While growing up, Robert Reffkin, Founder of real estate tech startup Compass, felt inferior and doubted his capacity to perform well academically. After falling in love with New York City’s infrastructure, his high school guidance counselor was the first to inform him he wasn’t academically prepared for the schools in Columbia.
Refusing to accept the verdict rendered on his aptitude, Robert encouraged himself to study and gain admission to Colombian schools. Throughout high school and college, he wore the hat of a C-average student, attributing this to his disinterest in subjects such as calculus or Western civilization. He didn’t understand how studying such topics might have an impact on his viewpoint.
According to Tech Crunch, he was more interested in business and summer internships, which he saw as opening a window to understand the natural world and what made it tick. Compass, his firm, is now worth $4 billion and operates in 20 markets across the United States.
He acquired his first lessons in entrepreneurship from his mother, who encouraged him to constantly come back on stage with a greater fire whenever life’s trials knocked him down. She also encouraged him to start his own real estate company.
During his mother’s busy working days as a real estate agent, he observed her problems in obtaining the necessary equipment and support to carry out her responsibilities. Despite her efforts, she was unable to achieve her professional objectives. Based on this experience, Robert founded his company to provide real estate agents with a platform and tools to help them do their jobs better.
According to the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials, there are currently over 3 million people who hold active real estate licenses, with 1.6 million of them operating as realtors. According to house light, the increase in the value of property and the appeal of the housing market has caused this number to rise by more than 500,000 by 2021.
Despite their importance, there remains a gap in realtors’ access to the tools they need to maximize their income. To address this issue, Compass intends to provide realtors with the necessary tools, technology, and technical assistance to help them become more profitable and productive.
Compass has been working with real estate brokers in 20 major cities across the United States since Robert founded the company in 2014, and has been on an expansion drive since 2018. It has created 70 new offices and now employs over 600 employees. According to Mckinsey, its real estate agent ecosystem has seen a tremendous increase of over 8,000 agents.
According to Master Class, before becoming a billionaire, Robert worked for management consulting firm Mckinsey & Company, Goldman Sachs – where he rose to become the President and Chief Operating Officer, Gary Cohn’s chief of staff; and the US Department of Treasury – as a White House fellow.