Compass to close Gold Coast sales office

Brokerage, which has risen to one of Chicago’s top 10, said move is result of “agent feedback” and “streamlining”

Feb.February 11, 2020 07:35 AM
Compass CEO Robert Reffkin and 900 N. Michigan Avenue, where the brokerage has a 5,000-square-foot office (Credit: Google Maps)

Compass CEO Robert Reffkin and 900 N. Michigan Avenue, where the brokerage is shuttering its 5,000-square-foot office. (Credit: Google Maps)

UPDATED, Feb. 11, 10:01 a.m.: Compass is shuttering its Gold Coast office on North Michigan Avenue in early March, The Real Deal has learned.

The residential brokerage, which launched in Chicago in November 2017 and is valued at $6.4 billion, said the move to close the 5,000-square-foot office at 900 N. Michigan Avenue followed feedback from agents and staffers.

“We are constantly listening to our agents’ feedback and are quick to adjust our strategy to support their needs,” said Rachael Rohn, the brokerage’s Chicagoland regional president. “It became clear that we had a great opportunity to deepen our community by dispersing top Compass talent across the larger Lincoln Park and Kinzie offices.”

Roughly 30 agents and 12 principals currently work out of the Gold Coast office. A spokesperson for Compass said those agents could work at the office of their choosing when the closure occurs, though most would likely work nearby in Lincoln Park and River North. Including the space at 900 N. Michigan Avenue, Compass has 10 offices in the Chicago area.

“The closure is part of streamlining efficiencies for agents and contributing to the overall success of our regional operations,” Compass said in a statement. “Our focus is always aimed at support for the agents and their clients and continues to be.”

A Compass spokesperson said the brokerage was also working on finding another dedicated space in the Gold Coast area, but didn’t plan to break the lease at 900 N. Michigan early. There will not be any layoffs.

Though Compass explicitly said the closure was not a cost-cutting move, it comes on the heels of two office closures in Los Angeles, a slew of executive defections, 40 staff layoffs and broader questions about profitability.

Since its big push for growth in 2017, Compass has said it aims to achieve 20 percent market share in the 20 biggest U.S. markets by 2020. But in January 2019, Compass announced it would not expand into new markets for the foreseeable future.

Locally, Compass has grown to 1,000 agents and landed a big fish in Jeff Lowe, Chicago’s top producing agent who brought his 14-agent team over from Berkshire Hathaway. In TRD’s 2019 brokerage rankings, Compass claimed over $1.4 billion in sales volume in Cook County between December 2017 and November 2018. That ranked it as a top 10 brokerage in the city and gave it 8.4 percent market share in Chicago. It was an impressive haul for a newcomer, but still lagged behind established firms such as @properties, Coldwell Banker, Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices and Jameson Sotheby’s.

Correction: A previous version of the story provided an outdated agent count number for Compass in Chicagoland. 

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