Meet Terrence Harding

A top-producing New York agent and a member of Compass’s Sports and Entertainment Division, Terrence Harding has made a name for himself in the disparate worlds of both rap and real estate, balancing his days as a luxury real estate specialist with nights spent moonlighting as a hip hop artist!

Terrence recently joined us for Agent Talk to discuss his unique past performing alongside rap music icons like the Notorious B.I.G., his present as a top-producing agent, and his advice for how agents can expand not only their business but also their minds.

On His Time in the Music Industry

You were leading a completely different life before you got into the real estate business. You were into rap and hip hop; you performed with some pretty big names, like Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G. Can you tell us a little bit about that time?

Yeah, so before I was an agent, I was in the music industry. I always wanted to be a rapper growing up. I always wanted to perform and to be in the music industry. So, you know, back in the nineties, I was on my own, making demo tapes, trying to get myself out there. I had some friends in the industry, and I met the Notorious B.I.G. at a Grammy’s after-party. I met him when he was on the cusp of becoming famous and forming the Junior Mafia group. I had a tape track of this other rap song that I played for him, and I started rapping over it. He really liked it and what I brought to the table, so I joined the Junior Mafia group, and we took off after that. We did a single with Aaliyah, you know, I met Tupac. We had a lot of fun. It was a great time in my life.

And then how did that music career pivot into real estate?

Well, eventually, after Biggie passed, I started working with other music groups. You know, younger kids. And they didn’t really have a mind for business, whereas I was all about, you know, thinking about business structure, looking ahead, planning. So, it stopped being a good fit for me and where I was in my life. So I turned to real estate as that felt like a very exciting, active kind of job, which also had some structure. And I was at Corcoran first for 10 and a half years, then moved to Compass back in 2016.

On Being a Compass Agent

You mentioned that you were at Corcoran for 10 years before moving to Compass. What made you decide to switch brokerages?

I actually didn’t want to leave Corcoran. At that point. Compass had come in and sort of stolen away all the Corcoran people, so I was one of the few left at Corcoran. Because of that, they were treating me really well and really wanted to keep me. But I started learning more about Compass. About their culture, the fact that they’re all entrepreneurs like me. I was really impressed with that. Then I met Ori Allon, who worked really hard to bring me over to Compass. And when I saw that they really wanted me to make the move, and what they would offer me and my business, I decided to move to Compass.

What are some of the unique features about Compass that attracted you to the brokerage?

I would say, first of all, the entrepreneurial spirit of the company. You know, just like me, Compass was and still is interested in growth, in always doing better. I also nowadays find myself using Compass Workplace a lot. Many of my clients are in the process of relocating, and I use Workplace to match them with agents in other cities. Then I stay in touch and make sure they’re getting what they need. You have to make sure the client knows you have the power to help them move anywhere they need to move, and Compass helps me do that.

On The Realities of Being an Agent

What is one attribute that every great agent needs to have?

I would say resilience. I think all great agents have to be resilient, they have to be willing to move past the parts of the job that feel really tiring or unsatisfying. You know, it’s one of the things I tell new agents: stay resilient. Especially if you’re a rental agent, which I was when I was just starting out. You have to be willing to take a client out to look at listings on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and have to be ready to do it all over again on Thursday if that Wednesday deal you struck falls through. Resiliency is a good power to have in real estate. You have to become unbreakable.

How do you generate new business for yourself?

Most of my business comes from referrals. I get a lot of repeat business from past clients. I also tend to focus on specific buildings. I have about five buildings that I focus on and get repeat business from. There’s one building of mine called the “AA” building, but a lot of people joke that it should be called the “T” building. I also focus on working specific “hot pockets” within the city. That’s from my days as a rental agent. I go where the business is, where the demand is, so I don’t have a specific neighborhood where I work. I also try to use third person phrases in my marketing: you know, “We’re proud to announce that Terrence recently sold…” That tends to sound more humble than, “I sold this, I broke this record…” and I think that attracts potential clients looking to sell.

On His Best Advice to Agents

As a veteran agent, what advice would you give to other veteran agents who may also be in the position of team leader or mentor to agents new to the industry?

I had a mentor once who told me, “Focus on DIPA: Direct Income Producing Activities.” These are the activities and tasks that have a direct impact on your profitability and GCI. So, to a team leader, I would recommend they identify those tasks that are DIPA and those that are not. And for those tasks that are not DIPA, they should be delegated to someone else on the team. I have to be better about that myself, I have to learn to delegate more also. But it’s something that will help your business in the long run. I also think you have to be mindful of the service level you’re providing your clients. The market is crazy right now, and some things seem to be taking longer than normal, like working with attorneys or vendors. So it’s important to be mindful of always providing that top level of service to your clients, no matter what’s going on in the market right now.

And what would you say to agents who may still be working on their own, who need help generating more business?

I think it’s always a good idea to be authentic, to be yourself. I have a pretty strong social media presence, but a lot of that comes from just being myself. If you’re a good person, if you’re good at what you do, it’s going to show through and people are going to see that and want to work with you. And also, you know, don’t be afraid to let things go. Sometimes a deal doesn’t always work out the way you want it to, or someone on your team screws up. It’s ok: just let it go and move on to the next thing. And be ok, too, with letting go of the things or people in your life and business that are dragging you down or taking you in the wrong direction.

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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.