Yeager spent decades as a franchisor at Century 21, ultimately leading the brand’s expansion into Latin America and Europe.

Phil Yeager, a long-time real estate industry leader who spent decades as a franchising pioneer at Century 21, died on Wednesday. He was 91.

Phil Yeager

In a statement to Inman Thursday, Century 21 Vice President Chris Kervandjian called Yeager a “legend and pioneer in real estate franchising.” Kervandjian went on to say that among other things, Yeager was one of the first seven regional owners at the company when Century 21 initially started franchising more than half a century ago. Yeager then acquired franchising rights for Mexico and South America, as well as an interest in nine countries in Europe. This work saw him oversee hundreds of offices and thousands of agents.

Kervandjian concluded that Yeager was “instrumental in helping make Century 21 ‘a global real estate leader.'”

“Phil was a true visionary that understood that there was a need to raise the level of professionalism in the real estate industry — all over the world,” Kervandjian added. “He accomplished this in the regions he operated and always made himself available to advise other Century 21 master franchisees globally.”

Realogy, Century 21’s parent company, also mourned Yeager’s loss, with Sue Yannaccone — president of Realogy Franchise Group — saying “the industry lost an icon yesterday.”

“Phil’s commitment to franchising Century 21 significantly contributed to not only the brand’s tremendous growth and awareness around the world but also the movement of real estate franchising globally,” Yannaccone said. “He was an accomplished businessman and industry leader who will be deeply missed. Our thoughts are with his family and friends and the many real estate professionals he influenced over the years.”

Phil Yeager, center, in a March 2020 photo shared by Century 21 Albania. Credit:  Century 21 Albania

Yeager was a third generation real estate professional based in California. As a young man, he earned a bachelor’s degree from Claremont McKenna College, about an hour east of Los Angeles, then joined the Air Force and served as a pilot during the Korean War. He entered the real estate industry after returning from his military service.

In 1989, Yeager co-founded Century 21 Mexico and ultimately grew the operation to have thousands of agents and hundreds of offices. He followed that by launching Century 21 South America, which also ultimately grew to have hundreds of offices.

In addition to launching Century 21 operations in Latin America and, later, Europe, Yeager oversaw the deployment of the first multiple listing service in Mexico. He also served as a teacher and mentor to many in the industry.

Though Yeager built much of his franchising empire between the 1970s and 1990s, just last year he was named the top real estate professional by the International Association of Top Professionals. One year prior, Marquis Who’s Who awarded him a lifetime achievement award.

Yeager’s cause of death has not been publicly disclosed.

In his statement, Kervandjian ultimately noted that “Phil was an inspiration to all of us and he will be greatly missed.”

Update: This story was updated after publication with additional information about Yeager’s career. 

Email Jim Dalrymple II

Show Comments Hide Comments


Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription