“I’m just an integral gear on a fine-tuned machine,” claims Charles Melidosian, vice president and chief information officer of 150-year-old Baird & Warner, 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.
Though Baird & Warner is one of the country’s oldest real estate companies, by no means is it resistant to change, as its well-designed Web site, online lead generation system and other technological innovations attest.
Melidosian has the technical chops to back up his position as CIO at Baird & Warner – 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 New York City, Jan. 11-13, 2006.
Here are his answers to a set of questions posed by Inman News:
Panel or session at Connect: Special Session – Help Your Agents Succeed With Online Leads.
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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