After a successful rebranding, what should a company's next ambition be? CENTURY 21 Canada is in the middle of this step. With a huge custom technology build in the current real estate climate, this company is making huge investments to further help their agents compete.
Nearing the launch of their new technology platform, CENTURY 21 Canada (C21) finds itself in a familiar place once again: on the leading edge. After all, it was a little over a decade ago when C21 first became the market leader in real estate technology after investing heavily in their first online platform.
Working closely with a small vendor, C21 had spent nearly half a decade creating and perfecting its vision before launching it in mid-2007. While five years of development sounds like an eternity today, that was the norm for web development back then, regardless of sector. The pace of technological progress had yet to hit its stride. Not only were online platform builds far more expensive than they are today, there was also a commonly held view that a platform would endure for a significant period of time.
Yet, as C21 discovered, this would not be the case. The platform was not agile enough to accommodate new innovations. And neither was the vendor-client partnership, for that matter. C21 quickly learned the expensive downside of being the sole client of a small firm: They were also the sole source of R&D funding. With the C21 contract in hand, the vendor had no real incentive to innovate, which only further added to the sensation of C21 falling behind.
In 2015, C21 brought in renowned real estate consultancy T3 Sixty to complete a major review of the system. Around the same time, C21’s original technology vendor was acquired. Following a comprehensive review, the only logical recommendation was for C21 to make a change—and fast.
Impressed by T3 Sixty’s engagement, C21 not only decided to follow the firm’s recommendation, they also made a strategic decision to appoint T3 Sixty CTO and President Jack Miller to act as C21 CTO to manage the project.
“We were looking for an outside perspective on how to evolve the company into the future. T3 Sixty has an excellent reputation in the industry, and after meeting with CEO Stefan Swanepoel and Jack Miller, we knew this new perspective would be a good fit,” says Martin Charlwood, vice chairman and CEO, CENTURY 21 Canada.
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