10 Minutes with Sherry Chris, President and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate
Sherry Chris, President and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, is one of the most influential people in real estate and a major proponent of adopting new technology to advance the industry. Well known for her innovative thinking and consumer insights, Sherry is a frequent speaker at international real estate and technology conferences. In 2013 Sherry was named to the Swanepoel Power 200 list and recognized for the fourth consecutive year as Inman’s 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders. Sherry is also the most-followed national real estate CEO on Twitter with over 19,000 followers (@sherrychris).
We are proud to say that Sherry is also a REach advisor, and we recently caught up with her to discuss the future of the real estate industry and her advice for tech startups looking to address the market.
- Tell us about your company’s role in the real estate industry.
SC: Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate is one of the Realogy group of brands. We’re a value-driven lifestyle real estate franchisor that looks for culturally aligned brokerages to join our network. We are a values-driven company and brand that follows a stated set of core principles in everything we do.
- What forces do you see driving change in the industry?
SC: There are several forces driving change. The huge demographic shift taking place is that the Baby Boomers – the demographic that’s been driving our industry and our economy for the past 30 years – is giving way to Millennials. This group is going to be buying and selling real estate and shaping the future of not just our industry, but the overall economy for the next 30 years.
Another big shift is that technology has become very sophisticated. It’s shaping the way we conduct our business. It’s created incredible efficiencies for us in the real estate industry, allowing us to communicate, collaborate, and market in very different ways than we did 10 years ago.
- What’s your advice for technology startups looking to get into real estate?
SC: Look for a niche to help improve the way the realtor does their job and makes them more effective and efficient. Next, look to the consumer and the tools they need to access data and make informed decisions when buying and selling real estate. The technology piece here is very, very important. My third piece of advice is to find an avenue that works and stick to it. Find a piece of technology that works or find an area that needs some help, then build the technology around that.
- What do you get out of being involved with the REach program?
SC: It’s great being able to network, mentor, and collaborate with young entrepreneurs who are creating products and services that really better the way real estate is bought and sold. For instance, I personally briefed one of the potential REach companies on the real estate industry. They were trying to decide whether they wanted to enter the real estate vertical or not.
- Have you had mentors in your career and what’s been the most valuable lesson they’ve taught you?
SC: I’ve had business mentors all through my career, not necessarily people that are well known. I have aligned myself with mentors throughout my career based on various needs.
The most valuable lesson I’ve learned is that if you believe in yourself, anything is possible.
For more information about Sherry and Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, please visit http://www.bhgrealestate.com/.