This past week I ventured down to DC for Compass’s annual East Coast Retreat. 800 agents from around the country (but mostly East of Chicago) convened for three days of talks, workshops, cocktails, heavy h’ors d'oeuvres, and socializing. Trying to avoid making a fool of myself, I declined afterparty invitations in favor of seeing old friends from college, but I still got plenty of face time with agents from my office and many others.
The whole experience reminded me of why I wanted to join Compass in the first place. It wasn’t just Joe and Kelly who made me feel like it was the right (or honestly, only) choice for me; it started with the member of the strategic growth team i first met, and something he said that really stuck out. I had interviewed at other companies, and everyone talks about how you need to fit the culture, but at most places “culture” meant one type of agent. In my meeting with Nick he said more than once that everyone can be him-or-herself at Compass, and that the “culture” was all about being kind, humble, honest, and ethical in your business.
This has been reinforced by Joe Quiros and Kelly Waters at every turn. When I was obviously nervous starting out and taking the steps to be my own brand, Joe pulled me aside and said to stop being what I thought an agent should be and instead be myself. Other wonderful Compass agents have told me to be "normal but slightly elevated," that whoever I am in life is who I am in real estate, and that all I should focus on is being genuine and doing a great job. My wonderful friends, supporters, and clients have reached out to say my voice seems authentic, and I would never have gotten to this point, where I feel comfortable writing at least two times a week and posting on Instagram daily, without all of you (you made your own bed there, people who hate my posts!).
Despite our obvious differences (it's a very stylistically diverse office for a real estate company), everyone at Compass shares common values and a common goal to elevate the real estate industry. It is, in theory, a noble profession, but bad agents, like bad lawyers, have ruined it for the rest of us. Our executive team hopes that by keeping standards high (they accept about 1 out of every 1,000 agents who apply) and “exiting” any agent who doesn’t live up to these standards, they can affect real change. It’s just like my #trashless policy; I don’t limit myself to one price point or one type of client, but instead focus on working with people who are honest and ethical, just like me! I also get to leverage Compass’s unparalleled digital marketing and avoid creating more trash, focusing on having a low environmental impact. These things are important to me, and it’s incredible to be at a place that both supports me and prioritizes the same things. Next step: getting rid of all the straws at our headquarters.
There were so many parts of the event, especially the speakers and work sessions, that made me excited to be a part of the Compass family and its bright future, but I don’t want to accidentally reveal company secrets or bore anyone, so instead I’ll leave it here.
Hope nobody has too bad a case of the Mondays, and I’ll be back tomorrow with your weekly New York Value!