Laura Sweeney, one of Houston’s top residential real estate agents with more than $130 million worth of sales last year, has moved to Compass, the residential brokerage that’s been hiring away some of the city’s highest-producing agents from their longtime firms.
Sweeney was joined in the move by Lisa Kornhauser, the city’s No. 4 agent last year. The pair joined Compass after two decades at Houston-based John Daugherty Realtors, a local institution in the luxury property market.
Their moves are the latest among the vast changes reshaping Houston’s residential real estate industry. New firms are entering the market, seizing business from legacy agencies, some of which have responded by consolidating or affiliating with national brands to retain their competitive edge.
Over the summer, established Houston brokerage Heritage Texas Properties was acquired by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene, creating a company with more than 1,300 agents and a nearly 6 percent share of the market.
Jacob Sudhoff, who recently launched a Texas outpost of Douglas Elliman, the New York-based agency known for its multimillion-dollar listings and celebrity agents, said companies are scrambling for market share.
“Local brokerages are going to have a difficult time competing with the larger, national brands that have more infrastructure and more tools for their agents,” he said.
Compass, which bills itself as a “real estate technology company,” touts its proprietary data and technology platform for buying and selling property. When it entered the Houston market last year the company brought in several top local agents from Heritage Texas Properties and Greenwood King.
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