Compass’ Reffkin: One-click real estate is the future

CEO expresses desire to model brokerage after Amazon

National /
Oct.October 28, 2021 09:00 AM
Compass CEO Robert Reffkin (Getty, Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)
Compass CEO Robert Reffkin (Getty, Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)

Compass CEO and co-founder Robert Reffkin sees a one-click solution as the future of real estate transactions.

“I think we’re moving to a world where people expect everything to be in one place,” Reffkin said at Inman Connect Las Vegas, according to the outlet. “Amazon has everything in one place. When I buy a soccer ball for my 3-year-old on Amazon … I can do everything right there.”

Reffkin said that he was taking a 10-year view of the industry and despite the increasingly competitive iBuyer space, a one-click shop like Amazon doesn’t exist in real estate — yet.

“So, from a 10-year perspective, the question for the agent is who’s going to empower you to be able to have the speed, simplicity and seamlessness of a transaction as an iBuyer can give?” Reffkin asked, according to Inman.

Compass appears to be on its way to compiling everything involved in a residential real estate transaction in one place, buying a number of title and escrow companies in recent weeks. Reffkin told Inman the short-term hits to company finances were part of setting the foundation for innovation to come.

In late September, Compass agreed to acquire CommonGround Abstract, a title company that operates in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. It was the third such deal in three weeks, pushing Compass’ title and escrow services to 10 states.

Additionally, the company launched OriginPoint in partnership with Guaranteed Rate in July. The foray into the digital mortgage origination business came three months after Compass’ initial public offering.

Investors, by and large, either do not share Reffkin’s vision or do not think he can pull it off. Two weeks ago, shares of Compass fell to an all-time low as uncertainty hit the housing market and investors worried that someone was planning to unload shares. The stock fell as low as $10.72 on Oct. 11, down 47 percent from April 1, its first day of trading.

The stock has since bounced back some, closing at $12.96 on Wednesday. However, it is still down more than 35 percent from its first day of trading, according to Yahoo Finance.

[Inman] — Holden Walter-Warner





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