OpinionAgent

Could Gary Keller and Compass’s Robert Reffkin be more similar?

These fast-talking, brilliant entrepreneurs have big plans for the real estate industry

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I recently sat with Compass CEO Robert Reffkin in his slick new offices on New York City’s 5th Avenue, when suddenly the image of Texan Gary Keller oddly flashed before my eyes. It was an illusion that quickly lifted, but something clicked in my head that I had missed before. On the one hand, could two people be more different? Keller, a Texan and former real estate agent, guitar-playing dude, is the highly disciplined owner of the big, successful and seasoned juggernaut Keller Williams. Not old school by any means, the company pre-dates the CD player, the mobile phone and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Keller was born in 1957, the year the Russians launched their Sputnik satellite aboard a rocket. Thirty-eight year old Reffkin is a New Yorker, a Columbia MBA and a former White House fellow who is scrambling at warp speed to get a real estate startup off the ground. The year he was born, Time Magazine made the personal computer its Man of The Year. His company, Compass, is fi...