Though 150-year-old Baird & Warner is one of the country’s oldest real estate companies, by no means is it resistant to change, as its snappy Web site, online lead generation system and other technological innovations attest.
“I’m just an integral gear on a fine-tuned machine,” claims Charles Melidosian, the company’s vice president and chief information officer, who came on board in 2000 to implement what he described as a long laundry list of innovations, many of which originated with the company’s president, Stephen Baird.
Melidosian has the technical chops to back up his position – he spent years studying calculus, engineering, physics and computer science in college.After working as a technical consultant, he moved to Chicago-based, 2,200-employee Baird & Warner in 2000.
Melidosian will speak during Real Estate Connect in San Francisco, July 27-29, 2005.
Here are his answers to a set of questions posed by Inman News:
Panel or session at Connect: Lead Qualification: Manage Them, Convert Them.
What type of home did you grow up in and where?
A ’50s style ranch in Park Ridge, Ill., a northwest suburb of Chicago, where my parents still live today.
What style of home do you live in and when did you buy it?
A 100-year-old, glorious colonial – While we moved in a year and a half ago we look forward to a lifetime of restoring it back to what it was while adding some personal touches of our own.
What worries keep you awake at night?
What is the next innovation I can bring to www.bairdwarner.com and keep our Realtors competitively ahead in Chicago Real Estate.
Describe your dream home?
A welcoming, comfortable one where my fabulous wife and three beautiful children greet me on the sidewalk in front as I walk home from the train. Wait a minute – that’s not a dream, I already have that.
What lesson did you learn in the last year?
My wife and I resettled a refugee family of five from Africa to Chicago. We saw first hand how personally rewarding it is to help another.
What was your first job?
Delivering newspapers at 5 a.m., seven days a week. Technology saved the day when my Dad hooked me up with a Bunn string-tying machine and saved the effort of having to rubber band the papers.
What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever packed in a suitcase?
That’s a toss up between a pumpkin and a live dog. For all you ASPCA zealots, the dog was in an approved carry-on suitcase.
What would your second career choice be after real estate?
Lounging around and watching old Leslie Nielsen movies or episodes of “EMERGENCY!” Now if I can only find a way to make money at that.
What kind of music do you listen to?
I love listening to music from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s – most especially while rehabbing our home.
Who is your hero?
Corny but true, my mother. She has the most positive energy of anyone I know. She e-mails me almost every morning and writes, “Have a great day – and if it’s not a great day, you make it a great day!”
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