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MeetingCompany culture is an important component of any successful real estate firm. In the following interview with Michael J. Droege,Co-owner/General Manager of CENTURY 21 Realty Solutions Anchorage and Wasilla, and CENTURY 21 Realty Solutions/Freedom Realty, Droege talks about the importance of brand development and more.

Region served: Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
Years in real estate: 9
Number of offices: 4
Number of agents: 66
Best tip for dealing with a difficult client: Be empathetic, honest, direct and consistent.
Most effective way to motivate agents: Recognize them among their peers.
Key to staying profitable: Have a solid profit plan and stick to it.

Droege_MichaelWhen it comes to recruiting, why is it important to incorporate value-added REALTORS® to the mix?
My professional sales and management business center focuses on working with, and selling, value-added products and services. CENTURY 21 Realty Solutions brings value to our affiliated sales associates every day. Our broker-provided tools and technologies provide our affiliated agents with an opportunity to conduct business more cost effectively. They do not have to pay for other marketing gimmicks and can manage multiple tasks simultaneously. If all a sales associate wants is to discuss their fee, there are plenty of companies willing to affiliate with them.

What training strategies are unique to your environment?
Being a lifelong Alaskan, I can say that wherever you are, business is business, even though a certain level of uniqueness revolves around our geography. That says, we have an exceptional trainer who offers agents continuing education courses, as well as pre- and post-licensing classes. Our goals include organic recruiting, taking care of what we already have, following up with the rainmakers who inquire about operating within the CENTURY 21 model, and educating new agents about our company and culture.

How have you applied your background in brand development to grow these two CENTURY 21 Alaska franchises?
CENTURY 21® was an under-developed brand in Alaska, and I knew that it would be a challenge to take it on. Therefore, I researched the opportunity that the brand offered for a full year before I accepted the challenge to re-build and expand the brand. My previous experience taught me how to provide brands with an accurate assessment of where they stood in the market, and then negotiate for the tools needed to develop them to their full potential. By and large, that’s what I’ve done here.

What made you decide to open your newest office in Wasilla?
When I joined CENTURY 21 North Homes Realty—now CENTURY 21 Realty Solutions—we had an office in Wasilla. However, the group working in the office wasn’t willing to pursue the path we were on to fully develop the brand. As a result, we made a change. It was always part of our strategic plan to again have an office in Wasilla, as the area has huge growth potential. With the strength of our new sales and management team—and one of the very best brokers in Alaska joining us in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley—we have the SMARTER. BOLDER. FASTER® team we’ve always wanted.

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