Real Estate Magazine Cover Feature 2012


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Well, in the past 18 months we have made significant strides as an organization to reposition the brand within the industry and with the consumer through our marketing campaign. In the process, we have maintained our leadership position in brand awareness for the 11th consecutive year and we remain a leader in consideration for future real estate transactions among active real estate consumers.* So we’re going to keep that momentum going and keep firing on all cylinders. Both internally and externally.

From a marketing standpoint, we are the official real estate sponsor of U.S. Soccer. This is really exciting as it resonates globally and in soccer fields in playgrounds and schoolyards in most communities. And, we’re advertising in the upcoming 2012 Olympic Games. It’s going to be a big back half of the year for us!

Most importantly, we are focused on growth. To build on the natural advantages inherent in being the world’s largest real estate franchise and real estate sales organization, we convened a Global Task Force comprised of our top master franchise owners throughout the globe. The task force has developed action plans for the global integration of our brand across three major areas:

- Technology
- Global Referral System;
- Global Branding and Marketing.

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Real Estate Magazine Cover Feature 2012

  1. 1. 8The Rally for Real Estate: Protecting the American Dream - Page 16CENTURY 21:Bringing Home The Gold Rick Davidson July 2012 $6.95 President & CEO, Century 21 Real Estate, LLC, @RISMediaUpdates and members of the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team
  2. 2. cover story T he real estate company with the largest sales force in the world has been blazing a bold path lately, sig- naling its support for the health of the housing market and its own agents this spring with its advertising. Beginning with its Super Bowl commercial and continuing with its upcoming ads during the Summer Olym- pics, Century 21® real estate has added to its visibility by sponsoring the men’s and women’s u.S. Soccer teams for this year and next. However, these big marketing moves are only a part of what this global real estate gi- ant has been up to. In this exclusive interview, Rick Davidson President & CEO, Century 21 Real Estate, LLC, company President and CeO rick Davidson and members of the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team tells us more.64 July 2012 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE
  3. 3. cover storyGoldCENTURY 21:Bringing Home The by Maria PattersonMaria Patterson: CENTURY 21 From senior leadership to opera- secutive year, and we remain a lead-Real Estate has been making tions and marketing, to our distrib- er in consideration for future realsome big-time moves with ad- uted service teams, we’ve launched estate transactions among activevertising and marketing. What our own internal revolution. We’re real estate consumers.* So we’reelse has the brand been up to? throwing out the old ways of think- going to keep that momentum go-Rick Davidson: We have taken our ing to be sure that we better service ing and keep firing on all cylinders—marketing up to the next level our business partners and, in turn, both internally and externally.with initiatives such as help them better service their From a marketing standpoint, wethe program integration customers. We’re trans- are the official real estate sponsorwith our 40th birthday forming the brand to de- of U.S. Soccer. This is really exciting,celebration and TLC’s liver a higher standard as it resonates globally and on soc-“Cake Boss,” our Su- of service, to build on cer fields in most communities. Andper Bowl commercial, a strong foundation of we’re advertising in the upcomingadvertising during the “CENTURY 21: The Gold 2012 Olympic Games. It’s going toPreakness and Bel- Standard” in ways that are be a big back half of the year for us!mont Stakes horse races SMARTER. BOLDER. FAST- Most importantly, we are focusedand the Olympics this sum- ER.SM We’re now looking forward on growth. To build on the naturalmer. However, marketing is the most to the next big steps for our company, advantages inherent in being thevisible part of a much broader and and the future looks bright. world’s largest real estate franchisedeeper shift across the CENTURY and real estate sales organization,21® System. MP: Speaking of the future, can we convened a Global Task Force We’ve been focused on rebuild- you tell me what your plans are comprised of our top master fran-ing our foundation and momentum for the future of the CENTURY 21 chise owners throughout the globe.from the inside out. We have accel- System? The task force has developed actionerated our innovations throughout RD: Well, in the past 18 months, we plans for the global integration ofthe System to empower our brokers have made significant strides as an our brand across three major areas:and agents to be the best they can organization to reposition the brandbe. That means everything from within the industry and with the - Technology - Global Referral Systemfirst-class training, high-quality ser- consumer through our marketing - Global Brandingvice and the development of new campaign. In the process, we haveplatforms and tools that are hyper- maintained our leadership position * Source: 2011 Ad Tracking Study,efficient and financially savvy. in brand awareness for the 11th con- Millward Brown RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE July 2012 65
