As many know, Compass is a leader of innovation and technology in the real estate industry. With all the buzz in the news about the growth and scope of Compass, and the transformation that Compass is making in the world of real estate, it’s hard not to see the company as simply growth-driven. But what many might not know is that there’s something much deeper which drives the company. Compass is a human-centered business. From its inception, Compass was founded with the mission to elevate the agent, and to elevate the human experience. People, their hopes and dreams, their families and well-being are the driving force behind every innovation Compass makes. It is to those aims that Compass had such an exciting year last year, and to those aims that it holds its vision for this new year.
Last year was monumental for Compass. In the beginning of 2018, Compass started with 30 offices, and it finished the year with over 150. We are now in the top 20 markets in the country, with eight major market launches in 2018. Over 1,000 employees were hired, and nearly 6,000 new agents were signed. The company raised $1.2 billion, with $400 million coming from a single investor. Compass is now valued at $4.4 billion.
One of the proudest accomplishments for Compass in 2018 is that the company now provides access to a great healthcare plan for all its agents. The company also made the monumental decision to invest $250 million in agents, helping us grow and run our businesses to their optimum potentials, a move which directly benefits clients. This will happen in the following five ways:
- The Agent Betterment Fund: provides interest-free loans for agents to invest in ourselves and our businesses, which we can pay back on our own timelines.
- The Compass Concierge: completely funds all of the cosmetic improvements that an agent makes to a home: staging, renovations, landscaping, cleaning, etc. When the home sells, the agent simply adds the expenses to the cost of the commission.
- Compass Bridge Loans Program: this incredibly generous, forward-thinking, and extraordinary program provides fair, simple bridge loans that we offer our clients they can buy a home while we their current home.
- Access to Chief Operating Officers: renowned COO’s to help manage our business so we can focus on our clients.
- The Compass Card: a card that lets us easily manage and pay all of our business expenses, and then pay them back through future commissions.
In 2018 technological advances, we were exceedingly productive. We hired former Microsoft and Amazon executive Joseph Sirosh as our new Chief Technology Officer, and two weeks later, launched our technology campus in Seattle. We will hire 100 engineers to focus on marketing technology, web and mobile, security, and AI, with the goal of building real estate’s first-ever end-to-end platform.
This platform rids the agent of all the fragmented pieces of technology and tools traditionally used to run a real estate business, and streamlines it all onto one platform, so that it can be managed in one place. Each client is better served through this platform. It enables us as agents to immediately put our client’s home listing into the hands of any agent in the U.S. who has sold a similar type of home, increasing chances of a faster sale. We can also reach out to any other agent whose client has looked at the listing, making a personal tour or well-attended open house a likely outcome. Additionally, this platform gives access to real-time data from the entire market, instantly. Finding out in real time when a home hits the market, or when a price drop happens, is invaluable.
Another technological advancement is Compass’s Smart Sign, the revolutionary take on the traditional “for sale” sign. The sign lights up whenever anyone moves within 20 feet of it. It can be accessed by Bluetooth and Waze. If a buyer or seller has the Compass app open on their phone when they pass by one of these signs, information about the home is sent directly to the app. Ultimately, the Smart Sign serves as a hub of information related to the home being sold, which anyone can access through the Compass app, thus eliminating waiting and wondering.
Finally, one of the most meaningful contributions Compass made in 2018 was the launching of Compass Cares. Through this program, 100% of transactions will result in a donation being made to a local non-profit. The agents at each office will collectively decide each month to which charity to donate the money. Business going as it is for Compass, the projected amount to be donated nationally by the end of this year is $10 million. The projected amount for the next 10 years is $1 billion.
Now that is a company that cares.