Robert Reffkin, the CEO of Compass, calls the pandemic a “historic time none of us will ever forget.”

We’re surging into Leadership Month this March on Inman. Join us as we deep dive into leadership fundamentals, culture, and even playlists.

Many of the industry’s top real estate companies are now dealing with the massive dilemma of leading tens of thousands of real estate agents and thousands of staff employees through both a public health and economic crisis.

In a memo obtained by Inman, Robert Reffkin, the CEO of Compass, calls the current period, “a historic time that none of us will ever forget,” and outlines the steps his company is taking to ensure agents are taken care of and their time is used productively.

Compass Family,

We are living through a historic time none of us will ever forget.

In this moment, your health and safety is our top priority — and I want you to know that I fully support you doing whatever you need to do right now in order to take care of yourself, your family and your loved ones.

I received a lot of questions over the weekend from people about how to move forward right now. If you are able to work, I’d like to encourage you to use these next few weeks to invest in your professional growth and be a calming voice for your clients in this time of need. Just because your business might slow, it doesn’t mean your own growth has to. And when this all dissipates, you’ll want your clients to look back and say you were there for them when the times were tough.

We will be right there with you, mobilizing in every way we can so that you can emerge from this moment stronger, smarter and better prepared than you’ve ever been.

Here’s how we’re going to try to help:

Each week, we’ll send you a steady stream of things to help you keep busy and grow professionally. Trainings, videos, new tools to learn, ways to build your CRM, best practices to adopt, and more. And we’ll launch new tools and provide practical tips to help you stay in front of your clients.

To help spread the word about these resources, I’m going to start communicating with the whole company a lot more often: I’ll send an email every two days (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) rather than every two weeks, and I’m going to experiment with recording a daily video message each morning on Workplace.

And that’s just the beginning of what we have planned. We’ve created a special Workplace group called “Agent Best Practices for the Current Environment” and over the next week we’ll share a new live-training curriculum and a revamped Compass Academy to help you learn and grow during this time of social distancing. And we’ll also be sending around the best ideas from agents and employees across the country, so we can all get through this together.

Today, I’ll start by sharing three useful things that you can check out right now:

First, many of you have asked how you can share with your clients the mood of your local markets and how buyers & sellers are reacting — how many listings are coming to market, how many properties are being taken off the market, how many owners are dropping prices? Luckily, we have a simple tool called Market Watch that tells you what is happening in your market. Here is an example of the type of insight it can provide for your clients based on a real-life example in New York: “In Manhattan over the last 7 days we saw 243 new listings come to market, however, 238 reduced their price and 127 temporary came off the market with 89 permanently coming off the market. This means there are 2x the number of listings reducing price and coming off the market than coming on, therefore it might be wise to advise sellers to lower their price in this current environment.” Click on this link to see a very brief video on how to use Market Watch to communicate with your clients.

Second, if you’re trying to make sense of the markets, I recommend listening to this interview. Click here to hear an expert’s view on how the financial markets impact real estate and how it’s affecting buyers and sellers, and what the coming weeks and months could bring. It’s a conversation between Alli McCartney, managing director of UBS’s wealth management division and Rory Golod, regional president of Compass New York, hosted by New York agent Cindy Scholz. One Washington, DC agent said, “That recording is probably the most reassuring piece of news fodder I have digested all week, and it has a lot of good takeaways.”

Third, we’re all going to be doing a LOT more videoconferencing than we ever have and the difference between an excellent video meeting and a so-so one is just as large as it is for in-person meetings. Click here to watch my first video, on how to run a great client meeting over video chat.

If you’re in a position to work and are looking for support and encouragement, I hope these resources are helpful to you.

But let me also reiterate what I said at the beginning: What matters most is your health, safety and well-being right now. It’s not actually important to me whether or not you check out the links above, but it is very important to me that you make sure to take care of yourself — rest, hydration, whatever life adjustments you need — so that you’re able to care for those you love.

Amidst all of this, try your best to keep a positive mindset. We’re in an unpredictable moment, but I’m 100% sure of one thing: We’re going to get through this, together.


Email Patrick Kearns

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