Lance Pendleton, the head of agent development at Compass, sat down with Real Estate Agent Magazine to share some insight into his career as well as his outlook on the industry as it faces shifting expectations from clients and an ever-technological world.
REAM: What drew you to the real estate industry?
Pendleton: I grew up in a real estate family. My father ran his own business as an independent real estate consultant. I loved watching what he was able to accomplish and how much joy his work in the industry brought him over the years. Having been exposed to the business and watching how my father developed and worked with other sales professionals, I recognized that I could draw upon his fantastic career experiences and knowledge to create a path for myself.
REAM: Tell us about your previous experience in and outside the real estate industry.
Pendleton: Having previously worked for Apple and as the former chief innovation officer for the largest Sotheby’ s realty affiliate in the world, I saw tremendous innovation, passion, and value behind educating people toward new technologies and sales skills. I saw a healthy level of engagement with the programming I helped to build and be a part of there. This experience and the confidence it gave me allows me to create unique customizable training and behavioral science classes for our agents today.
REAM: Who are your mentors in real estate? How do you seek to emulate them?
Pendleton: I’ve had quite a few mentors over the years, my father being the most important one. I’ve always tried to find the best qualities in each of them to create my philosophical approach toward business. Some of the key traits that I focus on are compassion for others, setting clear expectations, accountability, and teaching others what I know to empower them to succeed.
REAM: Tell us about some of the challenges you face in your current position. How do you seek to overcome those challenges?
Pendleton: Training was an essential cultural requirement in all my past career experiences. I knew from the start as I started on this career path that impacting change in an independent contractor model would be a challenge. My ongoing work is to realize new ways of affecting an industry that is resistant to change, and help agents become one-of-a-kind CEOs of their brands.
My focus is on empowering agents to meet client demands utilizing both their unique skillsets in conjunction with current technologies. We practice these techniques while also fostering meaningful relationships for continued growth. The key to this is rehumanizing the agent’s relationships and using the technology to free up agent time allowing them to focus on client needs.
REAM: What do you most enjoy about your day-to-day job?
Pendleton: I enjoy witnessing the moment where a problematic concept is understood and realized, and from there observing how each person takes that and implements it into their business habits.
Being able to see meaningful and measured success in an agent’s life and learning how they’ve been able to take the things that they’ve learned or tools they’ve worked with, or even found new ways to use, is one of the most meaningful things to me. More than that, it is exciting and fulfilling when agents find ways to apply their knowledge not only to their businesses but also to their lives in general.
REAM: What personal goals have you set for yourself in the coming years?
Pendleton: Acceptance. Accepting that all change in the real estate industry is an incredibly slow-moving process and that the battle between industry disruptors and industry standards moves in its own way and its own timeline. I try to focus on affecting change where I can and combatting the challenge in attempting to influence one person at a time.
My goal is to continue to innovate better how we most efficiently meet ever-changing client needs. Ultimately, I believe the future of real estate is based on hospitality. Although it’s a relationship business, what those relationships require from us is more than just a mass email or a warm hello at the grocery store. The expectation of an agent continues to increase, and we need to make sure that we’re ready to meet it.
REAM: Are there any changes coming at Compass you’d like to share with us?
Pendleton:The two that I am most excited about are Compass Concierge and Compass Coming Soon. Compass Concierge is an amazing program our agents can offer their clients that covers the cost of home upgrades, improvements, or staging that puts the home in its best light for future buyers. All at no upfront cost to the client.