CENTURY 21 Canada

May 03, 2010 13:00 ET

CENTURY 21 Canada Redefines Its Brand: Tagline Heralds New Era in Real Estate Marketing

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - May 3, 2010) - CENTURY 21 Canada unveiled a new branding direction on Friday as part of a multi-year, online marketing strategy that has seen the number of visits to Century21.ca rise by nearly ten-fold since late 2007.

"The goal behind our new tagline Connected to More™, is to communicate to home buyers how CENTURY 21 has evolved as a brand," says CENTURY 21 Canada President Don Lawby. "It also represents our vision for how we want consumers, potential sales representatives and franchisees to relate to the CENTURY 21 brand in the future."

CENTURY 21 is one of the most recognized real estate brands in the world largely through hugely successful television advertising campaigns that began in the 1970s. The 'gold jacket' era still resonates with Canadians who grew up in the 70s and 80s. However, for young sales representatives working for the CENTURY 21 brand today, the gold jacket is a distant memory. 

Anticipating the exponential growth in online search for real estate, CENTURY 21 Canada moved out of television advertising in 2007 and turned its focus to online marketing. Prior to the redesign of Century21.ca in November 2007, the site had just 92,000 visits per month – in February 2010, that number surpassed 800,000 and could top one million before the end of 2010. These numbers rival other top real estate sites in Canada.

According to the National Association of Realtors, the internet is where nearly 90% of buyers begin their home searches. From there, 77% drive by and view a home; 63% walk through a home viewed online and 27% find the agent they subsequently use to search and buy their property. The first-time home buyers market consists mostly of 'millennial' and younger audiences. According to a CENTURY 21 survey of American home buyers and sellers released in April 2010, the point of entry for most first-time buyers is the age of 30; 12.5% of first-time buyers are under the age of 30.

The new branding direction of CENTURY 21 Canada began with the 2007 website launch. The franchise organization developed its online marketing strategy with the help of WhereToLive.com – a Minnesota-based web development firm that specializes in SEO (search engine optimization) for real estate companies. Ed Kohler is WhereToLive's Director of Strategic Internet Marketing and Development. "The real estate industry is interesting for online marketing because the web is highly utilized by consumers seeking information about properties for sale, agents, and neighborhood information," says Kohler. "However, the vast majority of the business of real estate continues to happen offline through phone calls and face to face meetings. Creating a successful website involves building trust that leads to offline conversations."

CENTURY 21 Canada has also seen the uptake of social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs by agents rise steadily in the past year. The organization continues to stress to its franchisees the importance of a strong web presence. The organization provides all sales representatives with branded websites loaded with blog capability, Google street view and video embedment technology to help them take advantage of social networking opportunities and emerging share sites.

"I often hear business leaders question whether there is any ROI from social media," says Lawby. "I can show you CENTURY 21 sales representatives who will argue that their success has a lot to do with two-way communications online that aren't always about real estate. It's an important part of building their brands and reputations."

Connected to More™ was developed in partnership with Faulkner Brand, an award-winning, Vancouver-based company specializing in brand strategy and design.

CENTURY 21 Canada has adapted the Connected to More™ tagline for the French and Chinese languages. The franchise company launched a Chinese language site earlier this year. Century21.ca is currently the only nationally-branded real estate website in Canada that is trilingual.

About Century 21 Canada Limited Partnership

Century 21 Canada Limited Partnership (Century21.ca) is a real estate franchisor with exclusive rights to the CENTURY 21 Brand in Canada and provides comprehensive training, management, administrative and marketing support for the CENTURY 21 System. With more than 117,000 sales professionals in approximately 7,700 offices worldwide, the CENTURY 21 System is the world's largest residential real estate sales organization, providing comprehensive training, management, administrative and marketing support for its members. As an exclusive Sponsor in the real estate category of the AIR MILES® Reward Program, only the CENTURY 21 organization in Canada can offer customers reward miles on real estate transactions. Independently Owned and Operated. ® and TM, trade-marks of Century 21 Real Estate LLC, used under license.

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