@Properties poaches agents back from Compass

MacPherson Group heads to Chicago-based brokerage after just 2 years

Left: Hayley Westhoff to stay at Compass. Right: Pam MacPherson heads to @properties (compass.com, iStock)
Left: Hayley Westhoff to stay at Compass. Right: Pam MacPherson heads to @properties (compass.com, iStock)

UPDATED Dec. 16, 2021, 6:26 p.m.: Just two years after Compass lured a group of agents from Chicago-based brokerage @properties, most of them are headed back to where they came from.

Pam MacPherson and her team of seven agents are returning to @properties after fulfilling their two-year contract with Compass.

Pam MacPherson and her team of seven agents (Pam MacPherson)

“We had a very good couple of years,” said MacPherson, president of the MacPherson Group. “We had some opportunities and my side of the team felt like @properties, we really loved their systems and that was just a better fit for our group.”

Since launching in Chicago in 2017, Compass recruited several top producers away from @properties, dangling shiny perks like stock options. Years later, some of the glitz may have worn off.

“We are thrilled that Pam and her team are back at @properties, and we look forward to supporting them as they take their business to the next level,” said Mike Golden, co-CEO and co-founder of @properties.

The decision comes during a celebration of sorts: The team will close $100 million in residential transactions with Compass by year’s end. Some of the group’s members decided to stick around, including former co-leader Hayley Westhoff.

Westhoff, who is a childhood friend of MacPherson’s and years-long business partner, worked on the city side of things while MacPherson handled deals on the North Shore. She decided to stay at Compass with two other ex-@properties agents, saying it was the best place for her team to expand its business.

“We hit a huge milestone this year of $100M in sales, and I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish that without the tools and support I receive from Compass,” Westhoff wrote in a statement. “It saddens me that Pam is leaving, but I wish her and her team nothing but the best in their move and future endeavors.”

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“Compass worked well for her and @properties worked well for us,” MacPherson said. “We’re still great, dear friends.”

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The MacPherson Group serves the North Shore and downtown Chicago neighborhoods and specializes in helping clients move between the two areas using a full-concierge concept that includes neighborhood and home search, staging services and sourcing contractors for pre- and post-sale renovations.

Technology played a big role in the group’s decision to head back to @properties. Though both of the brokerages have “great tech,” MacPherson called @properties’ tech more “established.”

“We originally built our business off of the tech and expanding tech at @properties that we liked,” MacPherson said.

Even though Compass has some “great ideas,” she expressed concern over its business model, saying that it was dangerous to only focus on technology.

“People have to remember that this business is a people business. We can’t go all tech, we have to remember the people side of the business.” MacPherson said.

The recent acquisition by @properties’ of Christie’s International Real Estate also made for a headline reason to head back. Years ago, the group was intrigued by Compass because it was a national brand, MacPherson said. Now it was time to think bigger.

“In the time that we’ve left @properties now they’re acquiring an international brand. That’s a really big deal to us; that kind of raises the bar for @properties,” MacPherson said. The stronger brand recognition is just one of the things she’s looking forward to most—especially in luxury.

Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that Compass had offered 100 percent commissions. While the company offered various recruitment perks, that wasn’t one of them, according to Compass.

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