In the following interview, Michael Droege, co-owner and general manager of CENTURY 21 Realty Solutions, discusses recruiting, retention and more.
Years in Real Estate: 11
Region Served: Anchorage, Alaska, and surrounding area
Company Size: 5 offices, 80 agents
Century 21 credits you with recruiting high-caliber licensees to join you in Alaska. What’s your secret?
Michael Droege: We have a simple mission statement: We provide clients the highest quality service with their most valuable asset. I do the same for my agents. I help them incorporate the highest ethical standards to further their business. We also make sure we provide the essentials for effective real estate sales, such as internet connectivity, so that agents can be mobile. Perhaps the biggest change from when I took over management of the firm is that we’re creating a culture of destination by providing strong, ethical leadership to like-minded people. When I took over in 2012, there were only eight agents remaining. Today, we’re 80 strong.
What makes Century 21 such a good fit for you?
MD: Century 21 leaders and the entire executive committee provide strong, quality leadership. They all walk the walk. What I think surprises many people is the fact that Century 21 is the most technologically sound brand out there today. Our challenge is that some still have the image of Century 21 as the agents in the gold jackets, but we’re not stodgy or old-school; the franchise is forward-thinking and all about the future of real estate.
If you had to point to the one thing agents love you most for, what would it be?
MD: Credibility. I’m always honest with people even if I have to tell them something they may not want to hear. We owe our partners the truth. We just want to do what’s right by making the next right decision, the next right move. We believe in constant communication. We don’t try to be the biggest brokerage in the state. Our focus is to provide the highest quality customer service.
How do you stay out in front of the competition?
MD: By being present. This is primarily a face-to-face, eyeball-to-eyeball business. We encourage our agents to stay in touch with clients—pick up the phone all day long, if that’s what it takes. This is, after all, a people business. I provide an atmosphere that supports our agents’ business and helps them flourish. As an owner, I’m always mindful of the fact that we’re servants to our licensees. We’re here to serve them, and if they thrive, we thrive.
What is your six-word motto?
MD: We never trade ethics for revenue.
What are you doing to ensure a solid future?
MD: We’re looking to grow and expand the business of our present agents. We’re also starting a real estate school with the hope that we can teach new agents how to work with an ethical business model and, in that way, spread our brand with trusted REALTORS®.