The real estate world is buzzing today as Compass announced that high-profile real estate agent, John Zimmerman, has left Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty to join the New York City-based real estate brokerage that is also a real estate technology company.

“We are excited to be entering Fort Worth with a great partner like John Zimmerman. This is an important market in our growth story,” said Robert Reffkin, founder and CEO of Compass. “We are thrilled to enter the market with a talented and respected agent who is a leader in the community.”
 
Zimmerman, the proclaimed “$200 Million Dollar Man,” has been a top-producing agent in the Fort Worth and greater North Texas market for the past five years with Briggs Freeman.

Compass will likely announce the acquisition of California-based Pacific Union National Realty on Thursday, Inman reported Tuesday (photo courtesy Pacific Union Facebook page).

Compass continues to widen its swath of acquisitions as word came today that it is nearing a deal to snap up Pacific Union National Realty, an independent brokerage operating in California.

News of the prospective acquisition by Compass came this afternoon on the real estate news site Inman.

Pacific Union recently launched PrivateView, a public portal that allows users to see listings from the moment they’re put into contract, as they’re being prepared for sale. “This allows buyers to engage earlier in the sales process with sellers and their representatives,” the company said in a press release, adding that they felt this ability would be especially valuable in places like the San Francisco Bay area, where inventory is tight. (more…)

 

Jonathan Rosen and Christy Berry merged their group with Robert Reffkin’s Compass last year. The company has since staged a coup that has brought in top producers from all over North Texas.

Compass continues to make waves in the Dallas market. The technology-centric firm that merged with The Collective Residential in January now boasts an impressive roster of 51 local agents who have represented more than $600 million in sales.

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He is a Berkeley kid raised by a single mom, who happened to be a Realtor. Robert Reffkin saw her change brokerages three times, always looking for a better deal, each change a struggle. So as soon as he got into the business world, he decided to do what he could about it: disrupt!

According to Everipedia, “Robert Reffkin was known as DJ Zahav, the Golden Hebrew. Columbia University undergrad and M.B.A. he’s one of New York’s leading philanthropists and hottest startup players, angling to change the real estate market forever.” 

First the rental disruptor. He co-founded Urban Compass in 2012 (along with Ori Allon, who has sold a tech company or two) as a residential rental firm designed to blow up the murky NYC rental market with it’s cloistered listings and high fees:

Renters typically pay a 15% fee to brokers for commission. With Urban Compass, the typical broker’s fee is cut in half.

To execute the local vision, Urban Compass employs “neighborhood specialists.” Armed with red backpacks, iPhones and hyperlocal knowledge, specialists have real estate licenses and are paid a salary based on customer satisfaction, rather than a commission.

Wonder how long that lasted? Not very. But that’s the disruption business. Back then, even in rentals, Robert knew the key was service.
 
The duo quickly shifted the Compass brand from rentals to residential sales. The focus was still about service, but this time, Robert wanted to service the agents. He and Allon wanted to Zuckerberg-esque how buyers find places to live, and change how how people connect with each other and cities. 

“I realized rentals were pretty specific to New York City,” he told me last week. “New Yorkers rent, the rest of the world buys homes.”

Like in Dallas. (more…)