Jo-Ann Forster, a top agent at One Sotheby’s International Realty, left to join Compass, The Real Deal has learned.
Forster left One Sotheby’s on Thursday and was with Compass as of Friday, according to records filed with the state of Florida. The Coral Gables agent had been with One Sotheby’s since February 2014. Before that, she worked for EWM Realty International between August 2009 and early 2014.
Forster said she was successful at One Sotheby’s, but knew she could do better at another firm.
“I think that top producers are kind of in a conundrum of what to do when they’re doing well but want to do better,” she said. “I looked around, I talked to people from coast to coast. The answer ultimately became Compass.”
Forster is now based out of Compass’ Coconut Grove office at 2550 South Bayshore Drive in Miami. She and her 14-person team, including her partners who are her son and daughter, Brian Shapiro and Lauren Goodkind Allan, joined Compass. Her sister, Sande Forster Keil, an agent on her team, also jumped over to Compass.
Forster declined to provide details of her agreement with Compass, but said that “Compass makes really strong investments in top producers” and that “they honored me with a top investment on their side, and I’m very grateful.”
Her team focuses on luxury home and condo sales from Miami Beach all the way to the Florida Keys, but Forster said she spends more time in Coconut Grove, Coral Gables, Pinecrest and Key Biscayne. Forster had been a top producer at One Sotheby’s in recent years. In 2018, she was the No. 1 agent with $65.3 million in sales volume, according to the MLS. From January to Oct. 31 of this year, her sales volume is $44 million.
“Jo-Ann has been a valued part of the ONE Sotheby’s team and we thank her for our partnership over the years. We wish her only success in the future,” One Sotheby’s president Daniel de la Vega said in a statement.
Beth Butler, director of new development for Compass in the Southeast, has been a magnet for Forster. “When I went to EWM, Beth was leaving a week later, When I went to [One] Sotheby’s, she had just left. I came over here, she walked in and said ‘I’m just telling you I’m not going anywhere,’” Forster said.