Riley Smith Group leaves EWM for Compass

Move comes on heels of Compass’ $188M Q1 loss and layoffs

RIley Smith (Compass)
RIley Smith (Compass)

The Riley Smith Group, one of Miami’s top brokerage teams, is leaving Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices EWM Realty after 17 years to move to Compass.

Led by President Riley Smith, the group has been EWM’s top team for the past three years, completing $144 million in sales so far this year, Smith said. The team has handled $1 billion in sales during its tenure with EWM, according to the brokerage’s website.

The Riley Smith Group (Compass)

The Riley Smith Group (Compass)

The Riley Smith Group will be moving from EWM’s offices at 3560 Main Highway in Coconut Grove to Compass’ offices at 2550 South Bayshore Drive, also in Coconut Grove.

Smith said he had window-shopped other brokerages for years, but the prospect of moving became serious in the last six months when he started looking into Compass.

The ultimate selling point for Smith was the technology and team support offered at Compass, especially as he looks to grow his 30-person team.

“We were just really enticed by how collaborative they are,” Smith said.

For Ron Shuffield, CEO and president of EWM, Smith’s departure is “just a surprise.”

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The move comes amid major fallout for Compass, a firm that sees itself as the digital age’s answer to transforming residential real estate brokerages. Earlier this month, Compass’ value fell to $1.8 billion, making it worth less than the $2 billion investors poured into it when it went public last year. Compass shares closed at $4.04 on Friday, up from a record low of $3.56 on June 16. Share value peaked at $21 shortly after its IPO on Mar. 31, 2021.

“[Compass has] been in business for 10 years, and they’ve never made a profit, even in the most robust real estate market in history,” Shuffield said.

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Faced with plunging stock prices, the 10-year-old company has taken significant steps to stop the bleeding. In March, CEO Robert Reffkin announced Compass would be curbing equity compensation, an appealing benefit for prospective brokers. More recently, the company cut 10 percent of its workforce after reporting a first quarter loss of $188 million.

Despite the hits it’s taken, Compass has continued to bring on agents, reporting 398 new hires in the first quarter.

In the Coconut Grove office, the Riley Smith Group will join other newcomers. “Selling Sunset” star Maya Vander recently departed from the Oppenheimer Group in Los Angeles to establish the Maya Vander Group with Compass in Miami. Carlo Dipasquale, a longtime broker with Cervera Real Estate, whose clientele includes world champion tennis player Novak Djokovic, also moved to Compass this week, according to a Compass spokesperson. BrokerMetric reports Dipasquale made $106 million in sales in the past year.