ALL IN: Building on a foundation for exponential growth
Earlier this year when Broker/Owners Phillip Bolte and Renee Bolte Stine held a team meeting to announce their decision to affiliate with the C21 Brand and become CENTURY 21 Bolte Real Estate, they knew there was a lot at stake. What can be considered an institution in their area, the Bolte name celebrated a unique history with their local community that extended back to 1936. Not only did they have tenure, they had notable wins as well, all ingrained in an unshakable culture that has carried their company – and clients – through generations. As recent as 2019, the real estate company completed a key acquisition in their local market, effectively growing their reach. All indications point to a successful company with great longevity and momentum. So, from an outsider’s viewpoint one cannot help but wonder, “Why join the C21 Brand now?”
A Good Fit
A general rule of thumb for job seekers is that the interview process is a two-way street – it’s an opportunity for the company to interview you and more importantly, for you to interview the company for fit. The same rules apply when positioning your business for a potential partnership. The CENTURY 21 Brand takes pride in our mission: to defy mediocrity and deliver extraordinary experiences. That is in the DNA of everything we do and business decisions, projects, partnerships, etc. are all taken on with that filter in mind. Spend 5-minutes with Phillip and Renee and the commonalities in their business approach to ours are evident. They often cite their unique company mission, to “have fun, treat people right and make money.” How this translates to business is through their ultimate focus on growth. As Renee said, every decision they make must answer one of two questions, “will this help our brokerage grow? or “will this help our agents grow?” – if the answer is no, they will not move ahead – simple as that. For the C21 Brand, the journey to affiliation did not occur overnight, but was 5-years’ worth of building relationship on both sides of the conversation to evaluate alignment. What was mutually discovered in the process?
- We both have a growth-oriented mindset
- The desire to continue to improve is core to our success
- We believe in delivering exceptional experiences to our clients and maintaining a commitment to excellence by taking a personal approach with customers
The challenge the Bolte team was experiencing is that, despite the efforts they took in working towards some of these needs, they ultimately began to learn there was a limit to what they could achieve on their own when it came to their growth aspirations. With dedicated consultants from the C21-side as well as platforms and resources available to spur growth and productivity, value was supported on both sides of this conversation.
It’s About Time…
But back to that team meeting. CENTURY 21 Bolte Real Estate consists of 48 agents with an agent age range spanning 50 years, the youngest agent clocking in at 24. The decision to affiliate not just extended to their culture and community – but also to their agents, who all have unique needs. A reality they had to consider is this announcement and could result in an agent deciding to leave, also known as breakage. As Phillip recalls, the moment he knew this transition would go well is when the oldest agent in his office, at 74, approached him after the announcement and simply said, “it’s about time.” What it showed Bolte leadership was that their team recognized there was more opportunity out there to individually – and collectively achieve their goals. The transition to the CENTURY 21 Brand for the Bolte team ultimately saw 0 breakage. What’s more, despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic across the U.S., the company had two consecutive record-breaking months in June and July 2020. They went into that meeting confident, and cautiously optimistic. They came out on the other side – ready.
According to the Harvard Business Review, there are two qualities to be a coachable person: demonstrate a commitment to development and have the capacity to reach a desired skill level. Our team across the global C21 network all have that in common – despite our location in the world, we are all 121% committed to delivering extraordinary and we are dedicated to success. This common denominator came into play in affiliating with CENTURY 21 Bolte. The Bolte team has a long history of being trailblazers in their own right, going back to their founder, Ann Bolte being the first female Broker in Ohio. In addition, they understood the importance of technology in their business but often felt it was a challenge to maintain a competitive edge. That combination of qualities opened the door for the C21 Brand to provide the right resources to the Bolte team to make these attainable realities. The Bolte team is a leader in their local market and arguably know the real estate landscape in their area better than anyone, they made the conscious decision to become students of the brand – and absorb all of the learning, training and tech opportunities they could from Century 21 Real Estate. This allowed that team to build on their fundamentals and create a new space to push through the barriers they might have previously experienced and effectively impact their business with best-in-class resources.
The best way Phillip captured the company’s reasoning to affiliate, “we knew it was something we had to do – to get to the next level…and once we committed, we were all in.” There are some things that just won’t change. Although Buckeyes might visit CENTURY 21 Bolte Real Estate to a slightly different name and look, the fundamentals of this organization are sound, steeped in 80-years’ worth of growth and culture that has left – and will continue to – leave an indelible mark on the communities they serve in the Northern/Central Ohio area.