Meet Sofie Langhorne

One of the founding members of the Compass Montecito office and Co-Principle of the Langhorne Group, Sofie Langhorne is one of the top-producing agents in her market and a mastermind at building relationships and servicing clients.

Sofie recently joined us for Agent Talk, where she shared stories from her career, advice for new agents looking to grow their business, and offered pro-tips on how agents can build their referral network.

On Her Early Years with Compass

You were one of the founding members of the Compass Montecito office. Can you share a little bit about that experience, and what it was like to be with Compass in its early years?

Sure. Yes, I was one of the first agents in my market to join Compass. At the time, our Compass office consisted of me, another agent, and our sales manager. When we first started, we had a huge launch team come out from New York to help us get on our feet. I even brought along my sales manager to my first few pitches as a Compass agent because I was still sort of unsure about the company and brand. But actually, my first successful pitch was to a client who was a graphic artist. She really loved the look of the Compass digital brand, and I think that’s what really sets us apart from other brokerages. People were and are very curious about Compass because it’s different, because it’s innovative and very cutting edge.

How does your business look now and where is it located?

I live and work in Santa Barbara. It’s a very tight, very small market, so you really have to know what you’re doing. It’s not like in L.A., where there are so many agents and potential clients that it’s easy to sort of hide behind bad habits. Here you really have to know your stuff. Fortunately, I lead a great team with my husband. We work together really well. And the best thing is we don’t always agree. So, when working with clients, we sometimes bring different perspectives and opinions to a deal, which gives our clients freedom of choice in where they want the deal to go. But we work well together and I love that we get to share our work.

On Servicing Clients

What are some of the important things you keep in mind when it comes to servicing your clients?

Well, it’s really all about service. It’s all about providing excellent service. Every action we do in a transaction has to benefit our client, whether they’re a buyer or seller. It’s about exceeding their expectations. It’s also about trust, about building trust between you and the client. They have to know that they can trust you implicitly with their most valuable asset. So, you know, if you say you’re going to call them at 3 o’clock, call them at 3 o’clock. If you tell them you’re going to meet them at 4, show up at 3:45. They have to know they can trust you and that you are looking out for them.

How should agents approach new clients in terms of pitching themselves and their services?

Well, this tip is maybe a little odd, but I always try to project the image that I don’t have more than my clients. You know, I drive a mid-class Acura. I don’t try to project an image of myself leading this very luxurious lifestyle. I try to contrast that with an experience I had years ago, when a friend of mine told me a story about how a prospective agent they were interested in working with showed up to the pitch driving a Ferrari. Immediately, the client was turned off by that, thinking, “Well, this agent already has money, already has a thriving business. I want to work with an agent who needs my business and wants to give me as much of their time as they can.” I think it’s important to make yourself really amenable to the client and not be too flashy about yourself or your material things.

On Growing Her Network

As one of the founding agents in your office, you were forced to build a network of agent referrals beyond your own market. How did you do this?

I think, first of all, agents looking to build referral relationships need to attend every possible Compass event they can. These are great opportunities to meet other Compass agents from around the country. Accelerate LIVE! was also a great opportunity for making connections. My trick with these events is to attend solo. When you go by yourself, you feel compelled to interact with others, make new connections, meet new people. Otherwise, you end up a wallflower. You also have to be willing to take new chances and be open to growth. You have to really love meeting new people, and finding the similarities between you that is the basis of any solid relationship.

And what about virtual opportunities for meeting new agents and growing that network?

My secret online weapon for referrals is Workplace. I’m usually on Workplace at least 3 to 4 times per day. It’s a great place to meet new agents and get those referral opportunities, or refer other agents that you know would be a good fit for the posting. I also set up tasks for following up with referrals. I only set a few referral tasks a day, but I commit myself to completing those calls and following up with those referrals. I actually had another colleague reach out to me the other day. He was a patient of mine from back when I was a Radiation Therapist. I always send him a little birthday message every year, because it’s such a celebration for both of us that he’s alive and healthy. Well, he called me personally after I sent him the birthday message, and we had a really great chat, and he closed the conversation by saying, “By the way, I’m going through my database and want to make sure the info I have for you is correct.” It was so seamless and easy, and that’s exactly what these calls to your sphere and to your referral prospects should be.

On Her Advice to Agents Looking to Grow their Business

What advice would you give new agents looking to grow their business?

I think the best agents are comfortable with being uncomfortable. Meaning, they know they need to be outgoing, they know they need to be comfortable talking to strangers, they know they need to be ok with not always having every answer. A lot of getting better at connecting with strangers and prospective clients comes from practice. And the best way to practice is by working your sphere and making those calls. Honestly, that’s all it is. Agents want to think there’s some magic solution whereby they can grow their business without making calls. But the reality is that, for most agents, 80 to 85% of their business comes from their sphere. The problem is they want to spend 80% of their time looking for ways to avoid making those calls!

And what advice would you give agents looking to strike a better work/life balance in their business?

I’m a big proponent of coaching. I think coaching will help you get to a point in your business where you can step back a little bit, look at the bigger picture, and start carving out more time in your day for a personal life. I think Chirag is a really great coach when it comes to this, because he really gives you the tools to make immediate change in your business, so you can start enjoying more of your life right away. I also think agents need to have hobbies and interests outside of work. For me, that’s philanthropy, charity, working with nonprofits. It’s not only a great way to meet potential clients, but it makes me feel good about myself and allows me to give back to others. Agents need to find their passion and their tribe. Like their clients, they need to find their place in the world.

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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.