RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

SEP 2018

Real Estate magazine is the industry's leading source for real estate news and information since 1980. Published monthly by RISMedia, Real Estate magazine offers timely and relevant real estate news to the industry's top brokers and agents.

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RISMedia's REAL ESTATE September 2018 91 TURY 21 for overall sales volume, with 20,000 closed sales units rep- resenting sales in excess of $4 bil- lion (for 2017). With more than 100 locations spread out over five states, we are in many markets with a vari- ety of dominance, from a brand-new location in Vero Beach, Fla., to 65 percent marketshare in Beloit, Wis. Dan Kruse: Bill had the vision of hav- ing a multiple-office company before that was a thing. We grew to about 12 - 13 offices, and that's when I got involved in the early 2000s. I was 24 years old, and I was cutting my teeth in the real estate world. I asked Bill if he had found an exit strategy. He hadn't, and I started helping him with the concept of a larger organization. From 2004 - 2010, we grew to 35 of- fices across the state of Wisconsin, always playing on the side of having centralized services—we've always had the hub-and-spoke concept. MP: When and why did you take the company beyond Wisconsin? DK: In 2010, I was approached by Tom Bretz, a friend in the Chicago- land area who wanted to delve into the residential platform. There were a lot of CENTURY 21 brokers in Chi- cago at that time, many of whom were struggling with the recession. We opened our first Chicago office in November 2010, and since then, have grown to about 35 offices throughout the Greater Chicagoland area. Joining with key principals Tom Bretz, Adam Freeman and Jasen Schrock, along with the success of this expansion, led us to further ex- pansion in 2014 when we ventured into Northwest Indiana, and then Michigan in 2015. In 2016, we ex- panded into Florida, acquiring a com- pany in the Greater Tampa Bay mar- ket, and we've acquired two other offices in the state since then. MP: So where does that bring the grand total, in terms of offices and agents? DK: We have 112 offices across the Midwest and Florida, about 2,600 agents, and about 250 full-time em- ployees. It's been a wild—but fun— run since 2004. And the company is celebrating its 40 th anniversary in 2018, so this is a very significant year for us. MP: What are your criteria when it comes to expansion? DK: We are always looking for great opportunities, but it's not like we're looking at a map and saying, "Here are our target areas." Sometimes an opportunity is presented by the mar- ketplace—for example, during the re- cession—but the magic with all the growth that's happened for us was based on people and culture. When we have an opportunity for growth or for a merger, we have to feel good about the people we're dealing with. We've done deals where we were un- sure about the culture, or the model was different, and we struggled with With a focus on aligning with the right culture, CENTURY 21 Affiliated has grown to be the largest CENTURY 21 firm in the world in overall sales volume for three years running.

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