Compass

A new model for real estate ROI and business growth using social technology

Compass has set its sights on completely changing the buying, selling, and leasing real estate experience. From launching the first-ever “for sale” sign redesign, to creating its own proprietary real estate technology, Compass is working at light speed toward its vision of owning 20% market share in the top 20 US cities by the year 2020. With its focus on innovation, succeeding through hypergrowth, and maintaining its agile, startup-like culture, the executive leadership team decided to launch Workplace by Facebook as a better way to communicate and connect at scale. With over 1,000 employees and 4,500 agents suddenly using one Workplace platform, they soon realized the benefits and ROI potential, as well as the looming potholes that needed to be addressed — quickly — through a rapid growth period.

56%

Percentage of Compass agents who agree having Workplace helps them grow their business (within five months of launch)

1,000+

Number of referrals, recommendations, and off-market listings shared on Workplace — worth millions of dollars in commissions

99%

Increase in week-over-week usage of Workplace Chat after transitioning ¾ of employees from Slack to Workplace

Challenges

  • Both Compass real estate agents and Compass employees needed to use the same Workplace network, but with clear separation between the private and confidential conversations of each type of user.
  • With an accelerated and informal launch plan dictated by timing pressure, organic adoption and education drove initial engagement for Compass agents. For employees, Workplace became a place to simply digest top-down leadership communications. A strategy for deeper engagement and training was necessary in the weeks after launch.
  • 75% of employees were actively using a different chat tool, and they needed to transition to Workplace quickly.

“The stakes for Workplace were beyond high, but we’re in hypergrowth and had limited bandwidth. Nobody realizes how much work it takes to do a community the right way. The Talk Social to Me team jumped in fast, helped us get organized, supported our people, and made my job a million times easier. They’re the best at what they do.”

Tiffany LaBanca, Head of Communications, Compass

What We Did

  • Community Management — The Talk Social to Me team immediately immersed multiple team members inside Workplace as an extension of the Compass Internal Communications team, interacting with agents and employees as virtual Community Managers and group moderators. We created numerous Getting Started Guides, a Group Directory, and managed the Workplace Help Group to alleviate the workload of the Internal Communications team.
  • Group Cleanup and Optimized Use Case Development — We met with 35 regions, teams, and leaders to strategize new and existing business use cases and groups on Workplace — after a natural, early-days spike in group creation had already occurred. We worked with each team to customize a plan and supported them through the launch process. Many new groups stemmed from employee and agent-lead ideas that immediately translated into qualitative and quantitative business value for the company. We also performed an overall group audit, provided group structure recommendations, and established a group cleanup process optimized for future scale.
  • Training and Education for Growth — Talk Social to Me hosted more than 45 Workplace user education and “train the trainer” sessions for employees and agents, all with the goal of building a proficient, decentralized training organization that tapped into the existing regional Compass training structure.
  • Slack Transition — As part of the company’s efforts to consolidate and streamline all internal communications, Talk Social to Me helped Compass transition 75% of its employees from Slack to Workplace over the course of two weeks. Talk Social to Me was a critical partner in this process as a strategy, technical, and change management expert. Our team put together detailed reference guides to support the transition, including how to effectively set up Workplace groups, and how to appropriately use Workplace Chat. We also provided hands-on support in the Help Group and virtual “office hours” for concierge-level transition advice.
  • Facebook Partnership Advocate and Liaison — Compass took advantage of the close working relationship that Talk Social to Me has with Facebook, giving them better and faster access to resources and information. From technical challenges to feature requests and filing bug reports, and from negotiating marketing engagements, building deeper relationships, license discussions, and expediting needs through the Facebook ecosystem, Talk Social to Me was a constant advocate for Compass’ needs.
  • Analytics and ROI Reporting — Our team developed a custom weekly update report and a monthly health check report for the Internal Communications and leadership teams. Part of this process included manually combing for and tracking agent referrals, recommendations, and off-market listings to report on the ROI being generated through connecting Compass agents across the country using Workplace.

Results

  • Since launch, monthly active employees and agents on Workplace have continued to average at 89% — even through numerous acquisitions.
  • More than 1,000 referrals, recommendations, and off-market listings have been shared since Workplace launched in February, representing millions of dollars in agent commission that “stays within the Compass family” each time a deal is made.
  • Compass saw a 99% increase in week-over-week usage of Workplace Chat after transitioning ¾ of employees from Slack to Workplace. Not only did this make Workplace even more active, it saved the company more than $100,000 in duplicative license fees.
  • Workplace has become a competitive differentiator for Compass to attract new agents because of the access and response time to the entire national Compass network of agents. For example, an agent was having a hard time selling a home in Miami, so he asked the Agent Mastermind community for advice. In a few short hours, he had more than 50 comments with suggestions about what he could do to find a suitable buyer.