Sonoma County-based Rob Sullivan most recently worked at Vanguard Properties, and spent several years at Coldwell Banker before that.

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If you thought the battle for top agents had ebbed in the face of big news about things like commission lawsuits, well, guess again: Coldwell Banker just nabbed a top-performing agent in California’s wine country.

Rob Sullivan

Rob Sullivan has joined the venerable brand from Vanguard Properties, and will work out of Coldwell Banker’s office in Petaluma, a city in Sonoma County, according to a statement from the company. The statement describes Sullivan as “a consistent top-performing agent” who “has closed over $250 million in real estate sales across 265 transactions.”

Sonoma County is the heart of California’s wine country.

Prior to Vanguard, Sullivan did an earlier stint at Coldwell Banker from 2014 to 2019, the statement notes. That means he’s not just a big get for Coldwell Banker, he’s also what’s sometimes known as a “boomerang agent,” or someone who left one brand only to later return. Over the last several years, as the market slowed and brokerages focused ever more intensely on top-performers with proven track records, boomerang agents have been among the most celebrated recruits.

Coldwell Banker in particular has made a point of celebrating its boomerang agents against the backdrop of a heightened competition for agents. That competition dominated headlines in 2023 and early 2024, before being somewhat eclipsed by news of antitrust litigation over agent commissions. However, despite the rise of other news stories, the so-called “recruiting wars” have not ended — as Sullivan’s move to Coldwell Banker demonstrates.

In Sullivan’s case, he was upbeat about joining Coldwell Banker, saying in the statement that he built his “foundation here and I look forward to offering access to the company’s global network to my clients.”

“Relationships are the core of real estate, and I know returning to the Coldwell Banker family will only enrich my business and client development,” he added.

Jennifer Lind

Company brass was similarly laudatory toward Sullivan.

“Rob is a highly regarded agent in Sonoma County and we are thrilled that he has chosen to come back and affiliate with the Petaluma office,” Jennifer Lind, a regional president at Coldwell Banker, said in the statement. “Coldwell Banker’s presence, global footprint and strong local leadership, combined with Rob’s exceptional service to his clients creates a perfect partnership that we are proud to continue.”

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