  4. 4. cover story In the U.S., we developed and deployed a Service CENTURY 21 International Masters: With Aligned Targets (SWAT) team approach that en- What does the CENTURY 21 Global ables our nationwide field support team of more than Network mean to you? 60 business consultants to most effectively answer the needs of our franchisees in critical areas like mergers CENTURY 21 Real Estate of Japan Ltd. and acquisitions, operational reviews, lead generation Mr. Kazunari Mitsukawa, President and CEO and conversion, recruiting and social media marketing. CENTURY 21 Japan was founded in 1983. Everything we are doing as a global organization is Today, we are the third largest real estate brokerage designed to drive more business to our franchisees and group in Japan with more than 800 franchise offices. continue to improve upon the service provided to the Through the power of the CENTURY 21® global net- consumer. work, we aim to achieve the No. 1 position in Japan. “Soccer is the world’s sport, and its growing popularity in the U.S. provides our CENTURY 21 Canada sales professionals with a great opportunity Don Lawby, President to sponsor a local team and engage with By combining our innovative technology the communities they serve.” with the international recognition of the – Rick Davidson, President & CEO, Century 21 Real Estate, LLC CENTURY 21 brand, our sales professionals are able to provide exceptional service to clients no mat- ter where they are in the world. MP: Why is the world’s largest real estate compa- ny so committed to growth? And, why now? RD: Real estate is on the rise. Consumer confidence, CENTURY 21 Benelux employment figures, as well as overall positive news Mathieu Verwilghen, General Manager in the U.S. housing market, suggest that the dream of Customer service is the most important homeownership is appropriate for many. For indepen- part of our business. With the CENTURY 21® dent brokers and agents who have been looking for System, we are able to ensure homebuyers and smart growth, the CENTURY 21 System offers excep- sellers receive the quality service they expect while tional training, tools, systems and marketing. We give exposing their property to a global network of more them the tools to help them grow. So when strong, than 100,000 real estate professionals. smart, forward-thinking, quick-on-their-feet independent professionals decide to make a move, we want them thinking of us. The strength of our brand begins with our local mar- MP: What are some of the opportunities of leading ket affiliates and their agents. It is their experience and a global real estate organization? knowhow that fuels our global network. They matter RD: Transacting real estate is no longer confined to most. The more savvy entrepreneurs we have operating city-to-city or state-to-state referrals. Our worldwide net- CENTURY 21 franchises around the country, the more op- work consists of more than 100,000 real estate pro- portunity this represents for the entire CENTURY 21 Sys- fessionals and more than 7,250 offices in both mature tem. So we’ll do whatever it takes to make sure the best and emerging markets. International referral business of the best find a home within the CENTURY 21 System. represents an incredible opportunity for CENTURY 21 Internationally speaking, from Prague to Paris and agents to transact real estate from country to country Sao Paolo to Singapore, the CENTURY 21 brand is well- and continent to continent. known and respected. Our goal is to continue expanding According to the National Association of REALTORS® even more, strengthening the brand on a global scale to International Profile of Home Buying Activity, total pur- enable us to meet the needs of consumers in markets chases by foreign or foreign-born buyers represented throughout the globe. $82 billion. This represents a tremendous opportunity We have a big vision for the future of CENTURY 21 for the CENTURY 21 System, given that we boast the Real Estate. Our strategy is in place and we are poised largest global footprint of any real estate sales orga- for growth. Our company’s mission is “to provide best- nization with 1,000-plus offices more than our closest in-class brokerage services to all who aspire to buy and competitor. Through our global network, we are serving sell real estate anywhere in the world.” We have no time the needs of homebuyers and sellers in 73 countries to slow down. and territories worldwide.66 July 2012 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE
  5. 5. cover story Through our sponsorship of U.S. Soccer and our MP: As a company that prides itself on innova-planned advertising in the 2012 Olympics, we have de- tion, what has the CENTURY 21 brand been doingveloped opportunities for our global partners to take to stay in front of technology?advantage of the positive momentum we have built with RD: Advances in communication and technology haveour Smarter. Bolder. Faster.SM campaign. Soccer is the created a global economy where we can share not onlyworld’s sport, and its growing popularity in the U.S. pro- photos with friends on Facebook, but we can text listingvides our sales professionals with a great opportunity details or tweet a video to a customer’s smartphoneto sponsor a local team and engage with the commu- anywhere in the world within seconds. Your buyer andnities they serve. You’ve heard people talk about the seller may be continents apart, but through the CEN-growing influence of soccer moms; well, this campaign TURY 21 System and today’s technology, making thatis targeted to attract the attention of this influential connection is easier than To further our technology edge, we have developed a The CENTURY 21 System is thriving internationally. series of strategic initiatives designed to support ourThe innovation and entrepreneurial success of our glob- brokers and agents while enhancing the experienceal business partners is incredible. The best part about for their customers. Beginning with CENTURY 21 Lead-being a global organization is the cross-cultural learn- RouterSM, our leads management system automaticallying opportunities. We now are able to share best prac- captures client information, converts it to voicemail andtices throughout the franchise system. For instance, sends it directly to our sales associates for