Nick Segal tapped to lead Avenue 8 brokerage’s SoCal team

Mobile-first firm hires ex-Compass West Coast exec

Nick Segal and Avenue 8 co-founders Michael Martin and Justin Fichelson (Segal, Avenue 8)
Nick Segal and Avenue 8 co-founders Michael Martin and Justin Fichelson (Segal, Avenue 8)

Mobile-first brokerage Avenue 8 has snagged a former Compass executive to lead its Southern California team.

Nick Segal, a past co-president of Compass’ SoCal region, will be Avenue 8’s first managing director of the region, the company announced Friday. Segal stepped down in December 2019 from his executive post at Compass after 16 months on the job, but he stayed on as an agent at the brokerage until Friday.

San Francisco-based Avenue 8 was founded in March 2020 with a model that’s based on mobile-first technology tools to help agents be more productive.

The brokerage had nearly 100 agents in May when it raised $14 million in a Series A round. The company’s co-founders, Justin Fichelson and Michael Martin, said the cash infusion would drive expansion into New York City and Miami markets, as well as development of new tech tools.

Segal’s role will be to grow Avenue 8’s West Coast presence, recruit agents and work on the existing 22-person team’s development. It’s a familiar assignment for him. Segal founded DBL Realtors, which was acquired by Sotheby’s International Realty in 2004. He then went on to launch Partners Trust in 2009. It was bought by Pacific Union International, which was in turn acquired by Compass months later in 2018.

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Segal became a Compass executive after the Pacific Union purchase and said in a 2019 interview that he took the job to “take care of and protect my people” as the 140 staffers merged into the Compass fold. He called the transition process a big undertaking and, at times a struggle, but said he resigned his executive post at Compass amicably.

Segal was working as an agent at Compass for the past 19 months, coaching others and writing a book, “On Your Terms,” about achieving professional success. A former actor and nephew of the late actor George Segal, he has also been developing his own technology platform focused on commercial real estate called Aqueous. It is slated to launch in the first quarter of next year with a valuation tool.

When Segal got a call from a headhunter about an executive-level position at Avenue 8 in June, he initially didn’t have “a real interest in getting back into the brokerage game,” he said. But an initial conversation with its co-founders intrigued him, and Segal invited the pair to his home in Pebble Beach for lunch.

“What I gravitated to was the creativity,” he said. “[I thought ] ‘Wow, there’s really a blank slate here and there’s resources behind them.’”

Avenue 8’s approach is in line with his own tech platform, Segal said, in contrast to the traditional “top heavy brick-and-mortar” offerings that many real estate companies are saddled with.

“I’ve become enamored with technology,” he said. “And how it can influence day-to-day productivity.”