I am proud to be a member of the Century 21 Vista team in Fergus Falls. Alan Olson has been a wonderful broker to work for and the other agents have been supportive and extremely helpful. This article is taken from the Daily Journal, November 21, 2017. (Daily Journal)
Alan Olson, owner and broker at Century 21 Vista. Century 21 has been open in Fergus Falls since 1978, nearing its 40th year. Since then, Olson has opened locations in Battle Lake, Ottertail and Wahpeton. Kristin Goosen/Daily Journal
Published 11:10 am Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Longevity in real estate: Century 21 vista serving the community for nearly 40 years
For nearly 40 years, Century 21 Vista has been serving the real estate needs of Otter Tail County and surrounding areas. Through the continual training of agents, embracing the new technologies available to the real estate world, and utilizing a teamwork atmosphere, Century 21 Vista has become the largest Century 21 office in the state of Minnesota for the last 15 years.
“One of the reasons that I bought the first franchise is Century 21 really excelled in marketing. I wanted to get a fast start and that was the way to do it,” owner and broker Alan Olson said.
That first franchise was in Alexandria in 1977. A year later they bought the Fergus Falls franchise, making them the first Century 21 north and west of St. Cloud at that time. Now, they have four offices, adding ones in Battle Lake, Ottertail and Wahpeton. After they entered the market, many Century 21s would follow.
While Century 21 already had the name recognition Olson was looking for because of all the television advertising, they also had something else Olson wanted in a franchise.
“I was new at real estate at that point and I was looking for a franchise that could help with educating me and my agents,” Olson said. With Century 21’s education and training programs, he knew it was the right fit.
Back before computers and that kind of technology, Olson did a lot of traveling and a lot of footwork to keep up with his real estate education. Today, although involving less travel, Olson has kept education at the forefront by holding weekly educational sessions to keep up the training with the agents to ensure they know best how to serve their clients. Along with this, new agents are also paired with a mentor and receive 16 weeks of training to get them up to speed on legislation, technology and everything in between.
Ultimately, the entire business is about client satisfaction. Making sure that clients will want to come back and work with their same agent while telling friends and family about the excellent experience they had with Century 21 is what the business strives for.
“Quality service is probably one of the most important things that we offer here,” Olson said.
The franchise has 25 agents across six counties, with many having been with the franchise for a long period of time.
“What’s unique to Century 21 is the longevity that our agents have got. They’ve become friends, and they’re willing to help each other,” Olson said.
An example of this would be when going to analyze a property, an agent may bring two or three other agents along to get more opinions and ultimately get the client the most accurate appraisal.
For the last 35 years, Century 21 has been the leader in real estate sales in the county and last year they were the largest seller of lake homes and cabins in the county, which Olson attributes to his agents and Century 21’s marketing.
“When it comes to marketing, I try to turn all the rocks over to see who we can help and assist,” Olson said.
It was with this in mind that Olson was instrumental in starting the Multiple Listing Service here in Otter Tail County. With the MLS, if you list your property with Century 21 Vista, it is going to be available to all other realtors in the county. He also made Century 21 Vista part of the Alexandria, Detroit Lakes and Fargo-Moorhead MLS to expand the reach.
“As a result, we’ve seen our sales increase because of the MLS,” Olson said. In addition to having your property available to all other realtors, Century 21 will also list your property on a minimum of 26 of the best real estate websites, increasing the visibility of the property even further.
Century 21 Vista has an experienced staff and utilizes different marketing strategies to make a quality experience for their clients. With another 10-year franchise renewal, Century 21 plans to continue to serve the area for years to come.