LISTEN: Pacific Union Employees learn about Compass acquisition

On Tuesday, Inman learned Compass, the aggressive tech-forward real estate brokerage out of New York City, was inching close to acquiring Pacific Union International in a massive deal backed by Fidelity National Financial.

Shortly after the news, Pacific Union executives raced to calm the storms, sending out an interoffice recording to employees around 4 p.m. Pacific Time, assuring them clarity would come Wednesday during a regularly scheduled office meeting in California.

In a recording obtained by Inman, Pacific Union International President Patrick Barber assures his charge that the deal would ensure their livelihoods, declaring, “We are the ones doing the disrupting.” He later adds, “These are exciting times and it really will ensure our future that we as real estate professionals control it, rather than letting the disruptors control our future.”

At one point in the minute-long address, Barber references Mark McLaughlin, Pacific Union’s CEO, revealing that the company’s leader recently traveled to New York to meet with Compass and shortly afterward became impressed with the company’s technology. Later on, Barber, who insisted the deal has not been finalized, adds, “When you hear about all of the things that are coming for the professionals that work at Compass, it is truly exciting.”

Patrick Barber

Pacific Union International is ranked No. 5 by sales volume, according to the 2018 RealTrends 500 list, with more than $ 14 billion in annual sales. The California indie brokerage boasts 54 offices and 1,700 agents throughout the state, which would give Compass a major foothold not only in the San Francisco Bay Area, but also in Los Angeles.

McLaughlin has been a fierce critic of Compass. Publicly, Pacific Union has not been shy at taking public jabs at Compass for the launch of its commercial division and its claims of market share.

One Pacific Union insider said, “I thought Mark would roll over in his grave before doing business with Compass.”

Below, the full voice mail from Barber on Tuesday afternoon:

 

 

Good afternoon to the best agents in the business, who by now, I’m sure, the rumors are running around since Inman broke a story that Compass is acquiring Pacific Union. Unfortunately, this is a little premature. We have not inked a deal, and Mark and Fidelity National Financial are working diligently on this. It is very, very exciting news, and Mark and I have been looking at solutions over the last year on how we make sure that if disruption happens, we are the ones doing the disrupting.

And that led Mark to New York to talk to the Compass people, and when he saw their platform, and saw all their tools and when you hear about all of the things that are coming for the professionals that work at Compass, it is truly exciting. Most of these tools we have tried to do ourselves. And I’m looking forward to sharing that with you tomorrow morning at our weekly office meeting. Again, it’s still a little premature, but these are exciting times and it really will ensure our future that we as real estate professionals control it rather than letting the disruptors control our future. So I look forward to seeing you all tomorrow morning at the office meeting and we can talk more.

Thank you so much.

Email Jotham Sederstrom

Inman