Robert Reffkin, Founder and CEO of Compass

Published on18 JUN 2021

In this episode of Talks at GS, Robert Reffkin, founder and CEO of Compass, discusses his new book, No One Succeeds Alone, which chronicles his journey from challenging beginnings to founding the nation’s largest independent real estate brokerage; his vision for creating a tech-focused brokerage; and his reflections on long-term shifts in the real estate market as a result of the pandemic.

On the role of technology in real estate: “I think from a 30 year perspective…if you're not a technology company, I don't know if you're going to exist. I think technology can replace single point transactions, but not processes and not advice…Compass and Goldman are similar in this respect. Buying or selling a home is similar to buying and selling a company. One, I need to get in front of the person that owns the asset…then there's a listing presentation. And in the pitch, you'll have, here's my credentials. Here's my company’s credentials…here's the expected valuation, a couple different valuation methodologies. It’s the exact same thing as the listing presentation for a home owner. And so really, I'm sure you're using capital IQ and much more advanced tools than what I remember from eight and a half years ago, but tools empower. Technology is empowering every profession to accomplish more.

On his outlook of the real estate market: “I think we've seen a permanent shift in demand…The reasons why are, one, which is take hybrid work, which will continue. It could be three weeks here, four weeks there, in the middle of the year, and it doesn't have to be the Hamptons…You don't have to be a billionaire to have a second home. For a New Yorker, you can go to Raleigh, North Carolina and for $300,000 you can get an incredible home you could Airbnb out when you’re not there for those three months out of the year. And so there's many more options. So multiple homeownership definitely will increase.”

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The episode was recorded on June 1, 2021.

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