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It a stunning day in San Diego on Tuesday as Compass RETREAT attendees basked in heat rays of sunshine on the open air Rady Shell music venue whereas the brokerage’s CEO, Robert Reffkin, welcomed the group with confidence and reassurance.
“Regardless of a difficult actual property market, one of many worst on file, the place mortgage charges have elevated sooner than any time in historical past, the place there’s simply not sufficient stock, the place the courts are difficult the worth that you simply present in your fee,” Reffkin stated. “Regardless of all of that, I’ve by no means been extra assured in your organization.”
The place Compass is right now
Reffkin went on to tout the brokerage’s stable positioning within the business right now, having change into, for the second yr in a row, the No.1 brokerage by gross sales quantity within the nation. The CEO additionally stated that the brokerage’s agent retention price is trying sturdy — with 98 % of principal brokers remaining with Compass final quarter, and over 300 brokers who left the corporate within the final yr having boomeranged again.
In lower than 10 years from launching its first sale, Compass may have bought over $1 trillion in gross sales quantity, Reffkin added.
The place the brokerage goes
Waiting for the brokerage’s future, Reffkin stated Compass would “elevate the position of the true property advisor and empower every one in every of you to double your market share.”
Reflecting on the early days of Compass’ inception, Reffkin recalled one thing that Leonard Steinberg, Compass’ “chief evangelist” and head of the New York Metropolis-based Leonard Steinberg Workforce, instructed him.
“Robert, the way forward for this business is in high-tech and high-touch,” Reffkin recalled.
“And it’s been within the DNA of this firm ever since,” he added.
By way of Compass’ proprietary platform and the five hundred individuals on its know-how workforce, Reffkin asserted that no firm would make investments extra in its brokers than Compass.
Prioritizing in-person interactions
However the CEO additionally confused that creating high-touch, in-person interactions with shoppers to construct significant relationships was extra vital now than ever, within the wake of the height Zoom period, and as brokers seemingly have fewer alternatives to transact.
“Excessive contact is a novel alternative of this second,” Reffkin stated.
For the reason that brokerage’s RETREAT final yr, Reffkin stated he had recommitted himself to the corporate tradition, what he referred to as “our tradition of connection,” as he noticed different actual property CEOs change into extra distant from their corporations and brokers.
In response, Reffkin dedicated himself to visiting each Compass market, and ended up going to over 200 workplaces in particular person within the final yr. He additionally started inviting brokers and workers to his home almost each week and, in the end, began bringing his household to Compass open homes on Sundays — even on Mom’s Day.
“I do know it’s not a straightforward market, however I additionally know this market is your best alternative disguised as a problem,” Reffkin stated.
The CEO confused that these brokers who spend extra face-to-face time with individuals — and nurture relationships — are those who will succeed on this troublesome market.
“The maths of actual property could be very, quite simple: If you wish to enhance your enterprise, enhance the variety of individuals that you simply communicate to,” Reffkin stated. “I’m not apprehensive this nation has a listing situation, I’m apprehensive now we have a connection situation.”
He went on to argue that brokers had “been deceived” into considering that texting, emailing and posting on social media are types of connection, however these media can’t convey tone or the heat in somebody’s eyes.
“It brings out your best fears,” Reffkin stated, of speaking by means of a display.
He went on to recall the primary Compass board assembly that was held in particular person after two years of Zoom conferences due to the pandemic. As individuals engaged in small speak throughout breaks, Reffkin was appalled at himself when he realized he didn’t even know which members had youngsters at dwelling and which didn’t. However on the finish of the day, the consensus was that it was the perfect assembly the group had ever had.
“It was the perfect assembly as a result of we have been in a position to see one another face-to-face, to see one another’s physique language, eye-to-eye, and actually join,” Reffkin stated.
“You’ll be able to’t construct belief nearly, and our business is constructed on belief,” he added.
“This can be a time to get old-fashioned. Eyes-on-eyes, face-to-face, constructing your enterprise one relationship at a time.”
Within the spirit of connection, Reffkin additionally requested brokers to spend as a lot time of their workplaces as they did in 2019, as a result of being round different brokers spurs dialog and alternatives.
“I do know you selected this business for flexibility,” Reffkin stated. “However I’m not asking you to do greater than you probably did in 2019. Simply return to your calendar in 2019, see how a lot you have been within the workplace, and are available again that a lot. Not for me, however for you. On your happiness and enterprise, it is advisable be round different brokers.”
How purchaser brokers will reply to threats to their commissions
Within the wake of the Sitzer | Burnett verdict, Reffkin stated he had been sensing a number of worry from brokers about their commissions now being jeopardized. However he famous that threats to an agent’s fee have been nothing new to the business, after varied traits that waved by means of actual property, just like the web, iBuyers, low cost brokerages and extra.
“By way of all these a long time, you continued to show your value, to show your worth,” he stated.
Reffkin went on so as to add that dozens of Compass brokers already make use of dealer purchaser agreements with their shoppers, as completely purchaser brokers, and that that is one thing the brokerage is dedicated to serving to its brokers grasp.
“The reply to this present predicament sits within the firm right now,” Reffkin stated, noting that at RETREAT, Compass brokers Lucy Mao and Raziel Ungar have been slated to current at a panel entitled “Set up Your Worth As a Purchaser Dealer,” throughout which they’d evaluate their very own methods in representing patrons and creating purchaser dealer agreements.
“By doing this, all of you can be compelled to promote your worth to patrons as a lot as you do to sellers, which is able to end in elevating the position of the true property advisor and empowering you to realize market share from brokers that don’t know the right way to talk their worth,” Reffkin stated.
The Again to Fundamentals Problem
To encourage brokers to take severely Reffkin’s name to spend extra time connecting, the CEO stated he’d be launching on Monday “The Again to Fundamentals Problem,” the brokerage’s largest problem but.
In tandem with each day trainings and mastermind periods led by Compass’ high coaches and brokers on the right way to execute purchaser dealer agreements with shoppers, brokers will observe by means of Compass’ CRM what number of purchaser unique agreements they get signed and what number of in-person interactions they’ve with shoppers.
The highest 10 brokers who signal probably the most purchaser unique agreements and have probably the most in-person interactions in the course of the first 100 days of 2024 will obtain a visit to New York Metropolis for a full day of mastermind periods, which may even embody breakfast with Leonard Steinberg, lunch with Courtney Smith and Skye Michiels, and dinner at Reffkin’s dwelling.
“If by means of this we are able to all decide to spending twice as a lot time with individuals in-person subsequent yr, I’m keen to guess that your enterprise will go up two instances as nicely,” Reffkin stated.
The CEO additionally teased some massive issues to return for Compass within the subsequent yr, together with new consumer dashboards particular to each patrons and sellers and a set of workforce performance. In forthcoming years, he additionally stated the brokerage can be launching internationally in London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai and Sao Paulo.
“And we are going to be sure that this firm, in its DNA, at its core, will all the time have the perfect know-how and the perfect workforce.”