After a successful 30-year career producing television commercials for household names, such as Apple, David Cox discovered a passion for real estate. While he may have changed careers, he is still very much using his creative brain.
Soon after arriving at Compass from another brokerage, Cox pitched an idea to start an Instagram handle called Compass of the Day, on which he showcases Compass listings from around the country. “It’s a curated look at the best of the national brand,” he explains. “A platform for all.”
While the listings belong to other Compass agents, @Compass_of_the_Day is “a way that I could bring something from my marketing and advertising background to something in the real estate business that would still keep me interested,” he says.
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After growing up in South Boston, Cox moved to Europe in the 1980s, before settling in New York City, where he worked in nightclubs. By 1990, he pivoted to the film business.
“I took the lowest job on the totem pole and for the first time in my life I watched and listened to how things were done correctly,” he recalls. He worked his way up to first assistant director, producer and an executive producer, and it took him around the world.
“I would joke and say, ‘This poor white trash kid from Boston got to see the world from the front of an airplane.’ And what an adventure it was,” he remembers. “Shooting on the streets of Mumbai or the streets of Paris or being in Beijing or being one of the first crews to be let back into South Africa after they lifted
“The first time we shot the iPhone it was in a dummy case that wasn’t really the iPhone. Every time we needed to shoot it and roll film on it, we took it out of its case and shot it with an immense amount of security,” he recalls.
“A lot of the skills,” Cox says, “scheduling, logistics, health and safety, execution, connecting a client with a product or a location, or a director with an idea to be able to facilitate something somebody needed was all put on my shoulders.”
It is something that has translated into how he works with his clientele.
“This is not the David Cox show,” he explains. “I’m not the product. The product is the house and the client is the customer. I’m just the guy in the middle to make those two connections.”
Confidentiality and understanding proprietary data is key, though, he says.
In four years since the anniversary of his first deal—rumored to be the $26 million sale of a house in Georgica to Beyoncé and Jay-Z (No comment, he says)—he has transacted $125 to $150
million in sales.
When Cox was nearing 50 years old, he wanted to cut back on traveling so much for business. He already had a home in Sag Harbor Village and found himself often discussing real estate with friends, so he decided to get his license.
“For the first time since 1986, I went back to school. It was the first time I took a test since 1986. It was the first time I passed a test since 1985,” he says with a laugh.
Though he went into real estate “a little blind,” he found he innately knew how to connect a person to a product, he says.
“It didn’t matter if I was launching an iPhone or Charmin toilet paper. Everybody got treated the same,” he adds.
On the Instagram page he runs, the price points range, too— from a half million to $50 million. Recently, he posted a Morris Hullinger design in Houston, Texas, listed for $7.395 million, a week earlier a $3.5 million surf-inspired house in Southampton. Over the winter, there was a memorable reclaimed barn in Doylestown, Pennsylvania complete with a reimagined silo.
“It’s a bridge,” he says of @Compass_of_the_Day.
Just like the one he built from his former career to his new one.
This article appeared in the Memorial Day 2021 issue of Behind The Hedges. Click here to read the digital version.