25-year veteran looks to build brand that “embodies the future of real estate”
RISMEDIA, October 11, 2007-A day after Realogy Corporation announced that the company had entered into a long-term licensing agreement with Meredith Corporation to build a new company under the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate brand, the company continued its big news, announcing the appointment of Sherry Chris as president and CEO of the new brand, slated for a July 2008 launch.
“The past few days have been quite a whirlwind,” says Chris. “This is all very exciting. When I think back to the beginning of my career, never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine I would be in the position I am in now. I’m so grateful to [Realogy President and CEO] Alex Perriello for giving me this exciting opportunity, which is essentially a clean slate. For someone who likes to plan, which we do well here at Realogy, it will be great to plan a brand of the future.”
“Sherry is an exceptional real estate executive and business leader, and I am pleased to have her energetic presence at the helm as we embark upon this exciting opportunity,” says Perriello. “We look forward to building and operating a new world-class franchise system that will add significant value to those residential real estate brokerage firms that will become franchisees of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate.”
Her immediate future, according to Chris, is getting the right team in place. To that end, she has already made her first hire as head of the new brand.
“We have brought in a former colleague of mine from Royal LePage-Wendy Forsythe-who will serve as our vice president of broker services and product development,” says Chris. “She’s already here and digging in. It’s great having her here as we begin this new adventure.”
“We now need to bring all of our family members together,” she continues. “We are looking for people who are passionate about real estate and have a love for technology. Now, we need to focus on bringing in a senior vice president of marketing-someone who will help build the brand from the bottom up.”
Moving forward, over the next nine months, Chris and her team will be looking to take the best of what Better Homes and Gardens and the Meredith Corporation has to offer and couple it with ideas that will create, what Chris dubs, “a real estate brand of the future.”
“This will be a brand that embodies the future of the real estate industry while grounded in the tradition of the home,” says Chris. “The opportunity is tremendous. Better Homes and Gardens has a multimedia consumer brand presence that already exists in millions of households. Meanwhile, we have the rare opportunity to build a new system from the ground up by leveraging our expertise in real estate while benefiting from the full support of Realogy and all of its resources.”
Among the top priorities for the new brand during the next nine months will be the development of a platform that incorporates the best information technologies for both consumers and the real estate professionals who affiliate with the brand. Chris plans to develop a new media-rich Web site that will provide engaging and interactive content for a customer-base now highly adept at using the Internet for its real estate needs.
“When we look at business, each generation builds on the success of those that came before them,” she says. “This is the next generation of real estate.”
Previously, Chris served Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC as its chief operating officer (COO) beginning December 2006. In her capacity as COO, Chris directed the company’s operations, education, mortgage and field services programs. She also focused on communication between Coldwell Banker® corporate headquarters, regional offices and its nearly 4,000-office affiliate network around the world.
Chris began her real estate career in 1980 holding positions of increasing responsibility at several leading Canadian and U.S. real estate companies including, Royal LePage Real Estate Services, Ltd., Real Living and Prudential California Realty.
Well known in the real estate industry, Chris is currently on the advisory board of several prominent organizations, including Trulia.com and Google Real Estate. She has served as chairman of the board of the Realty Alliance and also speaks frequently at prominent industry events.
Chris earned her undergraduate and MBA degrees from the University of Western Ontario.