Meet Haneen Hayder

Haneen Hayder loves a challenge. “I do,” Haneen agrees. “My husband says, ‘the magic happens when you’re put in the corner.’” And the career of this Silicon-Valley-based realtor has been nothing short of magical. 


Born in Kuwait, Haneen, the oldest of five children, moved to the United States, for college—to Boston, or as Haneen calls it, “Little Kuwait,” because the city has the highest Kuwaiti population in the US. As if moving to a new country for college wasn’t enough of a challenge, Haneen felt  that chemical engineering wasn’t quite hard enough. “So, I decided to double-up chemical and biological engineering, and then I got my degree,” she says, with a  shrug—like earning a double-engineering degree is as effortless as waving a magic wand and watching mortarboard and diploma fall from the sky. 


In the years that followed, goal-driven Haneen moved to California, completed a master’s degree in chemical engineering, gave birth to a daughter, and started a high-earning job at an oil company. By anyone’s standard, she was on the path of success, exceeding each of her goals along the way. But Haneen, who has always listened to her gut feeling, felt like something was off. “I was making six-figures, but I just got to a point where I hated it. I just was lost. And for me to be lost, without a path is so hard,” says Haneen, who has always plotted her course very purposefully and intentionally. “I couldn’t fathom how I spent eight years going to school for something, and then just couldn’t relate to it.”


So Haneen did the most challenging thing she could do: she quit.


At this point Haneen, who was a single-mom to a three-year-old daughter, had no clear path ahead. “I only knew I was good with one thing, which is numbers. So I started a bookkeeping company,” she says of her first move after engineering. After struggling to find clients, she was presented with an opportunity: a friend introduced Hannen to someone who needed help with his books. The caveat: It will be a challenge.


“I thrive in adversity,” Haneen says, explaining her decision to take on this new project, without knowing anything about her client or his work. “So my first day at the job, I realized that this guy does real estate. And I know nothing about real estate, especially in the US. Nothing. So I treated the job as a regular bookkeeping job, and figured out his books. Within two days, his books were perfect. They were cleaned.” Her client’s disbelief quickly turned into sincere admiration, and he presented Haneen with another opportunity: a new job. 


“He said, ‘this whole bookkeeping thing  is great, but you’re not going to make a living,’” Haneen remembers. Instead, he wanted Haneen to help him raise money and flip houses. At the time, Haneen knew nothing about houses. She knew nothing about flipping.  She knew nothing about raising money. “And it was the beginning of 2010. The market already went to hell, foreclosures were everywhere. It was just the beginning of the financial demise of the entire industry.”




“And I said, sure,” Haneen recalls. Challenge accepted. Again. 


Still new to the San Francisco Bay peninsula, with no understanding of comps, Haneen found herself on a new path: the learning curve. She spent the next year learning everything she could about the market, spotting houses, buying foreclosures at the courthouse for cash, working with contractors to flip them, and then turning around and making a sale. In her first year, she did 30 houses, and even more the following year. The numbers spoke for themselves: though new to flipping, Haneen was a fast success. 


“I pulled a bunny out of a hat. That’s my expression,” Haneen says of her ability to make something happen, even in the most difficult of circumstances. “Everything I’ve ever been proud of came as a result of me being uncomfortable,” she says, explaining her next step out of the comfort zone: getting her realtor’s license. 


Haneen isn’t your typical realtor, it’s true. While we don’t usually think of realtors as the book-keeping, All-Bird- sneaker-wearing, chemical engineering-types, but Haneen couldn’t’ help feeling that outside her comfort zone there awaited an amazing opportunity to be a different kind of realtor.


In her first year, without having any real leads or network to build from, Haneen, then at Coldwell Bankers admits to not making any real money. “My first year was really awful, because I had to learn residential real estate. I did not do that part. I did it from a flipper perspective.” The difference, according to Haneen, was, well…people. With residential real estate, “you really have to deal with people. You have to be nice to people. I didn’t have to do that [as a flipper.]”


Here’s what she means by “nice”: Haneen relies on a data-driven approach, so she’s not going to sugar coat or spoon-feed information to her clients. She values honesty, analytics, and direct communication—and appreciates clients who value the same. Haneen wouldn’t dare waste anyone’s time by beating around the bush or trying to sell somebody something she’s not willing to buy herself. 


