Meet Tom Dunn

A top real estate producer specializing in the sale of luxury properties in the Vail and Beaver Creek resort markets of Colorado, Tom Dunn has created a unique life for himself as both a career-minded star agent and easygoing family man who tries to live every moment to the fullest.

Tom recently joined us for Agent Talk where he shared how he’s able to comfortably fit his business into his life, why he believes striking that healthy work/life balance is so crucial, and why he believes every agent needs a coach!

On His Early Years

You’re originally from Texas, yet you now live in Colorado and are a top-producing agent. Tell us a little bit about how all that came to be.

Well, I’m from Texas and I lived there until my early twenties. Then, when I was about 24, I broke it to my parents that I wanted to move to Colorado, which was a pretty big move since no one in my family had ever even been to Colorado. It sort of came out of nowhere, but for me, you know, I was attracted to the laid back vibe of Colorado and resort towns like Vail, which is where I work and live now. I needed a change in my life at that time. I didn’t want to have a strict 9 to 5 job, I didn’t want to wear a suit and tie. So I figured I would move to Colorado and try my hand at working in hospitality and concierge. And I really loved that and working with clients, so that passion sort of naturally transitioned into real estate.

How was life in Colorado different from what you were used to, and how is the real estate market different there?

Well, as I said, it’s very laid back. You know, it’s a resort town. It’s not a big city, which is what I was used to in Texas and what I wanted to move away from. Moreover, most of the home buyers here are buying second, or even third, homes, so the impulse for real estate here is not a ‘need,’ unlike other markets. The people who buy here don’t actually ‘need’ to buy here. These homes are luxuries and splurges, so that’s sort of a different challenge than in other markets, where someone’s home is their primary residence.

On Leading a Team

You’re a founding member of the Stockton Group. Can you share a little bit about what it’s like to be on a team and how you navigate your role as a team leader?

Sure. Well, before joining the Stockton Group, I had been on other teams in the past, but the experience had been a little unsatisfying. At my previous team, I felt like a big fish in a little pond, and that I’d sort of hit a ceiling. I was looking for a challenge, I wanted to be elevated, and Tye Stockton approached me about joining his team. He was someone I really admired, and I knew that if I joined his team, I would be pushed out of my comfort zone, which is exactly what I was looking for. So, that was a great decision for me. We were recruited by Compass back in March, right before the IPO, so we’re still new to Compass. And our team has grown a little since then, with the recent addition of Danielle Huidekoper, my assistant.

What is it like having an assistant, and why did you feel you needed one?

I honestly couldn’t imagine my work now without someone like Danielle helping me. It’s funny because she actually approached us about joining the team, not the other way around. So, I wasn’t really looking for an assistant at the time, but since hiring her I really couldn’t imagine working without her. She is so good at managing our work, managing my time, she has access to my email and all my text threads. She’s amazing, and she allows me to focus on the work I’m good at, while delegating the stuff I’m not so great at to her. I handle the front end of the business, she handles the back end. I have this analogy: I catch the fish, she cleans it.

On the Value of Coaching

What is your experience with coaching, and why do you believe every agent needs a coach?

At Sotheby’s, my previous brokerage, I worked briefly with a coach. For the longest time, friends and colleagues were recommending that I work with a coach to help organize my business. And, now that I’ve started working intensely with Chirag, I see now that every agent really does need and benefit from working with a coach. You can’t run a business without one.

Can you elaborate a little more about how coaching has helped you specifically?

Coaching helps you plan for the future. I have a habit of being stuck in the day-to-day of my business. I think all agents can sometimes fall into the trap of having tunnel vision. But coaching really forces you to think ahead and look down the line. It pushes you to think outside the box, to think long term, to create a succession plan, and to really think about what you want your life to be and how you’re going to achieve that.

On His Advice to Agents

Speaking of dreaming about your ideal life and future, what advice would you give to agents who know where they want to go, but still aren’t sure how they’re going to get there?

I think so much of a person’s success depends on their ability to move away from the things in their life that are hindering them from achieving their goals. You really have to pinpoint the things in your life that aren’t working for you, and be prepared to move away from them. For me, at the beginning, that was literally moving away from Texas to Colorado; moving from somewhere I didn’t want to be, and moving to a place that had everything I was looking for. In business, you know, that’s moving away from bad habits, moving away from the things you’re not good at and delegating those tasks away to someone on your team that is good at them.

Do you feel that you’ve now achieved that sought after, perfect work/life balance?

In some ways, yes. I have a job that allows me to do the things that I love, which is working with people, working with clients. I have the flexibility to enjoy a lot of the amazing benefits that come with living where I live, you know, skiing, bike riding, enjoying nature and really living in the moment. But there’s always room for improvement. I think as agents, we have to be really present in the moment, we have to try to enjoy life as much as we can, and we have to be ok with making mistakes here and there. Otherwise, what’s the point of living if you’re not enjoying yourself?

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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.