The Real Deal New York

On the prowl: Compass to spend some of that sweet VC money acquiring a Westchester brokerage

Platinum Drive Realty sold $239M in real estate in 2017
By E.B. Solomont | February 14, 2018 11:50AM

Maps of Westchester County, Robert Reffkin, Ori Allon, Heather and Zach Harrison (Credit: Google Maps, Instagram and Platinum Drive Realty)

Compass is pointing north with the acquisition of an 100-agent Westchester brokerage.

The venture-backed startup — valued at $2.2 billion after Softank’s $450 million investment late last year— plans to buy Platinum Drive Realty. Terms of deal, announced today, were not disclosed.

Launched in 2006 by Heather and Zach Harrison, the Scarsdale-based firm sold $238.7 million worth of real estate in 2017, according to the Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing System. For the past four years, the company’s been on the Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing Companies in America list. Platinum Drive generated $5.6 million in 2016 revenue, according to Inc. magazine.

Although it didn’t land on The Real Deal‘s January 2017 ranking of the 10 biggest residential brokerages in Westchester County, a TRD analysis last month found that Platinum Drive Realty’s Angela Retelny was the #2 agent in closed sales for homes of $3 million and up between Nov. 1, 2016 and Oct. 31, 2017, with $20.28 million in volume.

In a statement, Compass said the acquisition is part of a larger plan to open 70 offices nationwide this year. In the past few months, Compass opened three offices in Chicago and launched a Dallas operation. It’s been ramping up hiring in New York, where it plans to double its office count to 12, as TRD detailed on Tuesday.

By heading to Westchester, Compass is following other New York firms looking to tap into the city’s wealthy suburban enclaves. But the firm faces an already-territorial brokerage landscape. Over the past two years, New York City-based Douglas Elliman has been duking it out in court with suburban powerhouse William Raveis Real Estate, after Elliman accused Raveis of poaching brokers. (In December, a judge upheld a $4 million verdict against Raveis) Last year, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices scooped up Rye Brook-based Houlihan Lawrence, which had about 1,300 agents in Westchester and Fairfield counties.