It wasn’t until her second year as an agent, though that she realized this quality was her strength. She didn’t have to do ‘nice’. “I figured out to stop copying people. Because their path to success is not mine. People will hire me for a reason. I’m not for everybody.” Once Haneen realized that she needed to stay true to herself, that’s when her business really grew (and grew and grew). “People appreciate that I’m not sales driven,” Haneen says.  


What does drive her? “Helping people to get from point A to point B. And while I do that, I seem to develop such a good relationship with them, that I end up getting their entire family’s business,” she says. She is passionate about helping her clients build wealth through real estate. During the pandemic she received a thank you text from one such client who worked with Haneen to buy three homes, upgrading each time.  


“They said I was able to help them not only build a life, but build wealth. [They] never sold the house before [they] got the next one. I got them accepted contingent three times. That’s unheard of in the Bay Area. And they said, you pulled the bunny out of the hat three times. That is the story of all my clients. I am blessed. I don’t lose listings. I don’t lose buyers. I really don’t.”


Hearing Haneen, you can just tell: it’s part of her magic: she doesn’t lose clients. “Stay true to your gut feeling…You know, do what’s right for you. It always pays off,” she says of the decision to be her own kind of realtor. Now, true to her data-driven self, Haneen leverages her career experiences to help her clients buy and flip their very own fixer uppers—all with the goal of helping them build wealth. 


Though she had tremendous success at Coldwell Banker—she was in the top 2% nation-wide— for someone who is driven by data and analytics, Haneen found her match in Compass, and their suite of real estate technology, and made the move three years ago. 


“I moved because it’s a way for me to be uncomfortable,” Haneen says. “My husband said: You already built it at Coldwell Banker. You have the corner office. Everybody listens to you, everybody at corporate loves you. You’re on every panel that they have nationwide. You’re comfortable.” For Haneen, Compass was a risk, the unknown, “uncharted territory: nobody knew who they were. Nobody knew what they were going to do. It was my risk. I’ve never moved before. That was my very first move of my career,” Haneen says of taking the giant leap outside her comfort zone. 


Working with the CSC coaches, Haneen has been challenged time, and time again. “I think growth and figuring out what I want comes from being uncomfortable,” she says. Haneen got so much from her experience as a CSC client, that most recently, Haneen has stepped outside her comfort zone to join the roster of CSC coaches—this time, it’s her fellow realtors that Haneen will help get from point A to point B. With this new challenge ahead, we’re certainly bound to see some magic. The bunnies are on their way.


Follow Haneen on Instagram at @HaneenRealtor and see the magic happen. 

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Adrianna Nava

Coach & Advisor
Expert in Compass Tools; Business Modernization; Prospecting

The first real estate deal Adrianna put together was unusual in several ways: she was only 17 years old; her parents were the listing agents; and (strangest of all for an agent) she did it for free! Since then, Adrianna has nurtured a lifelong passion for real estate, and learned the value of commissions! Wearing many hats throughout her career, Adrianna spent 20 years managing her own portfolio of real estate properties; 10 years as a licensed real estate agent; and the past four years working with Compass as a Senior Agent Experience Manager. It is in this last role that Adrianna has made her mark on the Compass brand and transformed the lives and businesses of Compass agents throughout the country. 
Adrianna previously worked as a Senior Agent Experience Manager at Compass and has over 8,000 hours of training Compass agents on using the Compass platform, as well as honing their strengths and skills, to grow their businesses. Now, Adrianna is the Hamptons real estate market and transaction expert, founder of, contributes a weekly market update column to Behind the Hedges and is the author of Hamptons Real Estate Showcase’s Market Watch feature.

Ethan Leifer

Coach & Advisor
Real Trends Top 100; Expert in Team Building; Lead Generation; Client Outreach

It’s fair to say that Ethan Leifer is something of a Compass fanatic. Ethan joined the Compass family in 2017 after being blown away by a combination of the firm’s incredible suite of tech tools and its obvious dedication to its agents. Ethan left the brokerage he was at, signed up with Compass, and hasn’t looked back since. But fresh starts are nothing new to Ethan. His first career was as a cantor singer in Jewish worship. But after falling in love with the real estate business, Ethan decided to radically switch gears, first making a stab at being a Long Island agent before finally settling down in Manhattan.
It’s in NYC where Ethan has truly made his mark, dominating the city’s luxury real estate market and presently leading one of Compass’s most successful agency teams. According to Ethan, the secrets to his success are as follows: relationship building; tremendous focus; and a certain type of chutzpah (he is a ‘cold calling’ master, after all). As one of our 360 Mastermind coaches, Ethan specializes in leading weekly role playing exercises with agents.

