Rory Golod began his career in real estate in 2014 as a strategy and business development associate for Compass.
He spent about two years growing the brokerage within the New York area before he became chief of staff to the founder and CEO, Robert Reffkin.
Then, in 2018, he was given the opportunity to take over the role of general manager for the New York region. Today, Golod is the president of the entire tristate, overseeing 68 offices across New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
To put the brokerage’s regional success into perspective, in 2020, Compass was ranked number two on The Real Deal’s list of top brokerages in New York City and clocked in over $4 billion worth of sales.
Golod’s journey to leadership is filled with mentors, lessons and integrity. During an interview with Inman, he revealed the three moments that kickstarted his career at one of the largest brokerages in the country.
During his time as chief of staff to Reffkin, Golod came to the realization that the agents are the brokerage’s customers, and it reshaped the way he approached his job.
To this day, Golod asks himself, “Are you listening to your customer? Are you letting your customer actually drive the strategy of your business?”
The true customers of any brokerage, he told Inman, are the agents because they’re the ones who bring in the money. To achieve success as a business, a brokerage must create a system that caters to the needs of the agents.
Reffkin, Golod continued, is a strong believer that not only is the agent the customer, but that listening to them and gathering their feedback is the key way to propel the company forward.
That mindset rubbed off on Golod and has since allowed him to be more aligned with the people he leads.
“The agent is the true center of not just the transaction, but the entire residential real estate ecosystem. They are the glue that holds everything together,” he said. “The clarity on that has made it so that we can be more effective, and be aligned with who we are creating value for and hopefully more faster.”
The birth of his daughter
Golod welcomed his daughter into the world last summer.
“The key takeaway from that, aside from me finding her to be the most beautiful thing in the world, is the value and importance of having something that drives your passion,” he told Inman.
Having to leave his daughter to go to work made him realize how important it is to have a job he loves doing.
“It has to be meaningful because there’s something else there that has this insanely powerful force that pulls you back to them. If you’re going to be away from them, it has to be something that gives you purpose, that gives you meaning,” he said.
Golod’s wife gave birth to their daughter during the pandemic, and it put life into perspective for him. He told Inman that they weren’t able to hold their baby together until she was brought home from the hospital. But even during those unprecedented times, he was able to count his blessings.
“I think it actually just reminded all of us how even through difficult and adverse moments how lucky we really are,” he said.
A lesson from his stepfather
Golod told Inman that his stepfather is one of the most influential people in his life. Growing up, he would always tell Golod, “Anything in life can be taken from you. The only thing that you can give away is your integrity.”
As Golod helped grow Compass, that saying stuck in his mind and integrity became the backbone of his career.
Integrity, he said, goes beyond honesty and trustworthiness; it encapsulates how you treat people.
“Do you put the good of others as a guiding principle for you?” he asked.
He told Inman that the community at Compass is built on love, compassion, and, of course, integrity.
His ultimate goal, he continued, is to show the world that the widely accepted negative perception of the real estate profession is far from the truth.