Q&A with Sherry Chris, President and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC in Parsippany, New Jersey, USA, who was named Best Executive in a Service Business (up to 100 employees) in the 2010 Stevie Awards for Women In Business. She is also Chair of the committee for final judging of the Best Executive categories in the 2011 Stevie Awards for Women in Business. The final entry deadline for the awards is September 30.
What are your top 3 tips for using social media in business?
- Be authentic when you are online. Make sure your voice is real and that you are not hiding behind a persona.
- Be doggedly determined. Being active in the social-media space is not a one-time marketing campaign or stunt. You need a long-term strategy and you need to stick to it.
- Always remember that technology is a tool that creates efficiencies; however, it does not—and never will—replace the importance of face-to-face or personal contact.
What item of news recently caught your eye and why?
The recent stepping-down by Steve Jobs as CEO of Apple was significant to me not only because of his indelible impact on the technology industry, but also because his innovation forever changed the way we live our lives with technology.
As a CEO myself, this news was an opportunity to further reflect on the tenets I live by:
- Do your best, in small and large endeavors, every single day
- Attack your goals with passion
- Make a big impact: on your company, on your industry, in your community
- Inspire your team
- Empower your team to move the business forward: ground them with a common vision
Do you have a favorite business app?
Flipboard for iPad is my favorite business app. It’s the world’s first social magazine, allowing the more than 3.5 million people who have downloaded the app to organize their social and news streams into an easy-to-read electronic magazine format on their iPad. Our Twitter feed--@bhgrealestate--is featured content in the Business & Finance category of Flipboad. We are the only real estate franchise to be featured, a distinction that makes us very proud.
If you could choose another profession, what would it be?
Real estate is in my DNA. I have been in this wonderful industry for 30 years and could not see myself anywhere else. One of the reasons I love my job and my industry is because, while technically I am in real estate, I consider myself in the customer service business. Another industry that mirrors this is hospitality. I attended the Ritz Carlton executive customer-service training program because I believe customer service is the way to stand apart. I have integrated the philosophy of extreme customer service into everything we do at Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate.
What quality or qualities do you most value in your business associates?
One of the first things we did when we built the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate brand was to create a set of core business values, which we call PAIGE: Passion, Authenticity, Innovation, Growth, and Excellence. These are the values I follow both professionally and personally. They are qualities that are consistent across my team and across our network of brokers and agents.
What do you think is the worst bad habit to have at work?
I believe one bad habit that holds many leaders and companies back is not having the courage to acknowledge mistakes quickly, correct them, and move on. We live in a dynamic business world. With the right core values, strategies, and team, a company is empowered to tackle any roadblock that comes its way—and to emerge stronger because of it.
As someone at the top of your profession, what keeps you inspired or makes you hit the ground running in the morning?
I believe my job is not only to build the most innovative lifestyle-real-estate brand, it is also to change the way we do business in our industry. When you fully believe in something; when you are fortunate enough to truly be passionate about your company, your customers, and your goals; and when you have been empowered to look at and do things differently to achieve those goals, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day.
About Sherry Chris
Sherry Chris was appointed President and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC in October of 2007. Her appointment followed Realogy's announcement that it had entered into a 50-year agreement with Meredith Corporation to license the Better Homes and Gardens® name to launch a new and dynamic global residential real estate brand.
Sherry has more than 27 years of real estate experience, including significant senior management positions in the areas of sales, marketing, new technologies, and franchise management. A native Canadian, she began her real estate career in Canada and held increasingly senior positions with Royal LePage for 16 years before taking on executive roles with Real Living (Ohio) and Prudential CA/NV/TX Realty. She joined Realogy in 2006 as Chief Operating Officer for Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC.
Well known within the real estate industry, Sherry is a frequent speaker at real estate and technology conferences. She serves on Zillow's broker-advisory board and has served on a number of industry- and technology-related advisory boards, including Trulia and Google Real Estate. She is a past chairman of The Realty Alliance. Sherry is a graduate of The University of Western Ontario, and she earned an MBA from the Ivey School of Business.
About Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC is a real estate brand that offers a full range of services to brokers, sales associates, and home buyers and sellers. Using innovative technology, sophisticated business systems, and the broad appeal of a lifestyle brand, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC embodies the future of the real estate industry while remaining grounded in the tradition of home. Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC is a subsidiary of Realogy Corporation, a global provider of real estate and relocation services. The growing Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate network includes approximately 7,000 sales associates and more than 200 offices serving homebuyers and sellers in 23 states: Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington. For more information, please visit www.BHGRealEstate.com.
Better Homes and Gardens(r) is a registered trademark of Meredith Corporation licensed to Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC. Equal Opportunity Company. Equal Housing Opportunity. Each Better Homes and Gardens(r) Real Estate Franchise is Independently Owned and Operated.