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Why you should actually care about Century 21’s clever little campaign

Century 21 quietly launched a clever little ad campaign that captured our attention, and for good reason – pay attention.



century 21

We don’t traditionally write about ad campaigns, because the truth is that everyone’s got one, and we’d bore you to death if that was our focus. But one campaign recently captured our attention, and we think it’s worthy of your attention. Let me explain.

Century 21 has crafted a clever little campaign on their Facebook Page, and I don’t use the word “little” as a term of condescension, no, the campaign is focused on little things. “It’s the little things that make a house a home,” each of the three images shared state clearly.

First, we’ll share the campaign below, then we’ll tell their story, and finally, we’ll express why you should care.

The clever little campaign:

To us, this is more than just a lamp. It’s a …

To us, this is more than just a floorboard. It’s

To us, this is more than just a fireplace. It’s

Behind the campaign

The national brand interviewed their New England area agents to discover a handful that had historical aspects that could be showcased. After narrowing it down, they found three gems worthy of sharing in a social media campaign, so they armed themselves with a quality photographer and off they went to show off the little things.

Matt Gentile, Director of Social Media at Century 21 tells us that social media acts as their lab to experiment, and that these trial images “may inspire larger efforts,” but he was more concerned with pointing out that anyone can slap up a picture of a a happy family moving into a home, but they dug deeper into what it means to be home.

Why you should care: pay attention, folks

Finding these stories like the floorboard that once concealed a station on the Underground Railroad proves a thoughfulness of a brand. Gentile asserted that this campaign doesn’t just convey the small things offered by homes for sale, but the value their sales professionals bring to the transaction.


We’ve long harped on the fact that the value proposition that real estate professionals bring to the table is service (negotiation, responsiveness), and C21 has echoed that sentiment in this clever little campaign.

You should care about this campaign because instead of beating the “it’s a great time to buy/sell” drum, or blindly focusing on being the “number one agent,” they’re telling consumers that the most important thing of all is their home. You see, anyone can offer a sign in the yard, anyone can become a buyer’s friend, and anyone can market like a boss, but the truth is that when the negotiations are over and the sign is pulled up from the yard, no amount of drip marketing will be more important than the life a homeowner will lead inside their home. They’ll mark their childrens’ heights in the doorway of the pantry, they’ll fondly remember their first upgrade in the home, laugh retrospectively at the time the washer flooded the first floor, and they’ll think back to all of the holidays celebrated in that home.

They’ll remember their agent, but that won’t be the story of their home, the little things will be. Century 21 gets it, and with this subtle campaign, we hope others will remember to focus on the little things to make homeowners’ dreams come true, without being smarmy or salesy, but by focusing on the little things. Let us remember that to the homeowner, the most important part of the transaction happens after they put their keys in the front door for the first time.

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The Real Daily and sister news outlet, The American Genius, and has been named in the Inman 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders several times, co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

Real Estate Technology

Your office could benefit from a more open floor plan

(TECHNOLOGY NEWS) Science proves that open floor plans are more conducive to office productivity, but will it work for everyone?



open office

If you walk into a tech startup, nine times out of ten you’ll find an open seating/bull-pen style seating. Whereas traditional work environments are divided up into departments with individual offices and cubicles, open office floor plans put all employees in the same room. Studies have shown that cubicles don’t increase productivity. As a matter of fact, people are more productive when they are sitting close together, but can see each other.

Pros of openness

Some of the advantages of an open office floor plan are obvious. These kinds of offices are economical because you can fit more people and more desks in less space, and because it is more efficient to heat, cool, and light one large room than several small rooms.

Open office plans also facilitate communication between managers and their employees, and between departments.

Rather than taking the stairs or hiking down the hall to collaborate with another person, you can simply holler across the room.

Cons of openness

Unfortunately, all of that hollering can sometimes be pretty distracting. A University of Sydney study found that half of workers in open offices say that the most frustrating part of their workplace is the “lack of sound privacy.”

Open offices are not only noisy, but are also less secure, since everyone can overhear one another.

Employees may get peeved if they can’t concentrate because of all the noise around them, or can’t make a phone call without being overheard.

Dr. Who inspired solution

A startup called Framery Acoustics offers a solution.

They create soundproof phone booths and meeting pods designed to complement open office floor plans.

