On her website bio, Pittsburgh real estate agent Jen Crouse describes why she finds meaning in her work.
“At the end of the day,” Crouse states. “We all want to love where we live and who we invest our time with.”
But who Crouse invests her own time with is a heated dispute between the agent’s old brokerage, the venerable Howard Hanna, and her new one, meteorically growing Compass.
Crouse is a defendant in a lawsuit that claims New York City-based Compass conspired with Howard Hanna agents and employees to break their contracts and provide Compass with an array of confidential information about Howard Hanna.
But Crouse has denied the allegations and filed a counterclaim that Pittsburgh-headquartered Howard Hanna owes her $29,000 in unpaid commissions.
Branches of Better Homes & Gardens, and Christie’s also in the past month filed lawsuits against Compass in Pennsylvania and in New Jersey that accuse the brokerage of persuading agents to break their contracts and steal information on their way out the door.
Realogy is in year three of a similar lawsuit filed against Compass in New York. There are also lawsuits by individual agents in California who claim Compass failed to deliver on its recruiting pitch.
The slew of litigation calls into question whether Compass’s recruiting tactics are anti-competitive, even for an industry known for tabloid-y splits between top agents and brokerages.