IVY partnered with the Spiegelman-Rothman Team (SRTeam) of Compass Real Estate to offer our members insights into New York’s housing market, and to help them discover what it takes to buy, rent, or sell property like a professional. On September 12, IVY’s members gathered at Compass’s gorgeous headquarters to enjoy an evening of wine and conversation while learning from some of today’s leading real estate experts how to navigate this complex industry.

Everybody knows the trials and tribulations of finding the perfect home, but for Compass, demystifying the process is just one important facet. When it comes to serving clients, Compass believes that it’s really about a sense of belonging, and it is the company’s mission to “help everyone find their place in the world.”

Unlike most real estate businesses, Compass offers a hybrid model of service. As both an in-person brokerage and leading technology firm, Compass is able to offer industry insights and resources for consumers and agents alike. These tools, built by the company’s impressive in-house engineers, save agents countless hours and provide a powerful lens into the marketplace, while facilitating increased communication and collaboration with clients.

It is no surprise then that Compass has quickly evolved into a national powerhouse known for its unprecedented growth. Since its launch in 2013, Compass has expanded to 38 offices across the country, and has gained widespread attention for its innovative offerings and approach to real estate markets.

But if you ask Compass the secret to its success, its team won’t direct you to their portfolio or technological capabilities, but instead, toward those seemingly intangible business practices that make all the difference. To get a better sense of what makes Compass tick, IVY sat down with Laura Hirschman of the SRTeam. Rather than talking housing markets, competitive broker’s fees, and house staging, we discussed the company’s culture and values, and why its mission is to help people find their place in the world.

Culture Counts

Compass strives to build a culture unlike any that currently exists within the real estate industry, and believes this to be a key source of its competitive advantage. It is a simple reality that great people want to work with other great people, and that attracting this kind of talent is no small feat. Plenty of companies have nice offices, compelling business models, and graphs with arrows that move up and to the right.

At Compass, however, they believe that a solid culture is the foundation to a winning company, and that building a strong one takes work. Earlier this year, CEO Robert Reffkin penned an article in Forbes describing what that looks like, noting that companies should hire for “cultural fit” instead of sales volume, consistently conduct cultural audits, “act swiftly on issues,” and set the tone correctly at the top.

In addition to employing these critical practices, Compass holds diversity as a core principle, hiring from across a wide net of industry and personal backgrounds. It’s these practices that have helped the company attract and retain more than 2000 of the nation’s most talented agents.

Performance with a Purpose

Despite the pervasive stereotype that “greed is good” and that corporations exist at the expense of the consumer, financial success doesn’t depend on the absence of values. In fact, Compass believes that the two are inextricably linked. Perhaps more than ever, today’s employees crave meaning in their work and want to work for companies that have the potential to do well and good.

For its part, Compass hopes to improve the entire real estate experience, whether for newlyweds looking to buy their first home together or for an experienced agent striving to be her own boss. To that end, Compass imagines a future where everyone in the real estate ecosystem will have the data they need to make smart decisions, and an authentic, personal experience that is both delightful and stress free.

Following the Mission

Helping everybody find their place in the world is a tall order, but one that Compass accepts wholeheartedly as its mission. At the foundation of this aspiration lies a sense of inclusion, and the firm belief that loving where you live is the key to feeling like you belong, and feeling like you belong is the key to thriving. The firm wants everyone to have that feeling, and is confident in its potential to make this vision a reality. In the same vein, Compass strives to give its employees an opportunity to earn a living, enjoy their work, and have an impact on the world around them.

The end result? Even though it offers an impressive technology platform, Compass hopes to fuel meaningful human interaction, and to use its technological capabilities to create a more efficient and enjoyable market experience. It’s ultimate goal is to build a professional community imbued with trust, authenticity, and positive culture.

That may seem a lofty goal, but one thing is clear: Compass is working toward it, and the market is taking notice.

IVY is the world’s first Social University. Our mission is to educate and inspire future leaders. To learn more and attend live events near you, please visit IVY.com.