A new website - www.century21.com/global - is set to give consumers direct access to live listings from more than 73 countries, all of which will be presented in the language and currency of the prospective buyer.
“I’m pretty impressed with what we’re about to launch, and we’re not that far off,” Charles Tarbey, regional owner and chairman of CENTURY 21 Australasia told Real Estate Business about the new www.century21.com/global website.
“Now there’s a lot of other ‘global’ sites out there that just link to another company [within their group], and we already have that. But this has never been done before.
“All 73 countries, at the end of every single day, will have an XML feed of their data into one CENTURY 21 website which is century21global.com. It’s already a registered site, although you won’t find much [there] until it’s officially launched.
“At the end of each day, that site will hold the entire data from every country around the world. Now if any investor is saying to our agents, 'I want properties in China', our agents can say, ‘We can’.
“This is getting you to the 1,700 [CENTURY 21] shopfronts in China, or the 900 shopfronts in Japan, or any of the 3,000 offices in Asia-Pacific down through to New Zealand – let alone the rest of the world,” Mr Tarbey said.
CENTURY 21's move comes not long after fellow global real estate brand RE/MAX launched its version of an international listing website, global.remax.com. This site includes a mix of live listings and links to the group's various country websites.
Mr Tarbey also pointed to other unique resources featured on the site, including real time translation to aid communication between parties.
“If you’re in China, then the site recognises you’re in China and brings everything up in the Chinese language," he said. "So anybody searching a property in any suburb in Australia will see it in their own language, their measurement system and their currency.
“And when they have request, or send off a message to the agent, it will arrive in our language and the reply will automatically be in their [language] again. It’s 100 per cent mechanical, with a touch of human correction. So the wording is never right, but you get the concept.”
Mr Tarbey said the idea came from one of their biannual, worldwide meetings.
“It’s an initiative started by CENTURY 21 Australia and CENTURY 21 Canada at one of our regional owners meetings. We gather every six months, all 73 countries where CENTURY 21 is located, and we talk and try to advance the cause.”
Mr Tarbey said that because the cost of the new initiave will be spread across 7,000 offices, franchisees will only have to pay $68 a year for the service.
“I know how powerful this is going to be, and I can imagine what sort of activity this will generate our franchise owners.”