Compass snags high-performing Rhode Island Sotheby’s team

The Blackstone Team is based in Providence and closed more than $95 million in sales volume last year. The team’s move to Compass comes amid intense competition for top talent.

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The year is winding down, but the competition for top real estate talent remains as hot as ever — thanks this week to a big new hire at Compass.


Nelson Taylor

The new hire consists of the Blackstone Team, which Compass described in a statement “as one of the top producing sales teams on the East Side of Providence,” and in Rhode Island generally. The team includes founder and managing partner Nelson Taylor, six other partners and sales associates, and three administrators. The team was previously a part of Mott & Chace Sotheby’s International Realty.

According to Compass’ statement, the Blackstone Team closed more than $95 million in sales volume last year. The statement also explains that the “move to Compass was motivated by the team’s pursuit of growth and desire to work alongside like-minded individuals.”

“Compass is the real estate company of the future: team-focused, growth-oriented and technology-driven,” Taylor said. “But most of all, Compass is mission-minded and aligns with our personal philosophies like no other company in the marketplace.”

Taylor’s team holds the number two spot on Real Trends’ list of top-performing medium-sized teams by sales volume in Rhode Island.

The Blackstone Team’s move to Compass comes at a time of intense competition for top-producing agents. Though the fight for larger headcounts has been ongoing for years — and helped make Compass a behemoth in the real estate industry — the rate-driven market slowdown of the last two years has added pressure on brokerages to recruit agents who can actually close deals in leaner times.

Against that backdrop, Compass has, in recent months, touted a number of high-profile gets. Earlier this fall, for example, the company announced that it had picked up a top indie brokerage in central Texas, 15 agents in New Jersey and expanded with a new office in Kansas City’s Country Club Plaza.

More recently, Compass announced earnings on Monday, revealing that between July and September it grew its total number of principal agents by 511. The announcement was significant because the brokerage cut cash- and stock-based recruiting incentives last year — a move that raised questions at the time about Compass’ ability to keep attracting top talent.

Compass is, of course, not the only firm lately touting its recruiting victories, with rivals such as Coldwell Banker and eXp Realty  also celebrating big new hires in recent months. The result is an apparent trend in which top brokerages continue to vie more intensely than ever for top agents.

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Ryan Elsman

In the case of this latest hire, Compass celebrated the team’s arrival this week, with Ryan Elsman — strategic lead and sales manager for Compass Rhode Island — saying in the statement that “we consider it a true privilege that the Blackstone Team has elected to further elevate and grow its business in partnership with Compass.”

“I was immediately struck by the team’s shared passion, camaraderie, and forward-thinking, client-centric approach to real estate,”  Elsman said. “I speak for our entire team in Providence when I say we are thrilled to “welcome home” this group of market-leading professionals.”

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