Compass, the New York-based brokerage firm that launched in South Florida this summer, has just signed a lease for a 21,000-square-foot office space at 605 Lincoln Road in Miami Beach, The Real Deal has learned.
The new office, formerly home to both Sony Music and Sapient Technologies, is geared to provide plenty of room for the growing agency, a Compass spokesperson told TRD. Beth Butler, president of Compass Miami, will oversee the office, which aims to capitalize off referrals from Compass’ home turf.
The building is an eight-story, renovated Art Deco office condominium. It was built in 1932, according to Miami-Dade property records. Starbucks occupies the ground floor.
Gordon Messinger, director of Cushman & Wakefield, arranged the lease, and is now marketing the 21,000-square-foot penthouse space for sale, after the Compass lease was signed. The two-story penthouse is located on the sixth and seventh floors of the building. Pedro J. Garcia of Binswanger-Gateway Partnership represented Compass.
When it launched its Miami operation in late August, Compass CEO Robert Reffkin told TRD that the South Florida office would concentrate on “middle and high-end products,” from Coral Gables to Fort Lauderdale, with a focus on Miami Beach.
“Miami is one of the most important real estate markets in the world,” Reffkin said at the time. “We are referring more of our clients there than to any other region, so we want to refer them to our own agents, not just to any agents.”
The firm started with about five agents in Miami, with a goal to increase to 100 eventually, Reffkin said. It now is up to 13 agents, the Compass spokesperson told TRD.
Compass also plans to set up a separate development marketing division.
Compass prides itself on its marketing and tech tools, which Reffkin said helps the firm’s agents and their listings get maximum exposure. The technology-driven company has also created a proprietary app for agents and consumers, and said its mobile app is the No. 1 downloaded and top rated real estate app in New York. Yet some in the industry are skeptical that its technology is superior.
Compass currently has a total of about 300 agents. The firm was sued in March by the Corcoran Group, which had been hemorrhaging agents to Compass, for allegedly “brazenly and intentionally” raiding key Corcoran offices. In April, Compass accused Corcoran, in counterclaims filed in New York Supreme Court, of launching a smear campaign against its former agents, and in doing so, hurting their business and delivering a “thinly veiled threat” to others considering a move to Compass.
Formerly called Urban Compass, the real estate brokerage dropped the “Urban” earlier this year, after launching in 2013 and raising more than $70 million in funding. It has now raised a total of $125 million in investor capital, and has opened offices in Washington, D.C., Boston and the Hamptons, in addition to Miami.
In all, the firm said it currently holds $1 billion in exclusive listings, $2.5 billion in its new development pipeline and has more than 15,000 sales and rental listings displayed on its site.