Sherry Chris – CEO of Better Homes and Gardens and one of the most influential real estate leaders in America talks about her journey with the company and its transformation into an international lifestyle brand with a network of more than 10k real estate agents across five countries.
The subprime housing crisis had completely matured around 2008. Banks were going through a ‘credit crunch’ and the economy faced the worst crisis since the great depression. It would be redundant to point out that the real estate industry was going through a bad time. But in that chaos, Realogy - a real estate company re-launched the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Brand. Sherry Chris, a native of Canada with several years of leadership experience in real estate was given the challenge to make Better Homes and Gardens a next-generation lifestyle real estate brand.
Her acumen and prowess in real estate were well known and distinguishable in her endeavors prior to joining BHGRE when she held executive roles within notable US brokerages and held senior positions with Royal LePage. It's 2019 and under her leadership, BHGRE has been successful in creating a renowned brand with a truly international network of real estate agents with 12,000 agents in over 360 offices!
Along with being a prolific CEO and an influential real estate leader, Sherry Chris is also a sought-after speaker who is often found encouraging and sharing her wisdom in eloquent speeches at real estate and tech conferences. She is a strong advocate of engaging with businesses and consumers through social media channels – making her the most followed CEO of a national real estate brand on Twitter.
Chris also serves as an advisory for the Asian Real Estate Association of America Education Foundation and New Story – an organization that builds safe homes and communities in developing countries.
In this interview, Sherry Chris sheds light on her journey with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate and how she transformed a real estate company into an international lifestyle brand.
Industry Leaders Magazine: Tell us about how you and Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate started out. What were your ambitions with the company and how close or far are you at achieving them?
Sherry Chris: We launched the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate brand in 2008, which was truly an uncertain time in the real estate industry. Our goal was to build a brand designed like no other, so we created a pure startup direct to the consumer, with a focus on lifestyle. We wanted to create a company that offered agents a deeper level of service with a culture that was strong, and values-based – a brand that gives back to the world. We are continuously growing and now have 12,000 agents in over 360 offices spanning five countries!
Industry Leaders Magazine: From being a real estate agent to the CEO of a truly international real estate network and one of the most influential real estate leaders - can you share some important accomplishments and challenges you and your company might have faced in your journey?
Sherry Chris: The real estate market and industry are ever-changing. I’ve been in this industry for over 30 years and have had the opportunity to watch it evolve into what it is today. I believe every challenge I’ve faced over the course of my career has created tremendous opportunity for me to continue to learn and grow. That is why I try to attend and speak at as many industry conferences as I can – if I can share my experiences to help educate or motivate someone to advance their careers to the next level, then I consider that a true accomplishment. Maybe that means I’m an opportunist.
Industry Leaders Magazine: You are considered to be the most followed and popular real estate leader on social media; what is your approach to community relations and social media?
Sherry Chris: One can only build a strong community by being authentic, engaging and giving back. We launched Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate through social media (Facebook and Twitter and later adding Instagram and LinkedIn.) We actively engage with our followers by sharing unique content and photos that are relevant and inspirational to their everyday lives.
Industry Leaders Magazine: What advice would you give to the real estate agents who are just starting out?
Sherry Chris: Find your niche and go for it!