Solving the largest crisis for agents: healthcare

It’s time for all real estate professionals to have peace of mind

If you talk to 100 small-business owners, 99 of them will tell you that the biggest headache in their lives is health insurance. It’s complicated, confusing, expensive, filled with red tape — and vitally important to every single one of us.

Yet in our industry, nearly every agent has to navigate the mess of healthcare entirely on their own. Agents are paying too much and getting too little. And because the prices are so high on the open market, there are tens of thousands of agents who are going without any health insurance at all. In fact, 14% of agents claimed they do not have health insurance, according to an NAB study, and 57% of people with insurance say it is too expensive.

About a year ago, I was visiting the Compass office in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn where I met an agent named Lori Mendelis. I asked her, “What could we be doing to make your life better?” She told me that more than anything else, health insurance kept her up at night. Her premiums kept rising and rising — up to $28,000 a year.

Compass Founder & CEO Robert Reffkin and Compass Agent Lori Mendelis

Agents–and their families–across the industry deserve better. So Compass is doing something about it.

After months of work and planning (and failures and obstacles), Compass is able to provide great healthcare to our agents. We’ve created a number of options in every one of our markets through Cigna — and when you compare against the plans on the health insurance exchanges, they have a savings of up to 62.8%.

As the son of an agent, I’m extremely passionate about this topic. Agents deserve to have the peace of mind to be able to focus 100% of their time and energy on helping everyone find their place in the world.

Compass Agent Jason Saft pictured with his daughter

If Compass can take stress off agents’ shoulders, that’s both good business and a good opportunity to do right by thousands upon thousands of entrepreneurs that we care about deeply. If we can leverage our growing scale to get people better rates than they’d be able to get on their own, that helps everyone. And I sincerely hope that the rest of the industry will do the same.

I’m excited for a future where every single real estate agent has the option of affordable health insurance, and hope that our industry will come together to make it a reality.