The average agent has 13 different online logins, and spends 89% of their time on admin and trivial tasks. What are companies missing when trying to serve the needs of agents? Why is culture such an important part of building a successful business? What are the high-level strategies for luxury listings? On this episode, we are joined by Robert Reffkin, the CEO of the growing real estate tech startup, Compass.
As important as technology and great marketing are, I can’t stress enough the importance of culture and community. -Robert Reffkin
Takeaways + Tactics
- There are 270 software providers building tools for agents, but they are small and fragmented. Meanwhile, the big companies aren’t asking agents what they want.
- Brokers don’t have enough resources to build technology in-house for agents.
- No automated valuation tool can beat the agent.
- The average agent who is with Compass grew their business by 25% last year.
At the start of the show, Robert shared how he got started and what inspired the creation of Compass. He also shared on the existing real estate tech space, and how much time agents waste on meaningless tasks. Robert also shared his team breakdown and why he brought together people who don’t come from the real estate world. He also shared on the importance of being selective in hiring, “every great institution in the world is selective, real estate needs to be more selective.” We also discussed what people look for in real estate agents, “they want someone they can proudly sit next to, someone collaborative, experienced, likable and fully committed.
Robert also discussed:
- His 80-person marketing team
- The importance of culture and community
- How to use technology for pricing
- Why luxury listings need to be treated in a unique way
- Why Compass gives agents the tools to make their lives easier
Real estate agents are the largest underserved customer base in the country. There just hasn’t been the investment of people and money to make the industry what it could be. There are over a million agents in the US generating a combined $5 billion in commissions every year, but they just don’t have any great companies asking them what they want. Until an agent has one login, they are going to be held back from growing their business in a meaningful way. Agents need to be focused on their clients, not admin. Applying technology to these issues will bring help to bring the industry forward.
Robert Reffkin is the CEO of Urban Compass, a tech-driven New York City real estate firm. Prior to Compass, Robert worked at Goldman Sachs as Chief of Staff to the President & COO following five years working in the firm's private equity arm. Prior to Goldman Sachs, he worked at Lazard and McKinsey & Company. In 2005, he was appointed as a White House Fellow to serve as special assistant to the Secretary of the Treasury. Robert is also the Founder of New York Needs You. He received a B.A. and M.B.A. from Columbia University. Outside of work, he recently completed 50 marathons, one in each state, to raise $1 million for nonprofits. Go to https://www.compass.com/ for more info or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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