How to Start Century 21 Franchise | Cost, Fee, and Profit Margin


Starting a franchise can be an exciting and lucrative opportunity for entrepreneurs looking to enter the real estate industry. One of the most well-known and respected real estate franchisors is Century 21. With its global presence and proven business model, Century 21 offers aspiring business owners a chance to thrive in the competitive world of real estate. In this blog post, we will explore the steps to start a Century 21 franchise, the costs and fees involved, as well as the potential profit margins.

Business Overview of Century 21 Franchise

Century 21 operates as a real estate brokerage franchise. As a franchisee, you will have the opportunity to leverage the Century 21 brand and benefit from its established reputation in the industry. The franchise provides you with access to an extensive network of agents, a comprehensive technology platform, and ongoing support from the corporate team.

The business model revolves around providing exceptional real estate services to buyers and sellers in your local market. With Century 21, you will have the flexibility to operate your own real estate office while receiving guidance and support from the franchisor. This combination allows for both independence and the backing of a well-established brand.

How to Apply for Century 21 Franchise

To start a Century 21 franchise, follow these step-by-step application process:

  • Research and Preparation: Begin by researching the real estate market in your desired area. Determine the demand for real estate services and ensure that the location is suitable for a franchise. Prepare a business plan outlining your goals, target market, and financial projections.
  • Initial Inquiry and Evaluation: Contact Century 21 through their official website or reach out to a franchise representative to express your interest in starting a franchise. They will provide you with an initial information package and evaluate your qualifications as a potential franchisee.
  • Meetings and Interviews: If your initial qualifications meet the franchise’s requirements, you will proceed to have meetings and interviews with Century 21 representatives. These interactions allow both parties to assess the compatibility and suitability of the partnership.
  • Review of Franchise Agreement: After successful meetings and interviews, Century 21 will provide you with their franchise agreement for review. It is crucial to carefully read and understand all the terms and conditions outlined in the agreement. Seek legal advice if necessary to ensure that you are fully aware of the obligations and rights as a franchisee.
  • Franchise Fee Payment: Once you are satisfied with the franchise agreement, you will need to pay the franchise fee. The fee varies depending on factors such as location and market conditions. It is essential to budget for the franchise fee as part of your startup costs.
  • Training and Onboarding: After the franchise fee is paid, you will undergo comprehensive training and onboarding provided by Century 21. This training equips you with the skills and knowledge necessary to operate a successful real estate franchise. You will learn about the company’s systems, technology platforms, and best practices.
  • Office Setup and Launch: Following the completion of training, you can set up your office and start operations. This includes finding a suitable location, hiring and training staff, and establishing partnerships within the local real estate community.

Also Read: How Much Panda Express Franchise Cost 2024 | Profit Margin

Century 21 Franchise Cost and Fees Breakdown

Starting a Century 21 franchise involves several costs and fees. Let’s break them down:

  • Franchise Fee: The franchise fee for Century 21 ranges from $25,000 to $40,000, depending on various factors such as location and market conditions. This fee grants you the right to operate a Century 21 franchise and use their brand name and trademarks.
  • Royalty Fees: As a franchisee, you will be required to pay ongoing royalty fees to Century 21. These fees typically range from 6% to 8% of the gross commission income generated by your office. The exact percentage may vary depending on the terms outlined in your franchise agreement.
  • Marketing and Advertising Fees: Century 21 requires franchisees to contribute to the national and regional marketing and advertising initiatives. The fees for these purposes can range from 1% to 3% of your gross commission income. These fees help promote the Century 21 brand and attract potential clients to your office.
  • Technology and Training Fees: Century 21 provides its franchisees with access to cutting-edge technology platforms and ongoing training. Some fees may be associated with these services, and the exact amount will depend on the level of training and support required.
Franchise Fee$25,000One-time fee for the franchise rights.
Initial Investment$106,200 – $451,350Covers expenses like leasehold improvements, furniture & fixtures, inventory, signage, marketing, working capital. Varies based on location, existing office conversion, and size.
Additional Costs for New Start-Up Office (compared to conversion)$81,500 – $187,300Covers construction, permits, and additional build-out for a new location.
Real Estate & Construction (additional for new locations)VariesDepends on location, size, lease terms, and construction requirements. Can be a significant cost factor.
Land & Lease CostsVariesDepends on location, size, lease terms, and potential purchase or lease agreement.
Inventory & Supplies$10,000 – $25,000Initial stock of marketing materials, promotional items, and office supplies.
Marketing & Advertising$5,000 – $10,000 (initial)Initial marketing and advertising expenses to launch the office.
Training$10,000 – $15,000Cost of attending Century 21 University training programs for franchisees and staff.
Technology Fee$500 per monthFee for proprietary technology and software for website, lead generation, and data management.
Royalty Fee6% of gross revenueOngoing fee paid to the franchisor.
Ad Royalty Fee1.5% of gross revenue from property management servicesAdditional fee for income generated through property management services.
Marketing/Ad Fee$500 per monthMinimum monthly contribution to national and regional marketing initiatives.
Local Store Marketing2% – 3% of gross salesRecommended budget for local marketing and advertising efforts.

