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Century 21 Real Estate LLC is a real estate agent franchise company founded in 1971. The Century 21 System consists of over 7,800 independently owned and operated offices. Other examples of such a system are Coldwell Banker, Engel & Völkers, ERA Real Estate, ... Century 21 has offices in all 50 states and in more than 67 countries and territories. Century 21's consumer website, Century21.com, is the fifth most visited real estate website on the Internet as of March 2009.
The company is owned by Realogy, which also owns Coldwell Banker, Corcoran Real Estate, Sotheby's International Realty, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate and ERA Real Estate. Century 21 Real Estate is headquartered in Parsippany, New Jersey.
Century 21 was founded in 1971 by Art Bartlett and Marsh Fisher, two real estate agents in Orange County, California. Here Bartlett talks about how they decided on the name:
'We were brainstorming at lunch one day - my former VP and I - and I said the name had to sound like it had been around for a long time. My former VP suggested 20th Century Realty. I thought it would be impossible to get the name registered. He said 21st Realty, but I don't like that. He then said "How about Century 21?" I liked it, though it sounded futuristic. I called Marsh and told him but he thought it was too futuristic. He wanted Green Valley. Well, we finally agreed on Century 21, and we incorporated the company.' - Art Bartlett
The company went public in 1977, and was bought out my Metropolitan Life Insurance in 1984. In 1995, the company became part of HFS, the precursor of Cendant, under the leadership of Robert W. Pittman, creator of MTV. Cendant spun off in 2006, and Century 21 Real Estate LLC now operates under its real estate franchise branch, Realogy.
In 2009, Century 21 Real Estate LLC announced its decision to transition its television advertising to additional online advertising, including media spend in the following categories in 2009; display, search engine marketing and partnerships with real estate listing Web sites.