Christie’s International poaches Compass agents to anchor new Menlo Park office

Group of agents collectively completed almost $250M in sales last year and will serve some of nation’s most expensive residential markets

Left to right: Charlene Cogan, Samira Amid-Hozour, Kristin Cashin and Nathalie de Saint Andrieu (Photo via Brook Todd)
Left to right: Charlene Cogan, Samira Amid-Hozour, Kristin Cashin and Nathalie de Saint Andrieu (Photo via Brook Todd)

Christie’s International Real Estate’s Bay Area affiliate poached a group of veteran luxury agents from Compass to anchor a new office that will serve as a gateway to some of the nation’s most expensive residential markets.

The independent brokerage firm expects to open its 1,700-square-foot location in downtown Menlo Park in April, co-founder Chris Trapani said in an interview. The office at 1158-A Chestnut Street is the firm’s 18th across California and Nevada and will be led by former Compass agents Kristin Cashin, Nathalie de Saint Andrieu, Charlene Cogan and Samira Amid-Hozour.

Christie’s Chris Trapani (Photo via Brook Todd)

Christie’s International Real Estate Sereno’s Chris Trapani (Photo via Brook Todd)

The group completed almost $250 million of sales last year, according to a news release from Chicago’s @properties, which acquired Christie’s International Real Estate last year. They have more than 30 years of real estate experience and “local sensibility and knowledge,” Trapani said.

“We’ve kind of worked our way around the upper San Francisco Peninsula and the Silicon Valley Peninsula, and Menlo Park was really the final geographical fill-in to fill in that space to serve Atherton, Woodside, Portola Valley, a lot of the truly upscale marketplaces in Silicon Valley,” he said.

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The office is the first for Christie’s International Real Estate Sereno since forming a partnership with @properties earlier this month, giving it access to a luxury brokerage network with affiliates in almost 50 nations and territories and the name recognition from the Christie’s brand. It marks the second time in less than a year that the firm has poached agents from Compass, a reversal of a Bay Area-wide trend over the past few years. About two dozen Compass agents with more than $200 million of sales between them joined Christie’s’ Burlingame office last year, according to @properties’s release.

San Francisco’s Compass has become a force in the Bay Area’s rapidly consolidating residential brokerage industry by acquiring competitors such as Alain Pinel Realtors and Pacific Union International. The Christie’s affiliate has also been scaling up: Its merger last year with San Carlos’s Dwell Realtors, the Peninsula city’s top-ranked residential brokerage by sales since 2015, was its fourth addition in less than a year and brought headcount to 575 agents.

Compass had about 3,000 agents in the Bay Area alone last year, according to data from the San Francisco Business Times.

The new Christie’s office will serve Atherton, the nation’s most expensive zip code, the release said. Trapani doesn’t expect property values to dip anytime soon.

“The supply is so low, it would take years from this point, like two or three years, for inventory to normalize and get to a point of balance and stability,” Trapani said. “If there’s no risk of oversupply anytime soon and if demand is going to remain strong to very strong, you’re going to see sustained values for the foreseeable future.”

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