Aggressive, fast-paced growth has built Century 21 International into the world’s largest real-estate company. The price, however, was a noticeable decline in quality and consistency of service delivery. An enlightened management team recognized the problem and selected The Pacific Institute to analyze the problem and implement its Investment in Excellence® program. With the full commitment and participation of the organization, including the CEO, President, CFO, and all executives, Century 21 is poised to continue its growth while ensuring high-quality service into the next century. Century 21 International is a familiar name in the real estate industry throughout the US and beyond. As job opportunities required Americans to move more frequently and further away, Century 21 had the vision of a “one stop” realty service from the customer’s point of origin to the point of destination. After partnering with The Pacific Institute, that vision is realized through excellent service and the respect of competitors.
Consistency is the key to any successful franchise, and Century 21 faced major differences throughout its vast network of offices. With 80,000 associates, a staff of 550 and 45 regional directors, the company was, in fact, a loosely connected group of independent agencies seeking the benefits of a nationwide franchise system while continuing to run independent operations. The main challenge was to build and win support for a common vision.
ExperienceCentury 21 management saw a unique opportunity to become an industry leader and set new standards in service. The first step was a senior leadership strategic assessment conducted by The Pacific Institute. By rolling out the Investment in Excellence® program from the top down, Century 21 senior management demonstrated its leadership by example. Mid-level management, broker, agent and staff participation soon followed. After training 37 facilitators from within the company, The Pacific Institute was able to monitor and maintain quality implementation with 1,000 employees in the program per month. Independent operators in any field have an understandable resistance to conformity and change. The real-estate business is no exception. The company had gone through major restructuring and reorganization just prior to retaining The Pacific Institute’s service. A key management concern was getting system-wide acceptance of the strategic vision and goals.
The company’s long-term goal is to win the prestigious Malcom Bridge Award. With 30,000 to 50,000 employees scheduled to participate in the program over the next three years, the award is a realistic and worthy goal. Following the introduction of The Pacific Institute’s program, management made the following observations:
- Measurable increases of revenue
- Measurable increases in profitability
- Lower turnover in offices where the program had been implemented
- Company-wide acceptance of vision and goals. Century 21 International has exceeded its goals, making it necessary to set and reach for higher standards, such as the Malcom Bridge Award.