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CENTURY 21 Real Estate - A New Look at a 40-Year-Old Company

CENTURY 21 Real Estate - A New Look at a 40-Year-Old Company

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CENTURY 21 Smarter, Bolder Faster CENTURY 21 Smarter, Bolder Faster Document Transcript

  • 8Scene & Heard: RISMedia’s Achieve! Conference – page 23 Smarter. Bolder. Faster. CENTURY 21 ® A New Look at a 40-Year-Old Company® July 2011 $6.95 www.rismedia.com
  • cover story Smarter. Bolder. Faster. CENTURY 21® By Paige Tepping A New Look at a 40-Year-Old Company R ick Davidson began his leadership role as president and CEO of Century 21 Real Estate LLC in February 2010, one year before the brand reached its 40th anniversary milestone. What follows is an exclusive interview between Real Estate magazine and Rick Davidson about leading the largest residential real estate sales organization, his vision for the future of the CENTURY 21® brand and his insights on the direction of the real estate industry.66 July 2011 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE
  • cover story “We will leverage every advantage that we have globally to ensure that we take our rightful position as the worldwide leader in this industry.” Rick Davidson, President and CEO Century 21 Real Estate LLCReal Estate magazine: You took over leadership of the serve the needs of home buyers and sellers in theirmost recognized brand in real estate at one of the local communities.most challenging times in the industry. What was your By listening, I learned that we have an incrediblyfirst move? committed, knowledgeable group of real estate pro-Rick Davidson: First, I listened. I immersed myself in fessionals who are very passionate about the Centu-the people who bring this company to life, to gain ry 21 brand. through my discovery process, I gainedan understanding from them about all aspects of a deeper understanding of three very important fac-this great brand. I wanted to learn what Century tors that contribute to the success of the Century21 stands for, and what it meant to be a part of this 21 System:iconic real estate firm. Over the past 16 months, I 1. The people who make up the System and repre-have met with thousands of our professionals, both sent the branddomestically and around the globe. One of the thingsI learned very quickly is that Century 21 has nearly 2. The people who they serve—consumers or pro-universal brand name recognition. It is truly an icon- spective consumers, andic brand. When you say Century 21 you don’t even 3. The tools, systems and support that we deliverhave to mention real estate. everyone knows! to assist our franchisees to successfully com- I’ve always thought “Century 21: the Gold Stan- pete in this industry.dard” is a great tagline, but I needed to understand All of that overlaid with my knowledge of the cur-the true meaning. I needed to hear directly from the rent market conditions helped me to better under-sales professionals, managers, brokers and owners stand our position in the marketplace and the direc-who carry the Century 21 business card, and who tion we needed to go. RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE July 2011 67
  • cover story What I took away from that invaluable listening each Century 21 franchisee represents this brand and learning experience was the fact that the indus- in their local market and I take that very seriously. try is undergoing a fundamental shift in the way each franchisee is a business partner in this enter- consumers—particularly the first-time buyers who prise. Our mutual victory is tied to each individual represented 50% of all home purchases in 2010— business owner’s success and how they represent were going about the process of buying and selling this brand in their local market. the most produc- homes. the advances in mobile and social media tive franchisees within the Century 21 System are alone have been nothing less than revolutionary, those that understand the value of our platform and and as a brand that takes great pride in being on the ensure that their agents, managers and staff take full leading edge of innovation, it is incredibly impor- advantage of all that the Century 21 System has to tant to ensure Century 21 sales professionals are offer in order to service their consumers well. well positioned to lead this revolutionary shift in the Last, but certainly not least, our new marketing industry. campaign puts the agent at the center of our mes- sage as evidenced through the tagline, “Century 21 RE: What is your vision for the brand? Agents: Smarter, Bolder, Faster.” the delivery of our RD: the Century 21 brand will be recognized as message is a 360-degree approach to assuring that the global leader in real estate transactions. we attract both buyers and sellers, particularly the today, we have approximately 120,000 real estate next generation of home buyers and sellers. From sales professionals serving customers in 71 countries tV and radio broadcast advertising that reaches the and territories. Internationally, in 2010, the Cen- broad market to mobile apps for all smartphones to tury 21 System closed approximately 829,000 real customized Facebook business pages, our marketing estate sides. We are well positioned to grow inter- campaign is designed to provide consumers with nationally and to become the global leader in real the information they want, when they want it and estate transactions. where they want it. We have a tremendous group of brokers who un- derstand