Meet Francie Malina

A Top 5 agent in her Westchester County market, and the leader of a top-producing team, Francie Malina’s incredible work ethic, professionalism, energy, and commitment to her clients have made her one of Compass’s most successful real estate agents.

Francie recently joined us for Agent Talk, where she discussed her career, her passion for working with clients, her experiences as a team leader, and why she believes coaching is fundamental to any agent’s success.

On Why She Joined Compass

You were the founding Compass agent in your Westchester market. What motivated you to switch brokerages and join Compass when it was still a newcomer to the industry? It’s actually an interesting story. My son, who is an engineer, got a job at Urban Compass, back in 2014. This was when they were still building out the brand and software for the company. I remember him getting so excited about all the amazing things they were creating at Compass, which got me excited, too. I was at another brokerage at the time, but I wasn’t really loving where I was, though I’d told myself that I was not switching brokerages no matter what. But I became so excited about the possibilities and opportunities at Compass (especially given what my son was telling me) that eventually he and Robert Reffkin convinced me to move to Compass and become the brokerage’s founding Westchester agent, and I haven’t looked back since!

What is it about Compass that sets it apart from other brokerages?

Well, it’s a disruptor in the industry, sort of like me, sort of like Chirag. We’re all people who want to make a difference and bring about change. You know, Compass is the only brokerage out there that really cares about its agents. I mean, we get great healthcare through Compass, we get attention and respect. I had never seen that before from the other brokerages I was at. And, for me, you know, I always wanted to sort of elevate our profession and give clients really incredible, top-notch service — that’s always been my ‘Why’, and I feel Compass really aligns with that.

On the Value of Coaching

Why do real estate agents need to hire a coach?

I wouldn’t be where I’m at today without a coach, and without Chirag. And that’s true for my whole team. I believe that focus leads to expansion. If you’re not focused on growth, on learning, you’re never going to reach your full potential. And you really can’t grow effectively without coaching. If you’re not coaching, if you’re not working with a mentor, get one right away, because that’s the only way to grow.

What was it about Chirag’s coaching that you found particularly impactful?

Chirag knows Compass. And he knows how to run an effective, efficient business. He was one of the first people I met at Compass. You know, on my first day, he was there, smiling, ready to help out, ready to start coaching me! I call it, you know, “the Magic of Chirag,” because he’s just so good at what he does. Recently, he came in and helped my team spearhead a new project we were working on. He came into our office, sat down with us, identified the goal of the project, the methods of getting there, and broke it down into an end-to-end plan showing us exactly what we needed to do. He’s so good at building systems and structures.

How is Chirag Shah Coaching different from other coaching companies?

It’s a coaching company dedicated to us. It’s a coaching company by and for Compass agents. You know, with things like “Agent Talk” or with CSC’s Accelerate LIVE! event in September in NYC, which is going to be full of Compass agents networking and collaborating with each other, there’s really no better place to connect with and learn from other Compass agents. It’s a no-brainer to me, working with Chirag and attending Accelerate! Even if you have to fly cross-country, it’s worth the trip!

On Working with Clients

You have some of the best client testimonials in the business. What is the secret to your success in creating such lasting client relationships?

You know, it’s really no secret at all. It’s really very simple. Just focus on providing clients with the best, most thorough service you can. That’s the mindset I instill in my team every day: Don’t chase commissions, chase reviews. We work in a hospitality industry. Our clients are everything to us, and we go to great lengths to make sure they get the best service we can provide. Our team is also very active in the community; we live where we work, so it’s important to us to do great work and maintain these relationships with our clients. Show up and follow up.

How do you stay in touch with your past clients? What are some of your touch points?

Well, first of all, you have to have a reliable CRM. You have to have an organized way to staying in touch with these people. That’s why it’s so important to have a great admin who can help you stay on top of that. If you don’t have an assistant, you are the assistant, so take the plunge and just hire someone to help you manage your client database. Our team loves sending gifts; we stress over coming up with amazing, incredible, memorable closing gifts for our clients — sometimes a beautiful knife set, a new chandelier, something extraordinary. We’re also religious about checking in with past clients, sending them cards in the mail, that sort of thing. You just have to stay on top of it, which is where an assistant comes in handy.

On Team Leadership

You run one of the most successful agency teams in the New York area. What are your thoughts on leading a team and training new team members?

Well, when I started out as a team lead, I wasn’t sure how to train my agents. I didn’t know how hands-on I should be in terms of showing them the ropes. But I got some great advice that said to essentially be a role model to them; let them parrot me and learn how I do business, so that when they’re out on their own representing the team and the brand, their work habits will align with how I like to work.

How have you created a team culture for the agents working under you?

As far as creating team culture goes, I think you have to treat your team members fairly, I think you have to compensate them fairly. I also think you have to let them shine on their own. You know, when I’m out on vacation or out of touch for some reason, I’m happy to step aside and let someone else on the team take some of my showings, or handle some of my clients. You have to be generous. You also have to recognize that it’s not all about you as the team leader, but rather it’s about the agents on your team; leading them, helping them grow, either through your own example, or through investing in things like group coaching with Chirag

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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.