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  • Writer's pictureSpring Lee

Aloha, Compass: Brokerage expands to Hawaii

Compass Hawaii

After a volatile six months for residential real estate, Compass is in growth mode again.

The brokerage said it’s expanding to Hawaii, where it has brought on 14 agents in O’ahu, Maui, Kaua’i and the Big Island. Collectively, the agents and their teams sold $350 million worth of real estate last year, Compass said.

The push to expand to the Aloha state came from Compass agents, CEO Robert Reffkin said in a statement. In doing so, the 18,000-agent firm hopes to strengthen its national referral network.

The move comes just after the Corcoran Group announced a franchise deal with Hawaii-based Elite Pacific Properties, a 250-agent firm that was renamed Corcoran Pacific Properties. It was the latest in Corcoran’s recent spate of franchise deals, in markets such as San Francisco, Lake Tahoe and Napa, California.

At least 10 of Compass’ new agent hires came from Corcoran Pacific, including Debbie Arakaki, who will be Compass’ principal broker in Hawaii. In a statement, Arakaki said clients expect agents to use the latest technology and Compass has made it clear it “is committed to investing in our future.”

Since 2012, Compass has raised more than $1.5 billion from investors including SoftBank, the Qatar Investment Authority and Dragoneer. The firm was last valued at $6.4 billion following a July 2019 funding round.

Compass’ expansion in Hawaii punctuates several months of deep market uncertainty for residential firms. In March, projecting a 50 percent drop in revenue, Compass laid off 15 percent of its staff. But in June, July and August the company said it saw record revenue as the housing market bounced back.

Compass currently has offices in 165 U.S. cities. Its agents sold $91 billion worth of real estate in 2019, according to data firm Real Trends.

In addition to its growing geographic footprint, Compass has been acquiring software companies as it aims to become a one-stop shop for real estate. This month, it said it was buying Modus, a title and escrow startup. That deal followed its 2019 acquisition of Contactually, a customer relationship manager, and Delectica, an AI company.

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