Talent and Culture Make the Difference for Kimberly Harris Campbell

Above, Kimberly Harris Campbell

Kimberly Harris Campbell didn’t have a linear path to real estate. Once a corporate attorney in New York City, she became a board member of America Needs You, a nonprofit started by Compass Real Estate founder Robert Reffkin in 2013.

Campbell eventually ran that organization. Moving to Washington, D.C., in 2018 for love, Reffkin suggested she look at the general manager position at Compass. The job interested her because of Compass’ mission to empower entrepreneurs and the social impact of homeownership. 

In 2018, Campbell was named regional president of Compass Real Estate, charged with 300 agents in the D.C. region. Now she covers the DMV (District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia) through Florida and supports more than 7,000 agents.

How has the D.C. market performed over the last year?
Kimberly Harris Campbell: In the DMV, we have such limited inventory. We did see a decline year-over-year, but that’s something that we expected. There were a lot of headwinds, some we anticipated, but some we didn’t. We were all estimating that mortgage rates would come back down, but we didn’t expect them to get to 8%, and I think that chilled the fall market and caused some hesitation.

How are things looking in 2024?
KHC: We feel optimistic looking at the key data points. Inflation and interest rates have declined and there’s a lot of positive consumer sentiment. People are feeling good in general and we feel positive that last year we put the building blocks in place to take advantage of the new momentum in the market we expect in early 2024. 

Compass has a lot of women leaders. Why is this important for you and the team?
KHC: It has been such a rewarding experience to work with so many talented women. On my leadership team, I have seven women and one man—and we love men—but it is so inspiring to work with so many dynamic women across industries—consulting, PR and technology.

How does Compass support women?
KHC: I’m a new mother, which gives me a different lens as a woman leader—understanding what the work-life balance means and the trade-offs and sacrifices, and ensuring we are building the time needed. We have generous maternity leave and fertility policies where Compass pays for fertility treatment up to $10,000 a year. We work hard, but I believe we’re all validated by the support we have from the company. I had a chance to speak at our Women of Compass panel recently, and we talked about smart goals, building accountability and being specific about what we want to accomplish. 

What do you look for when bringing new people into the company?
KHC: We incorporate our core values into everything we do, starting with the hiring process. We want people to be true collaborators, those who think about crazy, big ideas. We want people to understand their strengths and work to those strengths. 

Why do people enjoy working at Compass?
KHC: Our goal is to make agents more money and save them time. The most important differentiators are the talent and culture we have. There was so much culture lost during the pandemic—we spent last year getting that back on track and encouraging agents to get back into building the community. We’re not perfect, but we’re a feedback-rich environment and are obsessed with retention.

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