Opening the Door to Home Ownership
By Robert Schroeder
NLU Alumni Magazine
Rick Davidson is a man in high places—literally. As the President and CEO of Century 21 Real Estate, Rick commands the largest real estate company in the world. And as an avid high-altitude mountain climber, the Bachelor of Science in Management graduate could be found last December scaling the 18,491 foot peak of Pico de Orizaba, the tallest mountain in Mexico, as part of a charity climb to support Century 21’s philanthropic efforts for Easter Seals.
Rick, 52, is also one who understands low places, leading Century 21 through what he calls the one of the worst real estate recessions ever.
“Nothing worth doing is ever easy, so having had the opportunity to lead the world’s largest real estate company through one of the toughest downturns in housing has been an incredible experience,” Rick said.
As CEO, Rick manages a company with a presence in 73 countries and territories, with more than 7,000 offices and 100,000 sales professionals worldwide. His goal for 2013 is to connect with consumers ages 25-34 by focusing on how technology can play a greater role in the real estate business. Century 21 is venturing into online gaming advertising as an attempt to strengthen connections with that demographic.
Century 21’s second major campaign in 2013 took place in early February at Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans, with the company sponsoring the one-hour pregame show leading into kickoff as well as local “Hometown Hero” commercial spots during pregame coverage.
Connecting with community is a major focus for Rick, both as CEO and in his personal life. Century 21 has raised more than $104 million for Easter Seals, and Rick also volunteers with the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program.
“When you spend quality time with [kids], you show them that the commitment of time can also be the best thing you can give,” Rick said.
Rick also sees his work as connecting with community on a larger scale, facilitating a fulfillment of the quintessentially American dream of home ownership.
“There is nothing more incredible than handing over the keys of a brand new house to a first-time homebuyer and watching them take their families in,” Rick said.
Listen to a podcast of Rick Davidson at the Multimedia page.
Read more from the Winter 2013 NLU Alumni Magazine