Haneen Hayder

Coach & Advisor
Real Trends WSJ #212; Expert in Property Flipping; Farming; Lead Generation

Compass agent Haneen Hayder began her real estate career in 2012, and quickly rose to the top 3% of all realtors in her brokerage nationwide and internationally. She attributes her success to excellent negotiation skills, which she considers her client’s biggest advantage.

Before becoming a realtor, Haneen earned a masters degree in Chemical Engineering, and gained international corporate experience in the field of engineering. With extensive access to off-market listings, Haneen offers buyers a multitude of avenues for achieving their real estate dreams. Her technical background is particularly advantageous in this market, helping her provide innovative and unique marketing strategies to engage potential buyers.
Haneen strives for unparalleled customer service and commitment to both buyers and sellers, giving her clients an extra edge in competitive markets. Haneen is renowned for her dedication, integrity, and first-class customer service in the Bay Area real estate market. No detail is overlooked utilizing her full-service sales approach, impact marketing campaigns, and powerful local, national, and global networks.

Amit Bhuta

Coach & Advisor
Expert in Marketing; Social Media; Brand-Building

Amit Bhuta loves his job; his passion for Compass and Miami’s luxury real estate market is contagious—just ask any of his nearly 80,000 social media followers. As the leader of the All in Miami team, and a nearly 16 year industry veteran, Amit has a deep understanding of the sales, communication, and marketing skills it takes to succeed in this business. Brand-building and storytelling are Amit’s specialties; and as a coach, regular fixture on Workplace, and co-host of “Ask Me Anything,” Amit is committed to helping his fellow agents grow their own brands, and earn more money by doing things they really enjoy. His goal is to help each realtor love their jobs too.

David Severance

Chief Learning Officer & Coach
Expert in Leadership; Team Building; Business Strategy

As the son of a Westchester real estate agent, David Severance was exposed to the world of sales at an early age. He witnessed first hand the dedication, grit, and relationship-building skills that go into the job. Around this time, David also developed an interest in psychology, specifically the way our perceptions influence our choices and outcomes. When he eventually moved to Japan during college, David really started thinking about many of his own beliefs about relating to others and the makings of a life well-lived. David believes that success comes from our ability to profoundly connect with and influence those around us.
For 15 years David rose through the ranks of one of the world’s biggest airlines, where he applied his psychology background to studying what makes teams effective and how they get derailed. His work inspired international companies to find new ways of working together, both internally and publicly.

In 2005 David became a certified coach and started working with leaders in Fortune 500 companies, where he’s been at the cutting edge of leadership theory and practice. Now David brings his expertise to small teams and startups, and teaches leaders how to relate more effectively with teammates and clients.

As a coach at CSC, David runs our Leadership Mastery program, as well as leading GCI Accelerator sessions each week and working with individual clients. He looks forward to working with agents who want to grow as team leaders and find more fulfillment in their lives and jobs.

Chirag Shah

CEO & Founder

By working with Chirag Shah you can expect effective, results-driven coaching, or as one of his clients said, “you can learn more from three months with Chirag than you can in three years on your own.” Whether it’s creating systems, structures, and processes that help you grow your business; building out your team, or learning to enforce healthy work/life boundaries, Chirag wants to help you bring your vision for your future to life. As a life-long learner, people-person, and curious problem-solver, Chirag has been a student of real estate coaching since he got his realtor’s license in 2007.

In fact, Chirag is a self-described ‘real estate training seminars obsessive,’ because he loves innovating ways to help agents maximize their potential.

Chirag’s drive to inspire transformation in his colleagues made him a natural fit for Compass’s Director of Coaching and Training, a position he held for two years. While at Compass, Chirag spent over 5,000 hours training Compass agents; he created Pitching Compass, which became the gold standard for agents’ pitches, and developed both regional and national trainings that helped share Compass’s value proposition—and not just what Compass does, but how they do it.

“The How” is big for Chirag, who believes if you’re going to tell someone to do something, you need to give them steps on how to do it. This coaching philosophy guides the work he does with his clients, which include teams and agents that are featured in Real Trends Top 100 lists, and rank amongst the top 1% of realtors in the country. Chirag spends time understanding what is most important to each individual, the direction they want to take their businesses and lives, and then he creates a custom roadmap, with step-by-step processes to help get them there.