Everything Real Estate

Nick Bailey, Century 21 Real Estate

Nick Bailey

Editors’ Note

Nick Bailey assumed his current post in 2017. Bailey’s journey in real estate began at 17 when he purchased commercial property. From there, his fascination with real estate grew stronger, becoming licensed at 21 years old and becoming a broker shortly thereafter. He built a successful real estate career, including buying three houses by the age of 23. After 11 years at RE/MAX world headquarters, where he helped drive agent growth and retention, Bailey joined Zillow in 2012.

Company Brief

Century 21 Real Estate LLC (century21.com) is comprised of approximately 7,700 independently owned and operated franchised broker offices in 78 countries and territories worldwide with more than 117,000 independent sales professionals.

What excited you about the opportunity to lead CENTURY 21?

I saw the opportunity to leverage the foundational legacy at Century 21 Real Estate and the iconic CENTURY 21® brand to help the brokers and agents grow their businesses and be the first choice for both real estate professionals and consumers. In fact, we have set bold ambitions for the future of this organization, which are to double transactions in five years and to be the most sought-after brand in real estate.

I firmly believe that this brand can reach these goals because the real estate agent is still the most crucial part in any transaction. More people are using agents today than ever before, even with the introduction of technologies. We will bring clarity to an industry where there is still space for real estate agents and brokers who are trying to figure out the next evolution, and solve the dilemma of how to make the overall real estate experience a better one for the consumer.

Buying and selling real estate can be a difficult and clunky experience so, as a global franchisor, we utilize technology to fill the gaps between brokers, agents and consumers to create a better overall experience.

What role will technology play going forward?

Customers like searching for homes online, but once they step away from their device, they enter a home shopping experience that is still in its infancy. When we look at where industry-related tools for agents and brokerages are in comparison to the technology we as consumers use in our daily lives, it’s clear to see that the industry hasn’t moved fast enough. That being said, we will increase the velocity and speed at which we innovate to separate us from the competition. Our goal is to get the C21® Agent and their client efficiently from offer to close and enhance their participation throughout the transaction.

How challenging is it to cut through the noise in this space and show what makes a brand unique?

Century 21 Real Estate is one of the most well-known consumer brands associated with real estate on the globe. We are serving buyers and sellers but, as a brand, we are also driving B2B activity with real estate brokers and agents. We need to find the balance between both of those audiences.

Consumers still love the CENTURY 21 brand; they know us and trust us and when they hear “CENTURY 21,” they know it includes everything real estate. I look forward to using my decade worth of broker experience and learnings from my most recent leadership roles to further shape Century 21 Real Estate as a gold star brand that fights mediocrity day in and day out by continuously innovating and hustling to exceed clients’ needs. Already, only a few months on the job, I’m inspired by the unwavering focus of CENTURY 21 professionals to deliver clients the best real estate services possible, while constantly expanding their reach in their communities and beyond.

The goal is to move at a faster clip with innovation than we have historically.

How important is it to maintain the CENTURY 21 culture?

Culture is number one. We’ve already done a lot of work on how we’ve positioned our brand identity. Our mission – defy mediocrity and deliver extraordinary experiences – will be visible in everything we do today and moving forward. From the local markets that we serve all the way up to every employee at corporate, ours will be a relentless pursuit of the extraordinary, a dedication to giving 121 percent to eradicate mediocrity everywhere it exists, to pave the path to higher expectations, and the delivery of amazing experiences and results. As a company like this grows and we partner with independent business operators, each one of the owners gets to infuse their own culture into their own company.

Yet, with a network the size of ours, it can create variations in culture, which means we must continue to drive cultural consistency around our mission.

What will make the difference for CENTURY 21’s future success?

One word: leadership. If we can create an exceptional culture, we’re going to attract the best leaders that will then attract the best agents.

Is it difficult for you to avoid getting too deeply ingrained in all aspects of the business?

I’m a big fan of delegation and empowerment. In the first three weeks, we introduced our new “House Habits,” which are daily ways of bringing the culture together internally and applying it in everything we do with full transparency that starts at the top. We want people to own what they’re doing and take responsibility. We also want them to be obsessed with looking for better ways of doing things. These “House Habits” help me stay out of the weeds. If I see something that is a hot issue that I need to dive into, I will dive in. However, if all employees are living by these habits, I won’t be pulled down into a high degree of detail.

How significant is corporate responsibility to the CENTURY 21 network?

The beautiful part of our business is that corporate responsibility cascades throughout our global organization. Some of the best stewards of community involvement are real estate agents – they’re also some of the first people on the scene to help homeowners under duress.

However, as corporate citizens of the entire brand, we have a responsibility as well. We have been involved with Easterseals for 40 years and have donated nearly $120 million. Plus, we recently felt the need to do an even better job within our own network, so we launched C21 Gives. When we discussed C21 Gives with our brokers and agents, they were inspired and are behind the concept of people within our network donating funds to help people within our network.