immediateCENTURY 21 Japan may have insights about mobility follow-up, so interested homebuyers can receive a re-that inform our mobility decisions in the U.S. In turn, sponse within minutes. This has been an incredible toolCENTURY 21 France is developing online marketing so- for our sales professionals to demonstrate the CEN-lutions that may influence CENTURY 21 Mexico. To me, TURY 21 brand value proposition.that is the most exciting opportunity for the CENTURY Another major innovation is our proprietary tool, The21 System; the ability to learn from each other and Golden Ruler. Through this dynamic reporting tool, ouradopt best practices to benefit our business partners professionals are able to provide an instant analysis ofand the consumer. This is one of the key differentiating consumer views and leads resulting from the expandedadvantages of belonging to a global network and a part visibility of CENTURY 21 home listings, which typicallyof what separates CENTURY 21 Real Estate from our appear on hundreds of real estate industry and aggre-competitors. gator websites. Golden Ruler provides our agents with a RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE July 2012 67
  6. 6. cover story reporting tool that offers great clarity with regard to the temporary music and includes on-air advertisements effectiveness of our online marketing. for the brand, giving the CENTURY 21 brand 100 per- The CENTURY 21 Showcase Advantage Listing Pro- cent share of voice during the entire listening session. gram offers our brokers and agents significant price The branded channel also has a custom skin so that if advantages when they list on five of the nation’s lead- you’re playing it on a laptop, at an open house or in an ing real estate sites:®® , , office, the web page appears with the company’s brand-, and®. This ed messages displayed. Our brokers and agents love it! program, subsidized through CENTURY 21 Real Estate, We have been very busy in the mobile and social showcases CENTURY 21® properties and enables our space. Our goal is to provide consumers with informa- System members to deliver exceptional value to their tion when they want it and where they want it. In fact, customers and increased exposure for their properties. the CENTURY 21 mobile application is available across Recently, we announced that we are developing a all major smartphone platforms and on the iPad. state-of-the-art marketing platform that includes fully Through YouTube, we now have the ability to feature integrated customer relationship management (CRM). videos for every one of our agents’ listings. We see The new marketing platform will empower CENTURY 21 video as a major media opportunity as more and more brokers with an integrated office dashboard that will be consumers watch videos online and on-the-go. fully integrated into our intranet, 21Online, to create a seamless experience for offices and agents. MP: You mentioned higher standards. What are Of course, our major point of entry for consumers re- some of the things CENTURY 21 Real Estate is doing mains In 2012, the website received to help its agents meet these standards? several major enhancements, including: RD: Within the CENTURY 21 System, we are raising the bar through continuing education. The fuel that drives 8 mart search, which empowers visitors to type as S our company forward is our agents. It is the quality of few as the first three letters of the community they their character and their commitment to providing ex- are researching and see instant results. ceptional service to their community that define the 8 state-of-the-art interactive mapping tool that lets A CENTURY 21 brand. consumers see the properties visually and shows As advocates for the industry and for the consumer, various data points in relation to the properties. Con- we have developed an award-winning learning platform sumers can choose from a wide variety of points of to encourage as many of our new agents, as well as interest, such as schools, places of worship, restau- our more seasoned professionals, to not only complete rants, etc. the required educational requirements of their state as- sociations, but to expand their continuing education to 8he availability of Real Estate Networking (REN) list- T include coursework that assures them they can meet ings. REN listings provide a unified search experience the needs of today’s consumers. Our field-based learn- across listings from various brands, including Coldwell ing team is dedicated to ensuring that CENTURY 21 Banker, ERA, Better Homes and Gardens, RE/MAX and brokers and agents are well-prepared. Realty Executives and more than 370 MLSs. From the Certified Distressed Property Expert des- ignation to becoming a certified ePro (Technology Tool The enhanced experience has yield- Professional), learning is the key to improved perfor- ed an impressive increase in visitors to the site. Accord- mance and professional advancement. ing to metrics recently produced by comScore, traffic to The one thing that remains constant in this indus- the CENTURY 21 website is up 46 percent year-over- try and in life is change. As an organization, we have year through May 2012. The increased traffic has re- embraced change as an opportunity to challenge the sulted in increased leads for our System members. status quo, to take an already iconic brand and make it even better. Today, CENTURY 21 sales professionals MP: I understand the CENTURY 21 brand now has around the globe are primed to take our brand value its own station on Pandora Radio. Did you pick out proposition forward to consumers in ways unimaginable the songs on the playlist? just 10 years ago. We are CENTURY 21 and our time is RD: It’s true, we do have our own customized CENTURY now! RE 21 station on Pandora Radio. However, I did not select the playlist! CENTURY 21 Radio features a mix of con- For more information, please visit July 2012 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE