Why Robert Reffkin’s mother is coming to work at Compass

Compass co-founder and his mother talk about what they are trying to achieve in real estate
  • Robert Reffkin, the CEO of Compass has just hired his mother to work in his Upper East Side office.
  • Ruth Reffkin was his inspiration for entering the field of real estate which needed a new approach, he said.
  • Compass is opening new offices in San Francisco in the fall.

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It was real estate agent Ruth Reffkin's birthday on Wednesday. The active Manhattan agent turned 71. And rather than thinking about retirement to spend time with her grandchildren -- whom she adores -- she started a brand new job at her son's company, Compass, a tech-driven real estate brokerage. Why not when Robert Reffkin first set up Compass in 2013? "We had a conversation when the company was still small when Robert was starting, but I wanted it to be his thing and for him not to have his mother around," she said wisely. But three years on, he and his team have built a business with 800 plus agents and 300 staff in cities including New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Miami, Washington, D.C. -- and in the fall, his birthplace, the San Francisco Bay Area. Ruth, an agent at Rutenberg Realty NYC before this, felt it might be time to look for a new brokerage. When your own mother's name comes up Ruth's name had come up as a potential hire from some of his agents, so Robert di...