The Real Deal New York

Compass taps Louise Sunshine for adviser role

Sunshine will help shape brokerage's new development strategy

January 26, 2016 10:00AM
By E.B. Solomont

From left: Louise Sunshine, Robert Reffkin and Leonard Steinberg

From left: Louise Sunshine, Robert Reffkin and Leonard Steinberg

Struggling to gain ground in the cutthroat new development market, Compass has tapped Louise Sunshine to refine its strategy and cash in on the new condo boom.

The brokerage has hired the new development marketing guru for a new adviser role, the startup brokerage said Tuesday.

In her new role, Sunshine will help Compass refine the strategy for its new development division and will work with developers and agents.

“Louise is an industry icon,” said Compass President Leonard Steinberg, who said Compass had been talking with Sunshine over an extended period time.

Compass, which has raised $135 million from investors and is valued at $800 million, has aggressively expanded in the Hamptons, Miami and West Coast this year. But the firm’s accomplishments are less clear-cut when it comes to new development.

The brokerage claims it currently has more than $2.5 billion in its new development pipeline, but that figure is roughly the same as numbers cited a year ago. And the firm has not yet replaced Roy Kim, its former head of new development, who left the firm in April 2015. Instead, in December Compass promoted former Corcoran Sunshine executive Billy Goldstein to managing director of new development.

Sunshine will have an office at Compass’ Miami outpost, which opened in November. But Steinberg said she’ll advise the brokerage across several markets. Compass’ new development team is poised to grow over the next few months, both in New York and in other markets, Steinberg said.

Compass is currently marketing Aby Rosen’s 100 East 53 Street; Sumaida + Khurana’s 152 Elizabeth Street and Ben Shaoul’s 196 Orchard and Luminaire at 385 First Avenue. In December, Compass sold Seven Harrison, a 12-unit condo conversion in Tribeca by Matrix Development and Clarion Partners. Sales launched in April 2014.

In a statement, Sunshine said by working with Compass, she is following her “entrepreneurial spirit.”

Sunshine – whose first job was working for Donald Trump – founded her eponymous new-development marketing firm in 1986. When the Corcoran Group bought the Sunshine Group in 2005, Sunshine largely stepped out of the limelight. Recently, she took an adviser role at Vornado Realty Trust’s under-construction 220 Central Park South, which has a total sellout of $3.1 billion.

Compass has offices in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Hamptons, Washington, DC, Boston, Miami, Los Angeles, Malibu, Santa Barbara and Montecito, Calif. Nationwide, the firm said it represents more than $4 billion in exclusive listings.

In addition to Sunshine’s new development role, she will serve on a newly-formed group called the Compass Global Council, which will advise international clients and developers. In conjunction with the council, Compass also announced a new networking initiative that seeks to connect agents with each other and with clients. Compass Global will use proprietary data to make connections, and agents will be able to share listings and build referral relationships on an internal social network.

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