One of the founders, who previously worked in an open office, complained that his boss talked too loudly on his cellphone. His boss replied, “Well, get me a phone booth.” Thus, Framery Acoustics was born.

Simple solutions

Framery Acoustics is just one company that offers a product suited to appease open office dissenters. Framery Acoustics isn’t ready to give up on openness and neither should you. So, when it comes time to return to your office (if you haven’t already), look for ways to make your office more flexible. Whether it is by providing a quiet capsule for private meetings and phone calls or just having a designated section for meeting, the solution is out there.

Compromising allows you to reap the benefits of an open office plan, while still ensuring that you and your officemates have privacy and quiet when it is needed.

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Real Estate Technology

3D printed homes are now gaining traction outside of the US and China

(TECHNOLOGY) Other countries are now using 3d printing to build homes to underscore their infrastructure. This shows the viability of the technology!



3D printing

Recently, we reported that Lennar was using 3D printing to build homes in Austin. In 2014, the BBC reported that China was printing up to 10 homes a day at the low cost of $5000 per home. This trend is making strides in the real estate market, even though there’s still a long way to go. In a move that should give the industry confidence in 3D printing, Indonesia’s Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) Ministry announced that they are using concrete 3D printing to build homes in rural areas. Eventually, plans are in the works to construct schools.

Using 3D printing to build an infrastructure

Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous country. As with most countries, housing expenses are climbing in both urban and rural areas. According to Habitat for Humanity, 11.3% of the population lives below the poverty line. For comparison, in September, the U.S. Census Bureau released information that the U.S poverty rate increased to 11.4%, one percentage point over the same time in 2020. Affordable housing is a problem in Indonesia.

“This technology really helps us, so we can build faster, more accurately, and with precision,’ explains Kusumastuti, Indonesia’s Director General of Human Settlements.” The PUPR reports that 3D printing reduces waste and improves construction quality. Considering that up to 70% of housing is built by individuals, not private developers or the government, using 3D printing under the PUPR Ministry is an upgrade in a country that deals with many types of economic disasters, due to its climate.

3D printing’s potential for real estate

As 3D printing is used in more construction projects, not only in the U.S. and China, it’s hoped that the real estate industry embraces the technology. Indonesia isn’t the only country that is trying out 3D printing. 14Trees constructed a school in Malawi using this method already, with the project taking around 18 hours. The company is undertaking more projects in Africa using this technology and more companies are building houses using 3D printing in the United States. It will be exciting to watch how this plays out in the various markets.

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Real Estate Technology

Why everyone and their mother own spy machines (aka smart speakers)

(REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY) Regardless of privacy issues with them, what does information about smart speakers, ownership, and usage tell us about future trends?



smart speakers scare me

I don’t trust smart speakers, but even I can (begrudgingly) admit why they might be convenient. With just a simple wake word, I would be able to do anything from inquire about the weather or turn down my own music from across the room. And the thing is, plenty of people have bought into this sort of sales pitch. In fact, the worldwide revenue of smart speakers more than doubled between 2017 and 2018. And it’s projected that by 2022, the total revenue from smart speakers will reach almost $30 billion.

With over 25% of adults in the United States owning at least one smart speaker, it’s worth figuring out how we’re using this new tech…and how it could be used against us.

First things first: Despite the horror stories we hear about voice-command shopping – like when a pet parrot figured out how to make purchases on Alexa – people aren’t really using their smart speakers to buy things. In fact, in the list of top ten uses for a smart speaker, making a purchase is at the bottom.

Before you breathe a sigh of relief, though, it’s worth knowing where advertisements might crop up in more subtle places.

Sure, people aren’t using their smart speakers to make many purchases, but they’re still using the speakers for other things – primarily asking questions and getting updates on things like weather and traffic. And I get it, why scroll through the internet looking for an answer that Alexa might be able to pull up for you instantly?

That said, it also provides marketers with a great opportunity to advertise to you in a way that feels conversational. Imagine asking about a wait time for a popular restaurant. If the wait is too long, it creates the perfect opportunity for Alexa to suggest UberEats as an alternative (promotion paid for by UberEats, of course).

Don’t get me wrong, this is already happening when you search Google on your phone or computer. Search for a tire company, for instance, and the competitors are sure to appear in your results. But as more and more consumers start turning their attention to smart speakers, it’s worth being aware that they won’t be the only ones.

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