury market, the average sales price was $6.77 million, up 6.6 percent from the prior year.
Overall, the Hamptons market is largely concentrated among the top firms.
Sotheby’s is the No. 3 firms in the Hamptons, with $2.19 billion in listings as of late May, according to TRD’s annual survey. The Corcoran Group and Douglas Elliman ranked No. 1 and No. 2 with $2.43 billion and $2.24 billion, respectively.
Compass, valued at $800 million, has raised $125 million from investors including Institutional Venture Partners, Joshua Kushner’s Thrive Capital, Founders Fund, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and Condé Nast parent Advance Publications. With offices in New York, Miami, Washington, D.C., and Boston, the firm is eyeing half a dozen other cities nationwide.