Meet Dennis McCarthy

A Senior Managing Director for Compass New York, Dennis McCarthy joined the brokerage back in 2018 and has been instrumental in Compass’s expansion into the Queens, Long Island, and Brooklyn markets, opening nine offices and onboarding over 300 agents along the way.

Dennis recently joined us for a session of Agent Talk, where he discussed his experience mentoring Compass agents, shared his greatest advice for agents looking to grow their business using Compass tools, and offered his unique perspective on why all agents need a coach!

On Mentoring Compass Agents

You’ve been with Compass since 2018 as a Sales Manager, and have worked with hundreds of Compass agents. What is it about Compass agents that makes them unique from their counterparts at other brokerages?

I think, first of all, Compass agents are nice. We’re nice people. And we want to work at a brokerage that supports that type of person. I think the really unique thing about Compass is the culture. You know, at my previous brokerage, the competition between agents was fierce and there was no sharing, no collaboration. At Compass, it’s different. The culture is collaborative. You know, it’s funny. When I first heard about the Compass Culture, I rolled my eyes and thought, “How can a real estate company have culture?” But it’s true, we do. And it goes back to this great line from Robert Reffkin: “We want every Compass agent to be proud of the person they’re sitting next to.” And it’s so true. I saw it on my first day at Compass. Everyone was so welcoming and friendly. Everyone made it a point to learn my name and follow up with me. You don’t see that at other brokerages.

What advice do you typically give the agents you mentor when they ask you how to get more business?

The best piece of advice is really just to lean in to using the Compass tech tools and platform. The proof is in the pudding: all of our top-producing agents use the Compass tools everyday in their business. That’s because they work. The CRM, the marketing tools, the ability to send bulk emails; these are all essential tools that I wish I’d had when I was an agent. I’d also recommend that agents really lean on their sales manager. We’re here to help you grow your business. We want to mentor you, we want to help you put together a business plan. Use us to help you. Most of us are veteran agents with lots of experience and wisdom to share.

On The Value of Coaching

You’ve been a mentor to many Compass agents. A lot of the work you do as a Sales Manager can also fall under the umbrella of coaching in general. Why do you believe an agent needs a coach to grow their business?

It’s a very lonely business. We’re all entrepreneurs. We’re sort of on our own a lot of the time. You need someone to help guide you, you need that accountability. It’s the same thing if you’re trying to lose weight, you know, you’d get a personal trainer. Or if you’re fighting an addiction, you can’t do it alone. It’s the same thing in business. You need that support system, you need that accountability.

What should an agent look for in a potential coach?

I think you have to look at their track record of success. I think you need to speak with them and make sure that their goals and habits align with yours. It’s an important investment. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be strictly coaching for your business. Your coach can also help you navigate some of the issues impacting your personal life as well. And I have to say, as a Compass Sales Manager, I am so grateful for all the work that you all do every day coaching Compass agents. You guys, Chirag and his team, are doing great work, and I can’t wait to see you all LIVE and in person this September down in Brooklyn for the Accelerate LIVE event!

On Building a Team

What advice would you give agents looking to either build or join a team?

I’ll start with talking about joining a team, so what a team member should look for in a team lead. Joining a team is like getting married. It’s a big step and it shouldn’t be rushed into. I often get new agents telling me, “I really want to join this top-producing team, no matter what,” and I always tell them to slow down and at least meet with the team lead first to see if it’s a good fit. You know, work with them on a few deals first, voluntarily, help them out with some showings, and if it’s a good fit, then go for it. The last thing you want to be is a team member stuck on a team that has entirely different goals and work habits from your own.

And what about team leads? What should a team lead focus on when building a team?

The most important first step is hiring an assistant. Don’t bring on a junior agent until you’ve locked in that right hand person who is going to help you run your business, otherwise you’ll end up being the assistant to your junior agents when you’re supposed to be the principal! The assistant frees you up to do your job as a team lead, which is mentoring junior agents and securing new business. You should also be transparent with your team members and really encourage them to be proactive on their own, collaborate with each other, and support you when you need it. Team members should all feel like officers within the company, and should be invested in the team’s success.

On the Future of Compass and the Industry

You’ve been instrumental in expanding Compass’s reach in the New York market. Can you share a few of the exciting new things on the horizon for Compass?

Well, I won’t get too specific, but one of the best things about working for Compass is that it’s always changing. There’s always something new; a new tool, or updated software. We’re always looking to up our game, expand our reach, tap into new markets, and do better work. I had an agent say to me the other day, “These tools are so much better now than they used to be.” She’d only started working with Compass last year, but even in that short time we’d already updated and upgraded our tools. So you never know what’s going to happen next.

What do you see the housing market doing in the next few months?

It’s hard to say. There are a lot of variables right now. You know, now it’s a sellers’ market. It might stay that way for the foreseeable future. I think obviously the pandemic will continue to have an impact, along with the fact that a lot of people in the city are now on vacation for the first time in forever. But I think in September, as people start coming back to the city, we might see things pick up and the market shift quite a bit. But we’ll have to wait and see.

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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.