Meet Melissa Rubin

What does designing men’s underwear have to do with selling real estate? A whole lot more than you think, according to Miami-based Compass agent Melissa Rubin. Montreal-native, Melissa started her career in the fashion industry, working for companies like The Limited, Watch Station, and yes, designing men’s underwear for K-Mart and Walmart. “When you’re working on merchandise for big box retailers you have to understand the client’s needs really well, listen to what they want, and execute. And so then I just took all of those skills and translated it to real estate,” says Melissa, who made an abrupt transition from fashion to real estate in 2001.

After working for the fashion business’s most recognizable brands, it was jarring for Melissa to start anew. “Most people affiliate who you are as what you do, and so you become that alter ego,” she says. As Melissa got to know herself outside the fashion industry, she joined a small boutique firm in Miami, where she found a passion for doing all of the creative aspects of the business. Overtime Melissa noticed that she and her brokerage were growing together. “It takes a lot to change. You have to be willing,” Melissa says of leaning into any transition.

As a rookie, Melissa’s most important learning was to set a foundation for her business, start with her sphere, and “learn to crawl, before you can walk, before you can run.” By 2016 Melissa was fully up and running—and thriving!—at her firm, when a new opportunity came her way: Compass. After meeting with founder and CEO, Robert Reffkin, Melissa fell in love with Compass “for their creativity and entrepreneurship.” Additionally, Compass’s value of collaborating without ego, really connected to Melissa’s own values. “I love the ability of having dialogue without ego and collaborating together.”

A few years after her move, Melissa attended a Compass sponsored diversity and inclusion event, when—true to her value—she had the idea to launch a mentorship program. After taking the idea to Florida sales manager, Jeff Polashuk, Melissa got the green light to create the curriculum, and launch the program, which inevitably paired twenty team leaders with twenty rookies to collaborate on business and learn from each other.

“Mentoring is really big for me,” Melissa says. “I think my biggest accomplishment is Joanne Jones, a key member of my team.” At the start of the mentorship program, Joanne was doing 65 transactions in a quarter—all $1,500 rentals. This quarter, after working with Melissa, Joanne will have closed for $4 million worth of business. “She had the best year ever last year, in COVID, because we rethought how she was viewing her business.” Melissa says “I want to develop my people enough so they can be self‑sufficient and able to grow their businesses. I think that’s the biggest gift that we can get that we can give them.”

Through the program, Melissa has noticed that “people in general, but especially newer agents, become overwhelmed,” when they’re getting started. She reminds them, like she did herself when she was a rookie, to walk before you run. “I break things down to the smallest degree.” Melissa brings this same philosophy to her real estate mentees. “Start with the basics, otherwise you try to do it all and then you wind up doing nothing,” she says. “So if you said that each agent could increase their volume by $500,000—which is basically one transaction—how could that impact the company? That’s how I thought to do it.”

While Melissa has an abundance to teach, she also knows she still has a lot to learn, which is why she signed up for Chirag Shah Coaching at the onset of the pandemic. “What I love about Chirag, which is very different from many of my other coaches, is that he’s very direct.” The most valuable thing that Melissa learned from her coach is that your language matters, not to defend the market as if it’s your own creation, and the importance of listening.

As for the next chapter? Whether it’s clever marketing initiatives, new relationships, community groups—just ask her about Remy and Rose, the monthly meet-up she spearheaded for women who love their dogs and a glass of wine—business growth initiatives, and opportunities for collaboration, Melissa is going to continue doing what she does best: creating.

Follow Melissa @mjrgroupe on Instagram to watch her in action.

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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.