Compass pulls plug on days-old tech licensing agreement

Agents expressed concern about giving away tech to rivals

Compass CEO Robert Reffkin
Compass CEO Robert Reffkin

Amid broker backlash, Compass is pulling the plug on its first licensing deal with a Massachusetts brokerage that was paying to use its technology.

The decision to end the short-lived agreement with the firm, Leading Edge Real Estate, was made after Compass agents became worried the firm was giving away its technology. Leading Edge managers informed agents of the decision earlier this week in an email, Inman reported.

Compass announced the “Powered by Compass” initiative last week, the latest stage of its ambitious expansion plan that so far has included aggressive hiring and acquisitions. The deal gave Leading Edge, a 200-agent firm with offices in and around Boston, access to Compass’ marketing, data and analytics tools.

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The deal’s collapse calls into question the future of Powered by Compass, which is part of the firm’s ambitious expansion plan. Compass is valued at $2.2 billion after a $450 million investment by SoftBank’s Vision Fund in December.

In a statement on Friday, Compass confirmed the deal was off. “Compass has decided to terminate our agreement with Leading Edge,” the firm said in a statement. “However, since the Powered by Compass announcement we have received interest from over 30 brokerages where there’s no geographic overlap with our current offices.”

Leading Edge CEO Linda O’Koniewski was tight-lipped about the decision. “We’re planning on taking the high road,” she said. [Inman] — E.B. Solomont