Defining the Global Perspective

As Compass grows, so does its opportunity to connect with buyers and sellers in every corner of the world. Our newest initiative is collaborative, unprecedented, and boundless.

On February 1, 2016, Compass launched Compass Global, a new initiative to unite our agents with a network of buyers, sellers, developers, and investors around the world. Simply put, it is about connectedness. A concept that transcends location, topography, maps, and borders to deliver real value to our agents and, by extension, their buyers and sellers.

Many companies in the real estate industry trumpet their international ties. In fact, on the luxury side of the sales spectrum, pitching new business has devolved into a tactical shouting match between brands vying to own the “international” moniker. But for Compass to differentiate itself and offer a truly competitive advantage, we shouldn’t raise our voice — we should change the argument.

A global vision — Compass CEO Robert Reffkin and President Leonard Steinberg

After all, what lies behind the optics in a pitch? Once the smoke and mirrors disappear, are these companies capable of delivering on their claims? Success is measured in actual deals done, connections made, and the quality of service provided — and with the return on such promises tending to fall short, the international partnership landscape is currently undergoing scrutiny. Our own CEO, Robert Reffkin, along with other industry leaders, debated the merits and utility of this traditional framework for agents, buyers, and sellers, and even questioned its ethics in a recent Real Deal article.

And so, in pursuit of a more substantial model, the Compass team has spent the past few months developing a new paradigm for our company. Designed as a more tangible solution to standard global networking, it includes a panel of leaders from real estate, technology, business, finance, and beyond that represent a cross-section of the types of global customers in the Compass sphere.

Interestingly, while developing this plan, electing the term ‘global’ was among the most fundamental and indicative decisions we made. What is the inherent difference between that descriptor and the word “international” so often used by our competitors? While the terms are often used interchangeably, they’re actually quite different. ‘International’ indicates the capacity for doing business between multiple countries; it defines the scope of transactions by operational and geographical reach.

A global perspective — from coast to coast

Conversely, the term ‘global’ indicates access to multiple integrated networks — independent of geography — and represents a degree of connectedness and perspective. For Compass, it best describes a roadmap for agent-to-agent networking that is both seamless and intelligent, and that goes beyond borders and demonstrates the unique immediacy of a proprietary, owned-and-operated network.

In forming Compass Global, our goal is to establish the first truly global real estate brand. Doing so does not necessarily require physical operations in every foreign market; instead it implies our ability to reach buyers and sellers around the world and connect them with agents in our own backyard.

A global presence — from Manhattan to Miami

Before Compass begins its international expansion, we must first maximize the reach of our domestic operations and national agent network. As of today, Compass operates 20 offices in 15 regions across 8+ premium markets around the country. We currently represent 550+ qualified real estate agents who rank in the top 10 percent of their respective markets — the majority of which have all worked with both foreign and domestic clients at some point in their career.

If we were to assume, conservatively, that each agent has an average of 2,000 contacts in their extended network — and we factor in 20 percent duplication between them — that leaves us with a collective international network of 800,000, minimum, which can be directly accessed by any agent at Compass at any time, from anywhere in the world.

Compass agents from NYC, Miami, DC, Boston, and LA share a toast to 2015 during Art Basel | Miami Beach

Our unique approach to this particular program is entirely informed and enabled by our company’s existing differentiators. The innovations that drive our model are what allow us to further optimize this specific subset of the industry:

Our message is ingrained and imparted internally. From top agents to employees, global advisors to strategic partners, we integrate at every touch point in order to bolster reach to all geographies, demographics, and buyer segments.
We are a singular, unified company. A franchised brand may be international in scope, however the brokerages comprising it are not necessarily owned by the same entity — which means there’s no standard for interconnectivity, little incentive for shared learning or iteration, and zero investment in improving the overall bottom line.
We are a team of adept communicators. Operational integration and open communication between regional offices create cohesion and strengthen our internal network across the eight major key markets.
Our operations are centralized. Nationally-consistent branding and quality standards are upheld within each local office .
We are driven by technology. With a suite of agent tools connecting the national network of Compass agents, our products are being developed to quickly and easily connect our agents’ global networks.
Compass is inherently human. At its core, real estate is a relationship-based industry, and Compass Global is powered by these connections. Referrals are not freely directed; they’re carefully curated based on the client, the agent, and the partnership. We know our agents and our clients better than anyone else — something we like to call ‘agent intelligence.’

Compass Global is not an elite faction; it’s a collaboration. Serving as a roadmap, it is designed to assist agents in navigating their global network and empower them to leverage every opportunity. Encompassing regional networking events, a dedicated team of referral partnership curators, and an internal digital platform to connect, strategize, and share listings, Compass Global defines integration.

Welcome to the world’s first global brokerage.


Mike Fabbri, Compass Global

Compass is a technology-driven real estate platform dedicated to creating a seamless and intelligent home buying, selling, and renting experience. Combining the country’s top agents, proprietary market insights, and integrated mobile and web technologies, Compass is developing the future of real estate decision-making. Compass has locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Washington DC, Boston, Miami, Los Angeles, Malibu, Santa Barbara and the Hamptons, and has raised $125 million in investor capital with a valuation of more than $800 million. For information on Compass and to peruse more than $1 billion in exclusive Compass listings, visit www.compass.com.