Top-selling resi team rejoins Coldwell Banker from Compass
McNair Group sold $323M in homes last year from Menlo Park office
McNair Group, a residential real estate team that closed more than $300 million in sales last year, has rejoined Coldwell Banker Realty’s Northern California unit after four years affiliated with Compass. The switch marks the second time this year that a Bay Area-based agents group has departed the latter to join the former.
The move, completed last week, reunites McNair Group with the brokerage it had been affiliated with since the former’s inception in 2008 until 2018, when Billy McNair, the group’s founder, left to become a founding agent in Compass’ Menlo Park office. He cited what he described as Coldwell Banker’s strong leadership team in Northern California, led by president Jennifer Lind, and his decade-long working relationship with Kelly Griggs, manager of the company’s Menlo Park office, as a driving force behind the decision to re-affiliate with that office.
Timing also played a role in the move, as McNair said he has several upcoming listings that he thinks are going to have global appeal.
“I feel that the Coldwell Banker brand and presence globally is something that was important to me,” he said in an interview.
McNair noted that he’s maintained working relationships with members of Coldwell’s International Luxury Alliance, a group within the brokerage made up of its top agents in major metro areas. Having that rapport will be a valuable asset to his business over the next two years and beyond, he added.
Although Compass enacted two rounds of layoffs earlier this year — one totaling 450 employees, the other an undisclosed number — McNair said those job cuts didn’t factor into his decision to rejoin Coldwell. “It wasn’t any sort of dissatisfaction with Compass; I think very highly of Compass,” he said. “I think Compass is well-positioned for the years ahead. … We’re in a shifting market. I think all the brokerages are looking at ways to reduce expenses and prepare themselves for what could be choppy waters ahead.”
McNair added that Compass, which has gone through a period of what he called “hyper-growth” in recent years, is still putting some of those “mechanisms and things in place” to make that growth sustainable. Still, he said the company has done an effective job overall in consolidating numerous existing brokerages into its operations.
A Compass spokesperson wrote in an email that the company had no comment on McNair Group’s decision to end its affiliation.
McNair’s team of five — whose other members are listing liaison Jessica Olson; sales associate Andrea Schultz, the group’s only other licensed sales agent besides him; operations assistant Camden Hutchings; and head of marketing Kim McNair, Billy’s wife — sold nearly $323 million in residential real estate last year. That placed the group seventh in the San Francisco Business Times’ ranking of the top-selling Bay Area residential real estate teams. The group focuses on Menlo Park, Woodside, Portola Valley, Palo Alto and Atherton, the latter of which is the nation’s most expensive zip code for home sales.
McNair’s move comes 11 months after Khrista Jarvis Team, the nation’s top-ranked all-women group, joined Coldwell’s Danville office in the East Bay after four years with Compass. Like Billy McNair, Khrista Jarvis, co-head of her eponymous team, was a founding member of one of New York-based Compass’ local offices when it expanded into the Bay Area in 2018. Her group ranked No. 2 in the Business Times’ latest Bay Area top-selling residential team rankings, with more than $600 million in sales volume last year.
Despite losing two high-selling teams, Compass’ Bay Area operations maintain the biggest share of the region’s residential brokerage market, according to San Francisco Business Times data. Coldwell is behind Compass on the newspaper’s list of the largest residential brokerages in the region, although its sales volume was nearly three times less than the latter last year. Moreover, Compass has nearly 50 percent more licensed sales agents than Coldwell Banker in the Bay Area, about 2,600 to 1,800, and more than twice as many regional offices, the data show.
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