There was a certain symmetry in the air when Julie Sutton joined Compass, a two-year old real estate brokerage in Hinsdale, this past September.
Prior to launching her real estate career, Sutton spent ten years working in advertising—contributing to the development of commercials for Anheiser-Busch and other clients, including a Super Bowl spot.
Compass places a high priority on helping brokers use data to fine tune the marketing of properties. Knowledge of data collection and interpreting spreadsheets Sutton gleaned from her background in advertising aligns perfectly with Compass’s marketing-focused business approach.
“In advertising, there’s a process and at the end you get this beautiful, creative, executed piece,” she says. “That process also applies to the real estate business.”
Sutton initially left the advertising world to raise her children but after seven years, wanted to “rehabilitate” her career. That’s when her interest in houses and homebuilding surfaced.
“I thought what could be better than a part-time job … but I quickly learned that real estate is not part-time, it’s all-the-time,” she says.
After starting her real estate career with another firm, Sutton became intrigued when Compass approached her earlier this year to look at potential opportunities.
“Leaving my previous brokerage company was not something I planned on. I had great success and the people there were like family,” she says. “But from a competitive standpoint, I found Compass to be unique. Its growth is astounding, already the number three brokerage company in the nation with only 11,000 agents.”
Sutton points out that Compass’s marketing strategies are driven by real data so agents aren’t just “throwing spaghetti at the wall.”
“Marketing is fact-based, research-based, and analytics-based. It helps us find who’s going to buy a house and how we speak to them,” says Sutton. “We test different marketing strategies and compare the analytics. How is version A different from version B?”
She adds that Compass limits the number of agents it works with to top market performers, which allows the company to have the bandwidth to provide a high level of service to its agents.
“If I had walked away from this opportunity (with Compass) it would have been to the detriment of my clients,” she says. “Personally, for me and my team, I wanted access to the very best tools.”
Another Compass advantage is Compass Concierge, a program that offers interest-free loans to sellers who want to make improvements to their homes before the homes go on the market. Families don’t always have the time and the contacts to get a home in optimum condition for selling.
“The truth is most agents know the best people—the plumber, the counter-top guy, the painter. We already have those relationships,” Sutton says. “We can get an estimate and we’re off to the races.”
Data show the average client who uses the Compass Concierge service sees their home sell 18 percent faster, and that the average loan to make improvements is just $17,000.
“The seller wins, the agent wins, and the company wins,” Sutton says.
All of the strategies that set Compass apart point to a commitment to detail and ensuring everything is in the right place to help clients sell their homes.
“It’s about more than just putting a property on the MLS,” Sutton says. “You have one chance to make a first impression.”
Compass is located at 36 W. Washington Street. in Hinsdale, 312-909-9561, compass.com. For more information about Julie Sutton, visit thejuliesuttongroup.com.