Century 21 Real Estate LLC, a subsidiary of global real estate brokerage company and franchisor Realogy Corp., has announced an agreement to launch a social media training program for real estate professionals throughout its franchise network.

Century 21 has contracted with YouReach Media, co-founded by Internet marketing and social media strategist Jim Marks and real estate coach Tom Ferry, to provide the 24-week online training program, which will make its debut in April.

Christina Murphy, senior director of learning and development for Century 21 Real Estate LLC, said the training program is designed to engage both social media newcomers and those with more experience.

"The medium itself is changing so rapidly, with new tools and new techniques," Murphy said, and the company is hosting a "Social Media Pit Stop" at its annual conference in Las Vegas this week to help agents get up and running or to improve their use of social media.

Murphy said that some agents struggle with spending too much time in working to use social media as a business tool, and one aim of the training program through YouReach Media is to make agents more efficient in their use of social media.

The optional program will feature a combination of a weekly one-hour webinar and a 10-minute daily "homework assignment."

Marks said in a press release, "You don’t get to choose today’s media landscape. This is the landscape we have, and simply learning to ‘Facebook’ or ‘Twitter’ isn’t enough. Real estate professionals must learn how to influence prospects and create an online reputation that not only gains business but keeps business from going elsewhere."

In strategizing social media use, "It’s always about thinking a little bit ahead before you press the button," Murphy said, adding, "It’s more than just … how many people ‘like’ you or how many posts you have out there."

Murphy also said that a goal of the training is for agents to understand how they can establish and build real relationships online, and that online communication must be two-way for it to be effective.

One component of the YouReach training will be effective use of mobile devices, she said.

Century 21 earlier this year launched Century 21 Learning on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, to help keep its agents and brokers informed about new offerings, Murphy said.

Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC, another major real estate franchise network that is also a part of Realogy Corp., today announced an online Managing Broker Academy that will serve as a learning portal for its brokers and managers.

"Interactivity and engagement are key components in modern learning, and … the new learning portal gives our network an opportunity to create a balanced business strategy.

The online learning center allows brokers and managers to "supplement in-person and face-to-face training with videos, podcasts and social learning tools," said Budge Huskey, president and chief operating officer of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC, in a statement.

He also said the online learning platform is intended to help managers to coach agents and will offer business strategy advice.

The free portal also features online discussion groups, a broker blog, videos and a real-time news feed. 

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