In today’s economy, a real estate company that provides memorable moments and personalized outcomes throughout every step of the business relationship for their agents and their clients will win in the marketplace. We look at that as creating ‘lifetime value,’ helping to drive our recruitment and retention efforts along with a concierge service culture that starts from the outside-in.
Of course, as a company, CENTURY 21 Morrison Realty leads with innovation, a growth-leaning mindset, and a collaborative, family-oriented culture, which most North Dakotans appreciate and value. But only when they actually meet and get to know us in person do they fully absorb our ability to create for them lifetime value (and their referrals, of course). That’s why we began designing a concierge service from the outside-in and it all begins with our new headquarters building.
Identifying our strengths and our weaknesses
The idea of building this office, or even just moving to a new location, was born from an agent-focused SWOT analysis. Every year we ask our family of agents to share company strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The results were clear: we needed a new building in a new location. We looked at existing buildings, a remodel, leasing, and building new. At first, building new was the last option; too time-consuming, mainly, but after overcoming some internal paradigms, that’s exactly what we did.
And it was the best decision my partner Kristin Eisenzimmer and I made following our core values and our vision and leading us into the future.
Since that time, we’ve also added both the Jamestown and Dickinson markets and have grown from one office and 75 agents to today’s three offices and 115 agents, with about 90 of those in our new Bismarck headquarters. The new building is centrally positioned and located where most of the growth is happening in Bismarck, and visible by the interstate, the most central artery we have.
Creating a culture of personal growth
To continue making an impact on the lives of our agents and the communities they serve and exceed the extraordinary ‘look and feel’ of our headquarters building on the outside, we needed to deliver extraordinary internally as well. For us, it starts with a culture of personal growth built on family-oriented foundational principles of integrity, teamwork, perseverance, and compassion.
Next, we provide our agents with a comprehensive concierge service built specifically so they have the time and convenience to do more of what they do best: build relationships, deliver unique client moments, and create lifetime value. Just one example of this is the radius and targeted marketing campaign we provide under our agent listings program. Once an agent enters their listing, our professional staff creates a unique property site, branded social media templates and runs an Adwerx Enterprise campaign that includes agent retargeting ads. Plus, we manage professional photography, drone footage, marketing reports and ‘Just Listed” postcards.
It’s important to note that we are looking at younger people coming into this business — some of them right out of high school and some right out of college with no prior work experience. To leverage this, we worked to hone and refine an entire onboarding system for new agents.
Trial and error led us in a lot of different directions but in the end, the effort ensures quality assurance and builds on our recruitment and retention strategies. It starts with the interview process where we discuss expectations and values. If both parties agree there is a fit — they bring something to the table, we bring something to the table — then we begin the partnership. After they complete an already-agreed-upon required four to six-week basic training program, the agent stays connected with us via a full year of personalized learning and coaching that includes ongoing touchpoints to help with accountability and achieving goals.
Let’s face it. Agents represent us in the marketplace, and if they do not agree to go through that training, we suggest they look elsewhere. We do lose some people, but they are the agents that shouldn’t be here anyway.
Since our inception, we remain one of the most innovative companies in any industry and have raised the bar on consumer experiences in real estate. We believe that standards need to be raised and that nobody should ever settle for less than 121%. In addition, we are known as thought leaders in training and development, providing perpetual and progressive skill building, and as innovators in the real estate space.
Being known for delivering an extraordinary experience to real estate consumers and to industry professionals comes at a superior price. For us, creating a lifetime value culture for our agents and our clients from the outside-in, is time and money well spent.