Aligning 121,000 global sales associates – and driving social media to reinvigorate an iconic brand

Rick Davidson, CEO of Century 21 Real Estate LLC, is interviewed on the CEO Show by host Robert Reiss, providing glimpses of what is going on in the real estate industry today and looking ahead to the expectations of tomorrow. Davidson describes Century 21’s position in the industry as the largest residential real estate force in the world, having over 120,000 sales associates working in 73 countries and territories.

Reiss asks his guest to talk about the real estate market and Davidson mentions some of the primary drivers, namely the microeconomics and the psyche of the American consumer; he starts his discussion with the decline in the residential real estate in mid-2005 , how that was connected to the cyclic nature of the market that has been evident over the past 100 years and is likely to continue to recur. Davidson then answers Reiss’s question directed at what he expects will take place in the next several years as we approach 2015: an outlook he describes as uncertain, possibly influenced by the changing way people work: i.e. working from their homes as opposed to the past tradition dominated by most persons laboring in offices and factories.

Next Davidson touches on what delineates a ‘good salesperson’ from a ‘phenomenal’ salesperson, giving a nuanced view that is centered on the ‘proliferation of technology’ in the real estate business which has markedly changed the salespersons role. This role he goes on to say is also being shaped by the new expectations of clients, given the massive information available to each of them. Davidson captures that changed role by explaining, “You [ the client ] are really hiring me as a consultant and I’m trying to guide you through a decision process in what probably be the largest single investment … in your lifetime.” It’s a whole new world.

The interview continues with Davidson and Reiss discussing sales management, the alignment and motivation of Century 21’s huge workforce of associates, and Davidson’s approach to making the changes needed to “position Century 21 as the global leader in real estate transactions”. The interview concludes with talking about the use of social media and mobile communications technology in the real estate market.

Interview Aired: 07/10/2011

Leave a Comment