As the saying goes, the only constant in life is change. And considering that these wise words were penned by Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher living 2,500 years ago, I’d say this is time-tested truism.
But just because something is true doesn’t mean it’s easy. Parenting is a great example. Each new phase of a child’s life involves change, usually just when parents are getting the hang of it. But they take it in stride and keep evolving—together.
Real estate is another great example. The ability to leverage new technologies in our industry has significantly changed how we attract, serve and retain our customers. When I sold my first house at the age of 25, there was no internet, no email, no mobile phones. Today, these technologies are ingrained in nearly every aspect of our society—a significant evolution.
The notion of leadership is yet another example of change as a constant. In any form, leadership requires the ability to evolve in good times and bad, and a willingness to embrace new ways as a path to success.
Successful leaders are always scouting the horizon for change, in order to adapt and optimize in the face of emerging trends. Really successful leaders anticipate and welcome change and position their organizations to innovate—to create new paths.
Right now, there is exciting change happening in the real estate world. Realogy recently created a new division combining leadership teams from three franchises to support growth and expansion at the local level for Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate, ERA Real Estate and Climb Real Estate.
My boss John Peyton, CEO of the Realogy Franchise Group, has given me the opportunity to oversee the new Realogy Expansion Brand portfolio. My world has changed, but I learned long ago that things never stand still. Now I have to call upon my leadership skills as a strategist, people person and communicator to reach an entirely new set of objectives. I will continue to learn every day, and, as I always do, rely heavily on the incredible people around me.
Each of these brands are different, and just like back in my brokerage days when I understood that every agent had their own individual needs, I’m going to have to adopt unique approaches to each of the brands. Since their inception, each of these brands has had an important role in leading our industry:
- Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate boldly leveraged a lifestyle media brand to launch the first real estate franchise distinctly connected to the lifestyle of homeownership.
- ERA Real Estate, the first real estate franchise to promote listings online, has remained steadfast in its commitment to bringing the latest technology to brokers, agents and customers through its flexible business model.
- Climb Real Estate has consistently approached real estate from a different vantage point in order to facilitate better connections with customers. I love their mobile Airstream office concept which brings agents to customers rather than requiring customers to come to agents.
As CEO of the new Realogy Expansion Brands portfolio, I am excited to explore new ways to spur growth. One approach is to deploy individual brand best practices around effective agent recruiting, unique business models and lifestyle marketing, while another approach will leverage innovations in our shared philosophies, including a service-driven culture, cutting-edge marketing and bias for high-growth.
The evolution of these brands will bring benefits to brokers and affiliated agents, as well as homebuyers and sellers. What I’m most looking forward to is the opportunity to work collaboratively to effect positive change and fuel growth at every level.
It’s early days in this new role, but I can confidently say that lessons I’ve learned as leader will help me navigate the future.
Sherry Chris is CEO of Realogy Expansion Brands. For more information, please visit www.realogy.com.