Winter Park Real Estate: Local Century 21 office sells to Dan Cheek
Dan Cheek of Tabernash is the new owner of Century 21 Winter Park Real Estate.
Cheek and Mike Ray, former owner of Century 21, made the official announcement to their employees Wednesday morning, and both revealed during phone interviews that day that they were “very excited” about the transaction.
“My 14-year-old son told me other day that I was stoked about something, and that sounds about right,” Cheek said, laughing. “I’m very excited. I’m excited to work for such a prestigious company, and I’m very excited about the crew, the staff and the brokers I’ve got. They’re just exceptional.”
Cheek moved to Grand County almost two years ago from Plano, Texas, to find a better quality of life for his family, he said. While his background is not in real estate, Cheek ran an insurance agency in Texas and has a background in sales.
He said knew he wanted to work for himself again because he enjoys managing and motivating people. Century 21 will give him that opportunity again.
“I made it very clear to people here that I’m not an expert in real estate. I really want to manage the company and create a process that makes their lives better and easier, motivate them, and make them happy.”
As for new strategies for the company, Cheek was tight-lipped, but confident.
“I have some creative marketing ideas that’ll help make the phone ring,” he said, chuckling. “But I don’t want to reveal my hand.”
Cheek purchased Century 21 Winter Park Real Estate, which comprises all of the Century 21 franchise locations in Grand County. Ray, who bought Century 21 about five years ago, is happy about the decision, he said.
Ray first owned and ran Winter Park Real Estate Company in 1998, and merged that company with Century 21 Smith and Company in 2001, creating Century 21 Winter Park Real Estate.
Ray plans to stay with Century 21 and go back to his roots: Making real estate transactions. He will continue working as a broker for Century 21, and looks forward to the change in his life and spending more time with his family in Fraser. He has been “blessed” and very lucky working with the people in the company, he said.
“It’s not about getting away from anything. This is about letting other things come into your head space,” Ray said. “I felt like the real estate business is evolving into something that I don’t see my personal makeup as adopting and adapting to very well.”
Ray said Cheek has some “really cool ideas,” and is more embracing of where the real estate industry is headed.
“He’s got great energy, great skills. He has good experience running a successful company, and I think that company needs that more than it needs additional real estate expertise,” Ray said.
Cheek is aware of the challenges he faces. The economy is in a downturn right now, and it’s difficult to say how it will affect a resort market, he said. He also foresees challenges managing so many people, he added.
Still, the exuberance in his voice was evident yesterday.
“I get joy from helping people in a lot of different ways … working with kids, volunteerism ” I love to be philanthropic when I can,” Cheek said. “And I love to help people excel. Owning this business, I really think is going to give me the ability and freedom to do all those things ” so it really fits my personal goals.”
Cheek lives in Tabernash with his wife, Leah, and four children, Travis, Sarah, Linden and Caroline.
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