In our third installment of the “2013 Game Changers” series we’re talking to Dan Kruse, President of CENTURY 21 Affiliated in Madison, Wisconsin. Dan and his team are looking forward to a strong year with a focus on their web presence, recruiting new agents and taking advantage of the rebounding housing market in their local area. Though Dan’s team – the Green Bay Packers – didn’t make it to the big game, he says, “Now I’m just rooting for the CENTURY 21 commercial!”
C21: What’s new for CENTURY 21 Affiliated in 2013?
DK: We have a series of new things going on. We launched a new lead management platform last year and that is still a big focus for us this year. We are working to find a way to perfect internet leads. We use a series of tools including lead router and of course or employees getting leads to our agents. We’re only scratching the surface.
We will also debut new front office and back office website. We’ll be rolling that out to the general public in the second quarter. Our agents will have a new site with a dashboard that includes 21Online, flyers, the MLS – it’s basically their one-stop-shop for technology. We are also offering agent websites to all of the agents in our organization. We’re basically taking our web presence and putting it on steroids for 2013.
We’re also laser focused on company growth and continuing to expand in our market. We are going back to the basics of real estate. We’re asking ourselves, “How can we do more business? How can we work more efficiently?”
C21: What are the specific opportunities for your housing market this year?
DK: We were hit hard by the distressed market, but that market is starting to shift. New portions of our market are starting to come back, especially new construction. We want to take advantage of that new construction and the sellers who are just now deciding to put their homes on the market. As we see less distressed sales, we are going to have a big opportunity to show people why now is a great time to list their home.
DK: Recruiting has always been one of our top priorities. 2013 will be a very impactful year for recruiting – especially new agents. Since 2005-2006, the real estate agent pool has taken a hit. In the last six to eight months we’ve seen more people interested in getting their license than last three years combined. There is a lot of new interest in the field. It’s a great sign that we’re seeing more people interested in careers in real estate.
C21: Since we’re less than two weeks from the big game, we have to ask – are you a football fan?
DK: I am a football fan. Being a born and raised Wisconsin kid, I have to cheer for my Green Bay Packers. Now that they got knocked out, I am just rooting for the CENTURY 21 commercial!
C21: Did you ever wear a cheese hat?
DK: As proud as I am to be from Wisconsin, I boycott the cheese hats.
C21: How will CENTURY 21 Affiliated celebrate this year’s Super Bowl?
DK: Our plan right now is to take advantage of the CENTURY 21 Super Bowl ad. Our agents should get involved in hosting Super Bowl parties for their friends and clients. They should promote themselves, using this as a networking opportunity.
I was a big fan of the ad last year. I am really excited we’re doing it again this year. It’s a great way to get the word out about the brand.
C21: What are your plans for Super Bowl Sunday?
DK: If our agents host a couple of parties, I will pop around to those. Other than that I don’t’ have a long standing tradition – usually anywhere I can have a couple of chicken wings and a cold beer.