Douglas Elliman hires senior executive to boost growth in Houston market

Firm hired James Horne from Compass to help mentor Houston agents

The new Douglas Elliman senior executive James Horne (LinkedIn, iStock)
The new Douglas Elliman senior executive James Horne (LinkedIn, iStock)

Luxury real estate firm Douglas Elliman has snagged a leader from a competing brokerage to support its growth in the Houston area.

Elliman hired James Horne from Compass as senior executive manager of sales in Houston. Horne will be responsible for supporting 149 agents, most of whom work in the luxury real estate space, which handles homes with an average price of $1.01 million, and will also assist with recruiting in Houston.

Elliman is among the largest luxury real estate brokerages in the country.

“I’m excited to take on the Houston role of growing this office,” said Horne, who according to the publication said he joined Douglas Elliman because he was attracted to the corporate culture.

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Clockwise from top left: Eric and Bridget Elkin, Diane Mollica, Liz and Lisa Gillooly and Sarah Frigo (Compass)
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Robert Reffkin, founder and CEO, Compass (Getty Images, iStock)
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At Compass, Horne helped to facilitate $5.2 billion in sales for the 2021 fiscal year. As sales manager, he was responsible for supporting about 240 of Compass’ top Houston agents, along with mentoring, coaching, and supporting more than 700 agents in total, he said. He will again act in a leadership role to provide mentorship, support, and guidance for agents at Douglas Elliman.

The firm had about 100 offices and 6,500 real estate agents and 930 employees at the end of 2021, and its profits hit about $98 million last year after a loss of $46.3 million the year earlier, according to its annual report.

Since entering the Texas market in August 2019, Douglas Elliman has started carving out a space for itself, first with a Houston office, then with offices in Dallas and Austin. In Houston in particular, the firm represents several notable new developments, such as the condominium projects Stolz Partners’ The Sophie at Bayou Bend as well as Pelican Builders’ The Hawthorne, The Revere at River Oaks, and The Westmore.

The firm wants to continue its momentum in Houston by continuing to increase both its transaction volume and headcount.

“We want to bring in agents that really want to make their mark in the luxury market. They really want to work hard and they want to collaborate with us,” Horne said.

[Houston Chronicle] — James Bell