Charfen Institute Ranks as the Fastest Growing, Privately Held Small Business in Central Texas for 2011

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Award-filled year in the midst of real estate industry upheaval affirms CEO's conviction that chaos creates opportunity.

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The nearly 35,000 real estate professionals nationwide whom we’ve trained in the CDPE curriculum are on the front lines of the recovery of the U.S. real estate market through proactive approaches to foreclosure avoidance." Alex Charfen

Setting out less than four years ago to build an ethics- and values-based company, Alex Charfen’s distinct approach to running a business has been validated many times over this year based on every metric that matters: revenue, profits, growth, employee engagement, making a difference and building a legacy.

Announcing today that the Charfen Institute leads Austin’s private companies on the Austin Business Journal 2011“Fast 50” list of the city’s Fastest Growing Private Companies, Alex Charfen, co-founder and CEO, thanked Austin for providing an unsurpassed base of talent and energy.

The Charfen Institute was created less than four years ago in the midst of the founders’ personal bankruptcy. “Determined to never fall back into the habits of over-leveraging and irresponsible spending that kept us from staying afloat when the South Florida real estate market tanked, we grew this company with zero debt, zero investor dollars, and a determination to make a difference,” Charfen said.

A debt-free model, along with a high-energy, collaborative culture and leading-edge training products that are perfectly aligned with market needs, has fueled a three-year growth rate of more than 8,000 percent as reported by Inc. magazine.

The Charfen Institute educates and trains real estate professionals and small business owners how to find opportunities in chaos – whether it be solutions to the foreclosure crisis or empowering entrepreneurs with strategies to embrace their companies’ full potential.

“The nearly 35,000 real estate professionals nationwide whom we’ve trained in the Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) curriculum are on the front lines of the recovery of the U.S. real estate market through proactive approaches to foreclosure avoidance,” Charfen said. At the same time, the Charfen Institute’s Certified Investor Agent Specialist (CIAS) designation is empowering real estate professionals to work toward another facet of the real estate market’s recovery: helping agents and their investor clients to build wealth through residential real estate investments, and in the process, help to get foreclosed and REO properties off of the books of banks, and into the hands of families.

The LEAD Experience is the company’s newest offering – an intensive, three-day business acceleration program for small-business owners. “We realized early on that small businesses have very little training available to them that is specific to their needs,” Charfen explained. “So we carefully reverse engineered how we’ve grown our company, verified it all through market research and created a course to show others how to do the same. Business should not be a struggle, it should be a daily celebration of achievement and we’re teaching business owners how to do just that.”

“Considering that small businesses employ half of all private sector employees and represent 99.7% of employer firms,” Charfen said. “We are very excited about the impact that this program is going to have on the market as individual business owners unlock their vast potential for growth.”

About the Charfen Institute
The Charfen Institute provides training and resources to help small business owners and real estate professionals achieve tangible business results. The company produces more than 300 educational events each year through various divisions, including: The Distressed Property Institute’s Certified Distressed Property Expert® (CDPE) Designation, the Certified Investor Agent Specialist™ (CIAS) designation, and LEAD Experience™. The company’s CDPE Designation is the fastest growing independent designation in real estate industry history, with close to 35,000 agents trained.
Recent awards for Alex Charfen and the Charfen Institute include: No. 21 on the 2011 Inc. 500 List of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies; Best Places to Work in Central Texas 2010 and 2011; Alex Charfen for Austin’s Fittest CEO and the Austin Under 40 Award for Real Estate; numerous Telly and Omni Awards, and the 2010 Aegis Award. For more information, visit:


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Lisa Wahlgren
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