When we made the decision to join with Compass, it was the future of the business that was a primary concern. The I-news summed it up well in their profile of Nick Segal, the founder of one of the SF brokerages recently purchased, and we could relate to what he said:
“The independent brokerage is going to face a very, very difficult time in the next three to four years. They don’t have enough money to invest in the growth of the business, their key people are going to start to realize they need to sacrifice the relationship with the brokerage (and go to a bigger firm),” Segal said.
“In order to take our agents to the next level we needed more tools, tech and a greater reach. We had to align ourselves with a bigger player, that was the mindset. Selling our baby was emotional but we knew it was best for the company and for individuals who were facing stiffer competition.”
In the beginning, Donna worked for Proctor & Gamble, one of the best-run corporate-sales teams ever. She appreciates the benefits of working within a structured environment, and with staff who provide meaningful support.
We want to be supported in being on the forefront of the tech revolution in real estate.
People complain that Compass isn’t really a ‘tech’ company, but all we need is a platform where all of the latest technologies are packaged up and linked together – and that’s what Compass is doing for agents.
Donna had these thoughts on the decision:
Our industry and the world is so dependent on tech – it doesn’t replace the importance of the agent/person and our relationships – but it is critical to our success. Having access to the best technology available is something that Jim and I both valued and knew that to have it – it would mean paying for it or working for a brokerage that offered it to its brokers/agents. Finding the best tech platform was a factor.
In the two short months here, Compass has rolled out more tools and technology to assist us than I ever thought possible, and the staff (which is significant) is 100% committed to making the lives of agents better.
We have staff dedicated to design/marketing, product education, agent operations, concierge, IT, etc. – all full time staff employees who’s job is to assist, help, support, and do what they can – so we can go do what we do – sell houses. It’s impressive the commitment Compass has to supporting agents. You will hear the CEO say, ‘agent-centric company’, and so far it is very true.
The decision wasn’t an easy one for us to go work for someone else – but as we made the choice – it felt right, and it still does.
The disruptors/discounters in our industry is another reason. It’s easy for the consumer to assume that small brokerages must discount their service and fee to compete. We wanted to align ourselves with a company that was all about being a full-serviced brokerage which is what we’ve always been – we do a lot for our clients. Compass is all about being a full-service company and is saying this loud and clear publicly – we want to be on that side of the equation.
Last and not least, as we considered companies to work with, we noticed who Compass has hired in San Diego County and we were honestly impressed with the list of agents in our area – top notch listing agents with great reputations. We also heard that they were not taking everyone; they were vetting their prospective agents carefully; and were committed to maintaining the culture of their company. This is something that mattered to us. Jim started Klinge Realty after being frustrated with some of the agents we worked with and not being proud of their business practices and ethics.
Mentioned yesterday in our meeting was the likelihood of Amazon getting into the real-estate selling business. It’s the only major industry that they aren’t involved with, and it seems inevitable that they will be a player some day. No one is sure yet how they will participate, but it’s coming.
The Great Real Estate Consolidation is upon us, and the landscape will look very different in the next 2-3 years. Small and medium brokerages are finding it difficult to keep up, and their agents are leaving for greener pastures. We are glad to have made the move early on, and appreciate what has been a great system and group so far!
Great post, thanks for sharing it. I wish you, Donna, and the rest of your staff all the best with Compass. I’m glad it still feels like the right decision!
Will your “Nordstrom’s” have a tea room?
Seriously. Most people do this thing like 4 times in their lives. It’s stupid to not hire a “guide.” And that’s the word you need to use “RE Guides.”
I’m an outlier. I know the questions to ask. I might do okay with a discount service because my experience can catch their lapses but the average buyer/seller is going to never catch enough pitfalls to make back the so called “savings.”
Agree, and I don’t think people calculate how little the savings could be. 1%? or maybe 2%? That’s a rounding error, compared to the potential disaster.
Tom mentioned today the non-canyon-front, 1,000sf Clairemont houses that were selling for $750,000 in spring are now hoping to get high-$600,000s. If you bought one of those with 10% down, it’s gone.
It’s nice to hear Donna’s perspective on the move to Compass, thank you, Jim!
Thanks BAM! I promise to weigh in on the topics I feel I have something to contribute to.