Compass acquires Conlon Real Estate

VC-backed brokerage says the move will grow its local agent count to nearly 300

Sean Conlon, Robert Reffkin and the Chicago skyline (Credit: Getty Images, Good Free Photos)
Sean Conlon, Robert Reffkin and the Chicago skyline (Credit: Getty Images, Good Free Photos)

Compass has made its first acquisition in Chicago.

The New York-based brokerage, which set up shop in Chicago late last year, has picked up boutique luxury brokerage Conlon Real Estate, it announced Wednesday. The move brings Compass’ local agent count to nearly 300, according to the company, representing over $600 million in total sales volume in 2017.

Conlon, which has residential and commercial divisions, was founded in 2009 by Sean Conlon. “In joining Compass we see an opportunity to arm our agents with world-class technology, marketing, and support they need to serve their clients through one of life’s most significant transactions,” he said in a statement.

Compass, which has raised about $775 million from investors and was most recently valued at $2.2 billion, has expanded nationwide through a two-pronged strategy of aggressive recruitment of top producers and brokerage acquisitions. In Chicago, it brought in the city’s top producer, Jeff Lowe, along with his 14-person team from Berkshire Hathaway Home Services. It later recruited Joanne Nemerovski, also from Berkshire Hathaway.

The acquisition will triple Compass’ agent count in Chicago, which had stood at 100, Lowe said shortly after the announcement.

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Lowe added that the majority of the agents who are part of his team had worked at Conlon or its predecessor, Sussex & Reilly.

Compass CEO Robert Reffkin has said that the company aims to have 20 percent market share in the 20 biggest U.S. markets by 2020. In Chicago, that market share is now held by the largest brokerage in the city, @properties, according to a report by Broker Metrics.