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.

Issue link: http://remag.rismedia.com/i/1017650

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Page 96 of 134

92 September 2018 RISMedia's REAL ESTATE those moves. So, when we see an opportunity where we like the mar- ket, but it's also a great culture, we'll jump on those all day. When you align with the right people, it makes so much more sense. BK: Most of the growth has followed three basic principles: 1. A twig, no matter how weak, is better than a seed; mergers and ac- quisitions trump start-up offices. 2. Water flows downhill. Only enter markets where there is opportunity and need, not markets that are pres- tigious or geographically close, but lack opportunity and/or are overly competitive. 3. As Dan said, similar office cul- tures work best. It doesn't seem to matter if we expand into a small, ru- ral area or the heart of a city. What does matter is that the agents and office have complimentary belief sys- tems in terms of needs, style and market focus. MP: How would you describe the cur- rent state of your markets? BK: All of our markets, be they long depressed manufacturing towns or hot new destinations, have in com- mon a pronounced lack of inventory. DK: Agreed. Whether it's Madison, Wis., or Tampa Bay, Fla., inventory is tight across the board. New con- struction is lacking in every market. There are also challenges associ- ated with the new models that are coming into the market. We have to look at what they are offering, how they are structured and what our value is. Anytime a new model comes in as a competitor, you can either get frustrated, or welcome it as a good sign of the overall health of the industry. BK: The opportunities are greatest in times of crisis and uncertainty, and frequently happen when least expected. So, be prepared. MP: How do you make sure your agents are prepared to compete? DK: We're working with our team leaders in the field on knowing and understanding our value package. We focus a lot of time and energy on training, educating and coaching our agents to make sure they have the best possible skillset when com- peting in a tough inventory market. We have a very advanced training de- partment and three full-time trainers. We also use CENTURY 21's training programs and outside coaches like Jared James, who offer an outside perspective. BK: Some agents thrive under a coaching environment; some thrive with training. We pride ourselves on providing tools for agent growth no matter which stage of their career and no matter which learning style best suits their personality. MP: What are you doing differently to set your firm and its agents apart from the competition? BK: We have the benefit of a brand that exudes strength, consistency and safety while continuing to stay fresh and technologically sharp. The company itself has the unique combination of historic strength and younger leadership. DK: Yes, I feel strongly that the CEN- TURY 21 brand is in the best place it's been in for the last 18 years. Nick Bailey is doing a great job with the rebranding. It's a high-value pack- ageā€”this brand that's so well-known within the consumer world, and now it has this new direction, focus and momentum. We also spend a lot of time, mon- ey and energy looking at technology and making sure we are on the lead- ing edge for our agent base and the consumers we serve. MP: How do you stay ahead of the curve on technology, online market- ing and social media? BK: Staying ahead of the curve is not a goal. The goal is to determine when it is time to take the next step forward because the latest and greatest has evolved to the point where a secure product can be in- stalled and it will enhance customer service and agent efficiency. Moni- toring the competition is critical. We don't have a monopoly on great ideas. All that being said, there are times when our industry has lagged, and we have taken it upon ourselves to be trendsetters. Lead management is an example. CENTURY 21 President & CEO Nick Bailey (left) and real estate coach Jared James (center) share the stage with Kruse.

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