A Dynamic Duo: Dawn Christensen and
It’s no secret the real estate market has had its share of ups and downs. But, while Dawn Christensen and her daughter, Brittany Voigt, have seen the best and the worst of the housing
market, the future of their Century 21 franchise looks bright.
Partners Christensen and Voigt run Century 21 Ace Realty in the Fox Valley. They have a combined nearly 40 years’ experience in the industry and are currently blowing away their competition.
An industry superstar
Christensen and Voigt spun off from Century 21 Acre Realty a year ago when Christensen’s former partners didn’t want to renew the Century 21 franchise agreement. While some feared the two would struggle, the women didn’t miss a beat.
According to Voigt, Century 21 Ace Realty is the No. 1 individual office in the Fox Valley and is ranked as the No. 15 Century 21 office in the world for units sold. They have over 50 agents and expect continued growth.
“We have the highest per person production in the Fox Valley, with our average agent producing $4.5 million in sales per year. We couldn’t be prouder of our team and their commitment to excellence,” says Voigt.
Century 21 Ace Realty occupies a nearly 13,000-square-foot office space on Bluemound Drive in Appleton. In addition, 21 for Tots is located on the back side of the building. Christensen opened the daycare center 18 years ago so her agents could bring their children to work. It has since evolved to be a state-certified center and to hold 4-year-old kindergarten.
Mother and daughter come together
Christensen got her start in the industry with mortgages and property management. At one time, she managed over 250 apartments. She eventually got into selling and found her calling.
“It’s either in your blood or it isn’t,” says Christensen. “I have passion that keeps me going 25 years later. I can’t imagine doing anything else.”
Christensen reveals the business has grown from the bottom up and she couldn’t be happier with the “dream team” they’ve assembled. And, as an added bonus, she gets to work in the same building as her daughter, mother and son-in-law every day.
Voigt learned about a career in real estate as a child riding in the back seat of her mother’s car. Like her mom, she began in mortgages. Voigt joined Christensen 13 years ago, starting at Century 21’s front desk. “I am proud to say that I have worked every position from the bottom to the top,” adds Voigt. “It has afforded me a unique insight into our business operations over the years.”
Voigt’s husband works beside her, helping her manage the real estate office. Together they recently rolled out a new website and created a mobile app to appeal to the new generation of home buyers. While it’s a huge investment, Century 21 Ace Realty believes in enhancing their brand on third-party websites. Voigt explains they know for many the home search begins online so that is where they focus their efforts. When the lead comes in, customer service takes over.
“We enhanced every website we could, taking our company from an $80 million producing company to well over $200 million,” she adds. “The national conversion rate is 3 percent; our conversion rate is 56 percent on every lead that comes through the door.”
Ace Realty also makes sure the agents have the best tools and programs to help them succeed and to operate more smoothly behind the scenes.
A day in the life
Christensen is the face of Century 21 Ace Realty. She trains agents in the field, shows homes and handles the human resource-type tasks.
Voigt personally recruits and trains the agents on what they need to know in the office. She oversees the staff and touches every listing and offer that comes through the door.
There is no typical day in real estate. Christensen is always on the go — she thrives on the variety each day brings. Voigt holds down the fort at the office. “Real estate doesn’t ever stop moving, so no matter what the day or time is, I am there for our agents and customers,” adds
Family is also a priority for the women. The days are long for both Christensen and Voigt although the schedule is flexible, allowing both women to sneak away for a kid’s basketball game or school program. Christensen spends as much time as possible with family
and friends, including her five children and 12 grandchildren. She has been with Michael VanHoff, owner of Custom Family Homes, for 10 years. Voigt and her husband have two beautiful and busy daughters, Hailey, 11, and Carley, 9.
An environment unlike any other
Century 21 Ace Realty prides itself on being family owned. They search out agents that share their passion for real estate. “A strong, supportive family environment is the backbone for everything we do,” adds Voigt. “Our agents are our family and I was taught at a young age that our staffs’ customers are our agents. If you treat them right, the rest will fall into place with the care they give each of our
As business owners, Christensen and Voigt understand nearly 60 families are impacted by the decisions made. “You have to look at what is best for everybody and make sure you are moving the company in the right direction for the future. We are always recreating the wheel,” says
Voigt reveals the real estate market is the strongest it’s been since 2005, with many buyers on the move. “We’re seeing a shortage in listings across the state, which will make home prices rise a bit more,” she adds. “We’re seeing more homes receive multiple offers, with purchase
prices above asking, than we have ever seen before!”
And, the future looks promising. Christensen concludes, “God willing, I will have another 25 years in this industry that I love in an area that will always be my home.” w