It’s important to note that these costs and fees are estimates, and you should consult with Century 21 directly to get accurate and up-to-date information regarding the financial obligations of starting a franchise.

Profit Margin

The profit margin of a Century 21 franchise depends on various factors, including the local real estate market conditions, the effectiveness of your marketing and sales efforts, and your ability to manage expenses. While it is challenging to provide an exact figure, franchisees can generally expect a profit margin ranging from 15% to 30% of their gross commission income.

To maximize your profit margin, it is crucial to build a solid client base, provide exceptional customer service, and effectively manage your operating expenses. By leveraging the Century 21 brand and utilizing the support provided by the franchisor, franchisees can create a profitable and sustainable business.

Pros and Cons

Starting a Century 21 franchise comes with its own set of advantages and challenges. Let’s explore the pros and cons:


  • Established Brand: Century 21 is a globally recognized and respected brand in the real estate industry. Being part of this brand gives franchisees instant credibility and trust among clients.
  • Training and Support: Century 21 provides comprehensive training and ongoing support to franchisees. From technology platforms to marketing strategies, franchisees have access to resources that can help them succeed.
  • Networking Opportunities: As a Century 21 franchisee, you become part of a vast network of real estate professionals. This network provides opportunities for referrals, collaboration, and mentorship.


  • Financial Obligations: Starting a franchise requires significant upfront investment and ongoing financial commitments. Franchisees must carefully consider these costs and ensure they have the necessary resources.
  • Competitive Industry: The real estate industry is highly competitive, and franchisees must differentiate themselves from other agents and brokerages. It requires hard work, effective marketing, and exceptional customer service to succeed.
  • Limited Autonomy: While operating a franchise allows for independence, there are still guidelines and rules set by the franchisor. Franchisees must adhere to these guidelines, limiting some aspects of autonomy.


Starting a Century 21 franchise can be a rewarding venture for aspiring entrepreneurs in the real estate industry. By following the step-by-step application process, understanding the costs and fees involved, and considering the potential profit margins, individuals can make an informed decision about starting a Century 21 franchise. Despite the challenges, the opportunity to leverage an established brand, receive valuable training and support, and tap into a vast network of real estate professionals makes Century 21 an attractive option for those looking to start their own real estate business.


Is prior experience in the real estate industry necessary to start a Century 21 franchise?

While prior experience in the real estate industry is beneficial, it is not a prerequisite to start a Century 21 franchise. The comprehensive training provided by Century 21 equips franchisees with the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed in the industry.

Can I operate a Century 21 franchise part-time?

Operating a Century 21 franchise requires dedicated effort and time commitment. It is recommended that franchisees devote full-time hours to their franchise to maximize their chances of success.

Do I have to purchase a physical office space to start a Century 21 franchise?

While having a physical office space is preferable, it is not always mandatory to start a Century 21 franchise. In some cases, franchisees may begin by working from a home office or utilizing shared workspace arrangements.

Hey everyone, Vishal here! I'm fascinated by the world of business, especially the exciting potential of franchising and spotting the next big idea. In my writing, expect a mix of in-depth franchise breakdowns, thought-provoking new business ideas, and practical advice to turn those ideas into reality.

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