Leadership and Culture Put Success on Fast Forward

Eli_Tene_Gil_PrielEli Tene and his partner Gil Priel brought more than 20 years of experience in business and real estate to the venture they launched almost a year-and-a-half ago, CENTURY 21 Peak. With both residential and commercial divisions serving L.A. and its surrounding areas, an entrepreneurial spirit drives CENTURY 21 Peak’s Google-esque, high-tech, millennial-friendly company. And the formula works: Within four months of opening, the firm almost doubled its size and volume. Here, Tene, managing director and principal, shares the philosophies and strategies that put the firm on the fast track.

Maria Patterson: Why did you choose to affiliate with CENTURY 21?
Eli Tene:
The brokerages that will survive are the ones that can bring value to their agents—training, leads, technology, and, of course, quality. The world is becoming smaller and CENTURY 21 is in 76 countries. If you want exposure to the international market, technology, and, at the same time, strong management and leadership, CENTURY 21 is the firm to be with.

MP: How large is the firm currently in terms of offices and agents?
ET:
We have six offices and about 250 agents. We have a residential and commercial division—operations that run separately and have separate management.

MP: What regions do you serve?
ET:
We serve the Greater Los Angeles area and have expanded into the Inland Empire.

MP: How is your local market faring?
ET:
We had a very strong ending to 2016, and the start of the year has been unbelievable. We thought there would be a slowdown, but it’s been moving at a very fast pace.

MP: What makes your company stand out in the marketplace?
ET:
The fact that we own other companies and that we have a very strong leadership with high standards allows us to manage larger and larger operations. We invest a lot in technology and we have a very unique marketing system. We also have in-house training, and we’re very hands-on to help agents be successful.

MP: How would you describe your company culture?
ET:
We are professional, knowledgeable, and offer the best technology and service. The client is always first.

MP: What’s your approach to recruiting and retention?
ET:
First, retention is No. 1. We do that by giving value to our agents and making them feel like they’re part of the family. As far as recruiting, the best reference is our agents; when they talk to other agents, those agents see how happy they are. That by itself is a huge recruiting tool for us. We also have managers and a full-time recruiter working on bringing in new agents.

MP: How do you plan to evolve the company in the future?
ET:
We realize that we’re a large firm and very attractive to millennials. I believe they’re the future of our company and that they will help us grow. We’ll also continue to do mergers and acquisitions. In 2018, we’ll need to see where we are with rising interest rates, the new administration and inventory challenges. Regardless, I don’t expect a repeat of 2007. I believe we’ll see a steady but slow appreciation in home values. Between this landscape and the strength of the CENTURY 21 franchise, we’ll be growing a lot.

For more information, please visit www.century21.com.

Maria Patterson is RISMedia’s executive editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at maria@rismedia.com.

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