and support our direction and vision. the decisions we are making now will carry this brand forward and ensure that Century 21 is well rep- resented across any relevant metric associated with success in this industry. We have a great deal of work in front of us, but I’m confident that we have laid out a cogent path to achieve our vision. Success in this industry is based on three simple metrics: the professionals we associate; the compa- nies we affiliate; and the transactions we complete. We are focused on smart growth, not only interna- tionally, but domestically. We are being very selec- tive now with regard to which professionals earn the privilege of representing the Century 21 System. everything we do is tied to agent productivity and to ensure we are reaching as many consumers as performance. We recognize that Century 21 agents possible with our message, we’ve taken the bold step are an integral part of our success. through our of purchasing advertising time on the Super Bowl awards and events programs, we incent, celebrate, telecast next year! In addition, we celebrated the 40th and showcase professionals who lead our System. anniversary of our iconic brand with a cake designed, the Century 21 System has always been known baked and delivered to our international convention for training and education. to ensure we continue in Las Vegas by none other than the “Cake Boss,” to enhance sales professionals’ capabilities in this Buddy Valastro. It was a great time and we were able manner, our learning platform has been updated to to share the cake with 4,000 Century 21 profes- appeal to new agents as well as seasoned veterans, sionals. the entire celebration was filmed and broad- offering a career track that empowers agents to build cast on tLC along with our new television ads. a career as a real estate professional. this is a destina- From an industry perspective, we’re increasing our tion brand where experienced real estate sales pro- presence at industry events and within trade publi- fessionals and broker/owners may maximize their cations. Century 21 is the brand everyone in the income potential. industry is talking about. In terms of the companies we affiliate, I am ac- tively engaged with each company we invite to join RE: Where do you see the best opportunities for the brand, by examining their plans for the future. your franchisees in the months and years ahead68 July 2011 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE
  • cover story Why CENTURY 21? Brokers Explain the Difference David Romero, president and CEO, CENTURY 21 Award – San Diego “CENTURY 21 is a global real estate company on the move, and CENTURY 21 Award looks forward to being on the leading edge of this movement. We are reinventing ourCentury 21 celebrated its 40th birthday with a cake brand here in Southernfrom the ‘Cake Boss.’ California and Century 21 Realand what is CENTURY 21 doing Estate LLC is spearheading a revolutionto assist in taking advantage of in the industry. Together, we are rebuildingthese opportunities? the American Dream of homeownershipRD: I see three major areas of not be stopped from achieving and it starts by understanding the needsopportunity: mergers and acqui- our vision. of our customers and our agents.”sitions; the distressed property through our learning platformmarket (short sales and reO); and we are focused on providing ac- Tracy Hutton, president, CENTURYenhanced marketing to the next cess to industry-leading training 21 Scheetz, Indianapolis, Indianageneration of buyers and sellers. and tools designed to prepare “It is important that people are comfort-Century 21 has taken action to Century 21 sales professionals able with a brand that theysupport our franchisees and sales to better serve sellers of distressed know and recognize. Butprofessionals to take advantage of properties and transact reO prop- the brand alone is onlyall three. erties. this is an important seg- the starting point. As a the economic challenges have ment of the market and we have leader in the Indianap-taken their toll on many local taken steps to ensure our sales olis market, CENTURYreal estate companies. As a brand, professionals are prepared to meet 21 Scheetz has beenwe have focused on providing the demands of the market. recognized for our philan-support to assist our franchisees We believe our 2011 marketing thropic foundation, innovativewith mergers and acquisitions of campaign represents the start of business solutions and technology, and acompanies in their local commu- a revolution. Our campaign is es- thriving company culture supporting ournity who may be looking for an sentially a 360-degree program— management team, staff and agents. It’sexit strategy. With such a large with advertising that reaches to the whole package that builds customersnetwork, joining a successful lo- buyers and sellers using powerful for life and attracts the best and brightestcal Century 21 franchise is a vi- broadcast and digital media both in the industry.”able option for many companies online and offline.who find themselves in difficult the next generation of home Todd Hetherington, CEO, CENTURYcircumstances. this is the time to buyers will approach the real es- 21 New Millennium, Alexandria,join the company with the larg- tate transaction dramatically dif- Virginiaest real estate sales organization ferent than when I purchased “CENTURY 21 New Millen-in the world. We are targeting my first home. today’s 25 to nium has established aurban markets where we see op- 35-year-old consumer