AgentBrokerage

Compass reveals plans for massive expansion, futuristic signage

Techie real estate co. eyes 10 new markets, will build its own CRM, CEO Robert Reffkin says in video

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Compass, the rapidly ascendant real estate technology company, will expand into 10 new markets in an ambitious bid to grab 20 percent of the market share in the 20 largest U.S. cities by 2020, CEO Robert Reffkin vowed at a recent company-wide meeting, Inman has learned.

The meeting was recorded on video and Compass is posting it publicly for the first time today.

Seattle, San Diego, Phoenix, Dallas, Austin, Houston, Atlanta, Charlotte, Philadelphia and Chicago are all slated for Compass outposts under a coverage plan that already includes New York City, Miami, Aspen, Washington D.C., San Francisco and Los Angeles, among other cities.

“In the top 20 cities, 20 percent market share by 2020,” said Reffkin during the Oct. 24 meeting, held in New York. “How are we going to do that? By investing in our agents, giving them support and building more for them than any company in the history of this country.”

Dubbed “2020 By 2020,” the Compass expansion will run in tandem with separate plans to create a custom Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform for the company’s 2,000 agents, a targeted digital marketing tool and cutting-edge real estate signage fueled by solar power. Those technological innovations, in addition to a new training program, are slated for 2018.

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The four-tiered strategic plan was announced following what Reffkin described as a three-year tour of Compass’ offices across the United States, where he was told repeatedly by agents that they were in need of a company-wide CRM platform. Prior to the announcement, some agents confessed to using Excel spreadsheets and Post-It notes to track their clients’ habits.

Currently, as many as 30 CRM solutions are on the market, including Salesforce, Hubspot, Realvolve and Goldmine, but Compass officials have opted to build a custom platform designed to surface insights from an existing database of listings and client information.

“The Compass CRM will combine social intelligence with client intelligence and real estate listing intelligence so that agents can use their emotional intelligence to help their clients with one of the most important transactions of their life,” said Reffkin. “Compass will integrate your listings with your clients’ and your transactions in one place—and only Compass can do this.”

Perhaps most intriguing, however, are plans to create futuristic real estate signage designed to stay illuminated at night through solar power and replicated with the help of 3D printers. Although details were sparse, the signs, conceivably digital and biodegradable, drew the biggest round of applause during the meeting, which officials describe as a semi-regular event.

“Real estate signs are everywhere, and when Compass has 20 percent market share in the top 20 cities in the country you, your family, your friends and your clients will see Compass signs every single day,” said Reffkin. “We have an obligation as a company, and it’s in our DNA as a community, to make these signs the best that they can be.”

News of the strategic plan comes on the heels of a hiring spree at the five-year-old company. In October, top-selling brokers from The Agency, Sotheby’s and Halstead all jumped ship for Compass, and officials say the push to add new agents will continue through the new year.

“At Compass, our strategy is to elevate our agents’ experience so that they can elevate the client experience,” said Reffkin. “Because when you have the best agents in the industry armed with the best tools and built by the best engineers and designers and operations people Compass is able to deliver an experience to consumers that’s better than any other company.”

Email Jotham Sederstrom