Ryan Gorman, CEO of NRT, the brokerage owning subsidiary of Realogy, and Robert Refkin, CEO of the fast rising brokerage Compass, are going at each other big time these days.

Could market share be the cause of these fighting words?

NRT, the 20-year leader of the REAL Trends 500 List (in partnership with the Wall Street Journal) for the last 20 years, increased the number of its transactions by +2.7% to 346,942 in 2018 from 337,780 in 2017. Not bad, don’t you think?

Compass nearly doubled its transactions from 5,802 in 2017 to 10,543 in 2018. Compass also made the top 10 in terms of closed deals on the REAL Trends list. The firm now claims +8,000 agents, 122 national markets and a sales volume of $350B in 2018. Also not bad…or, perhaps, too good for this young, upstart brokerage firm?

Gorman most recently wrote an email to his NRT executives (and picked up by Inman News) that Compass was “…taking advantage of its agents…” He continued, “I can no longer remain silent as entrepreneur’s livelihoods are being put at risk…I need to equip you and arm our agents, with tools to execute the truth.”

Gorman attached a two-page document entitled “Help Agents Avoid Being Thrown Off Course by A Spinning Compass” to the email to his executives. His document listed more than 30 questions potential recruits might ask Compass BEFORE they consider signing as agents with that firm. The 30-plus questions in Gorman’s document focused on topics such as the Compass’s financial stability, growth, views on tech, healthcare plan and stock options.

Once learning about Gorman’s email and list of questions potential agent recruits might ask Compass, Robert Refkin, Compass’s CEO, fired back, “What you talk about is a representation of what you are focused on. We don’t tear down our competitors, we don’t pay attention to the noise, what we focus on is empowering agents.”

Gorman back at Refkin, “I believe competition raises the level of play and I welcome it. But when a competitor fails to uphold the basic ethics and integrity that this industry has together worked so hard to build, and puts the people I care about in jeopardy, I cannot sit on my hands.”

For the time being, this “conversation” is stalled. We’ll keep you posted if/when these words continue.

To download a copy of the latest REAL Trends rankings, click here.


To get more details about “he said, he said” and to read copy of Gorman’s email and his 2 page attachment listing questions potential Compass recruits might ask prior to signing with that firm, click