will start solid and successfulportunities for growth. I want our their search online, share their real estate firm in thecompetitors to understand that favorite listings on Facebook and Washington-Baltimorewhen they see the Century 21 download their favorites to their metropolitan area;sign go up in their market, it is smartphone through a Qr code— however, our affiliationthe time to climb on board or get all before they seek the help of a with such a well knownout of the way because we have real estate professional! this rep- international brand has been tremen-moved into that market with a resents a huge opportunity for dously beneficial, especially given thepurpose. We will provide the nec- our sales professionals. international clientele doing business inessary support for our franchisees From social media programs to this market.”to gain market-share and we will branded Facebook, twitter, and RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE July 2011 69
  • cover story youtube pages to location-based services like the the national Association of reALtOrS® and Fannie Century 21 smartphone app, to our blog @C21- Mae, there will be approximately 5.1 to 5.2 million Home Matters, we have taken proactive steps to en- existing home sales in the u.S. during 2011. Where sure we remain on the leading edge in how our brand we need to be focused as professionals is assisting and our sales professionals reach today’s consumer. consumers to make smart real estate decisions. It is also incredibly important to give back to the RE: How much do you see international growth of the community. Philanthropy is an area that I am ex- brand playing a role in helping the CENTURY 21 Sys- tremely passionate about. In 2010, the Century tem achieve your vision? 21 franchise system reached nearly $102 million in RD: Century 21’s organizational goal is to be rec- lifetime contributions to easter Seals, its sole philan- ognized as the global leader in real estate transac- thropic partner since 1979. tions. Our international position plays a critical role In fact, by the time your readers read this article, in achieving this objective. I may be summiting one of several peaks in the We have unique advantages domestically and we Alaska Mountain range. In support of easter Seals, will continue to be an industry leader in the u.S. four brave Century 21 System members and I have that said, we are operating in a global economy. Ac- committed to climb 30,000 feet in total elevation for cording to the national Association of reALtOrS® the 2011 Climb for Kids. you may follow our climb Profile of International Home Buying Activity 2011, every step of the way at Facebook.com/Century21. the total u.S. existing Home Sales market was ap- proximately $1.07 trillion in the 12 months ending in March 2011. In addition, recent immigrants (who have moved to the u.S. within the past two years) and individuals with visas for more than six months purchased an additional $41 billion, for total inter- nationally oriented sales of $82 billion, up from $66 billion reported in 2010. the Century 21 System is well-positioned to le- verage our global presence and to drive transactions country to country and continent to continent. As an international organization, we have tremendous strength, operating in 71 countries and territories Century 21 is reaching worldwide. For example, China represents the fast- consumers with the est growing international region within the Cen- latest social media tury 21 System with more than 21,000 sales profes- programs and mobile sionals and over 1,500 offices serving home buyers technology. and sellers throughout 32 cities in the world’s most populous country. In Brazil, I will help celebrate our 100th franchise opening in Sao Paulo later this year. this type of growth and presence is representative of what we are doing in markets around the world. In regard to the future, I remain very bullish about even with a global footprint of over 5,000 offices real estate and extremely excited about the future of (outside the u.S.), we have just scratched the surface our brand. Century 21 maintains its leadership in of opportunity for our brand internationally. brand awareness and our strategic vision is gaining momentum and strength around the globe. I feel RE: The economic recovery in the U.S. and worldwide the momentum in every office I visit and with every remains unsteady. How has CENTURY 21 positioned agent I meet. itself to thrive in such a challenging environment? the industry is changing, and the Century 21 While current housing market conditions still System is committed to leading the change. As a present challenges, there is ample room for oppor- brand, we will continue to meet consumers wherev- tunity. Housing prices and historically low mortgage er they are searching for real estate information and rates make it a great time for first-time home buyers our sales professionals will continue to provide valu- or those considering moving into a better neighbor- able service to their customers and community. this hood, downsizing or even a vacation home. For ex- is the 40th anniversary of the brand and Century ample, housing affordability conditions today are 60 21 is smarter, bolder and faster than ever before. RE percentage points higher than during the housing boom, making it a very strong buyers’ market, espe- cially for families with long-term plans. According to For more information, please visit century21.com.70 July 2011 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE