Compass Inc. enter Albany region's real estate market with new team of agents

One of the country’s largest real estate brokerages, Compass Inc., is entering the Albany region for the first time, with a new team focused on home sales in the Albany region and Saratoga Springs.

The Northway Team at Compass, formerly known as The Monika Cronin Team, joined Compass from the locally owned Sterling Real Estate Group at the end of August.

It’s the northernmost office in New York for Compass, which has locations across downstate, Westchester County and the Hudson Valley.

Monika Cronin said the team of four agents — which includes herself along with Ashley Jameson, Alex Cooley and Melissa K. Shufelt — is searching for an office somewhere between Albany and Saratoga Springs. Cronin said there may be opportunities to add additional agents to the team too. Her team had $27.6 million in total volume of sales in 2022 among 82 transactions.

“I have a friend in Florida in Jacksonville, she has been a Compass agent for years,” Cronin said. “I never thought at that time that we would think about changing where we were, but she reached out multiple times and asked me to send referrals for a client looking for a second home. Our market is known for second-home purchases.”

Cronin said she decided to look into it a little more and connected with a Compass rep in New York City.

Compass Inc. (NYSE: COMP) is based in New York City. It’s a relatively new brokerage — the company was founded in 2012 with salaried agents focused on rentals and changed its model in 2014 by contracting independent real estate agents. It’s grown since then by targeting some of the country’s priciest real estate markets, including major cities as well as places like Aspen, Cape Cod, the Hamptons and other locales popular with second-home buyers.

Today, the company has around 28,000 agents. In 2022, Compass closed 211,538 transactions for a gross dollar value of $230.3 billion. Revenue for last year was over $6 billion. It has a market share in the U.S. of 4.5%.

“When this opportunity came about, [the team] discussed it, and we decided it was a perfect fit,” Cronin said. “We saw this as a perfect opportunity to bring this impressive real estate company into our market, knowing there aren’t any Compass reps here. Then we started to learn about everything else Compass has to offer: Collaboration with other brokers in U.S. and as powerful real estate technology platform, which helps sellers and buyers and helps us improve as a brokerage.”

The move comes at a time of significant change in the industry. While much of the Albany region’s housing market has cooled over the last year, home prices across upstate New York since 2020 jumped 37% on average.

Rates too have increased to an average 7.8% for a 30-year mortgage. That shift from a lower interest rate market to a market with higher home prices and more expensive borrowing costs has been tough on buyers, sellers and agents.

At the same time, sales in Saratoga Springs’ high-end real estate market have remained hot despite a national slowdown in luxury home sales. Much of the interest in the city is driven by people who have visited Saratoga during the thoroughbred racing season and have decided to make the city their permanent or part-time home. It’s starting to gain more national attention too as a destination real estate market.

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