Inman reached out to the many real estate professionals who’ve been impacted and inspired by Chris during her tenure to get their thoughts on her legacy and her influence.

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Last week, industry icon Sherry Chris announced her retirement after more than four decades in the real estate industry.

In her new role as executive advisor at Anywhere, Chris plans to continue “working with and for Anywhere Brands President Sue Yannaccone, mentoring and coaching new leaders, and working on a variety of other projects focusing on topics such as diversity.”

We wanted to reach out to the many real estate professionals who’ve been impacted and inspired by Chris during her tenure and get their thoughts on her legacy and her influence.

Molly McKinley, co-founder and managing partner,

Molly McKinley

I remember the first time I heard Sherry speak at an Inman conference in New York nearly nine years ago. She was articulate, poised, wise and clearly had honed her personal brand. Even though I was new to the industry, she created a moment for me, knowing that I could carve my own way in real estate — as a woman and as an entrepreneur.

Since then, I’ve gotten to know her personally. She embodies all of the attributes that make a brand iconic: Relevance, art, authenticity, consistency and timelessness.

Jackie Soto, broker-owner, eHomes

Jackie Soto

As a woman in a male-dominated industry, Sherry has faced numerous challenges, but she has never let anything get in her way. Instead, she has used her experiences to inspire and mentor other women who are pursuing leadership roles in brokerage. She has proven that gender should never be a barrier to success, and that with the right mindset, anything is possible.

I am truly grateful for the inspiration Sherry has given me. Her example has encouraged me to pursue my own leadership goals with renewed passion and determination. She has shown me that by working hard, being true to myself, and never giving up, I too can achieve my dreams. Thank you, Sherry Chris, for being a true inspiration to me and to women everywhere who are striving to succeed in the world of brokerage.

P.S.: I often think “WWSD”.

Marci James, sales and marketing consultant, National Association of Realtors

Marci James

Sherry Chris is a trailblazer and an icon in our industry. Her unwavering dedication to the industry, her remarkable leadership and her career growth have been a source of inspiration for countless women, including myself.

But what truly sets Sherry apart is her genuine spirit, her kindness and her unparalleled ability to mentor and support others. Sherry has been an incredible friend and mentor to so very many of us, and her generosity of spirit has made a lasting impact on our lives. It’s difficult to imagine the industry without Sherry’s leadership and guidance, but I have no doubt that she will find a way to continue to inspire and support us.

I feel incredibly privileged to have been able to walk a few steps of my career journey beside Sherry. Thank you, Sherry Chris, for your unwavering dedication, your exceptional leadership and for being a true inspiration to us all. Your impact on the industry and on those whose lives you have touched will continue to be felt for many years to come. Congratulations on your retirement!

Laurie Weston Davis, broker-owner, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Lifestyle Property Partners

Laurie Weston Davis

I met Sherry early in my career at several national events. She has always been a leader among the people. She doesn’t just sit on a stage or in her office. She engages with everyone. She is kind, down-to-earth and so knowledgeable about the industry as a whole.

She helped create the most amazing lifestyle brand from scratch that has become home for so many. If it weren’t for Sherry, I am not sure I’d be where I am today. She showed me what true leadership looks like.

She helps everyone to be better — no matter where they work. It’s that genuine spirit that shines from within her that draws us all in. This industry is better for having Sherry as a leader, mentor and friend to so many. Thank you, Sherry! I am so excited that you can just go have some fun — but we will miss you!

Sara Sutachan, senior vice president and chief strategy officer, California Association of Realtors, and co-founder of WomanUP!

Sara Sutachan

Sherry Chris has given so much of her heart and wisdom to each of us. Through the years, I’ve always looked up to Sherry — she truly exemplifies what it is to be an icon! She’s graceful, fashionable, intelligent and caring.

She taught us how to focus on our people and to care about the little things because they make all the difference. Since very early in the WomanUP! movement, I’ve gotten to know Sherry on a personal level and she gave me the best advice: Never give up. Wake up each morning and visualize the life I want to live. She said I have the power to create what I want for myself and I’m forever grateful for her guidance and support.

I’m excited for her next chapter and can’t wait to see what she has in store!

Joe Rand, chief creative officer, Howard Hanna | Rand Realty

Joe Rand

I learned so much from Sherry during our years affiliated with her at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate. Among my favorites is what I call “The Sherry.”

When we were negotiating the franchise deal with BHGRE, we had some final difficult deal terms to work through. She called a meeting with everyone and announced, with great fanfare, that she was thrilled to tell us: “I got you everything you wanted!”

That was awesome! We all breathed a sigh of relief and exchanged smiles. Well, when we went through the final terms, it became clear that we actually had not gotten everything, but, on balance, we’d gotten enough to make us happy. Her “I got you everything you wanted” preconditioned us to like the deal.

It was a tactic, beautifully executed, and I respected that. That’s “The Sherry.” A badass move!

Nikki Beauchamp, senior global real estate advisor, licensed associate real estate broker, Engel & Völkers NYC

Nikki Beauchamp | Photo credit: Engel & Völkers NYC

Sherry Chris has been a pioneer in many ways. There are so many things to be said, and many experiences to treasure. In my opinion, as the use of digital media grew in the industry, she has been an excellent model on how one can be an accessible leader, embracing and evolving with new tools and technology, showing in a digital-first manner, and it reflects her values and ideals.

She has been an inspiration, mentor and friend to so many, the infinite ripples of impact made. I feel fortunate to have crossed paths. Her grace and grit will inspire many for years to come. I can not wait to see what this next chapter brings. Enjoy your new adventures!

Joseph Magsaysay, vice president of business development, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Preferred Properties

Joseph Magsaysay

Sherry Chris will always be special to me. She’s the number one reason why I am with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate. We often talk about culture in real estate. How important it is to have a culture. Sherry is the culture! She is the best real estate leader that I have ever met and associated with. I always look up to her and ask for advice.

I will never forget when I reached out to her and told her I was bored. She immediately asked her assistant to schedule a Zoom meeting with me. I was surprised someone like Sherry Chris would want to talk to me even though my reason was “boredom.” She made me realize that I was not bored. She made me realize that I needed a new challenge. So she challenged me, and I accepted that challenge.

She is the true definition of culture, leadership and brand. She is the most humble leader in the industry. This is why I love her so dearly.

Tiffany Kjellander, broker-owner, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate PorchLight Properties

Tiffany Kjellander

I met the legendary Sherry Chris many years ago after seeing her speak at Inman Connect. Sherry was an absolute inspiration as one of the industry’s few (and the most fierce!) women in a top leadership role, but what impressed me the most was that as a CEO, Sherry was fully engaged in the industry as a whole.

She sponsored events and spoke onstage about relevant topics. She was authentic and invested her time in getting to know, grow and inspire people — no matter the company affiliation.

Unlike a lot of other high-level executives at the time, Sherry was totally accessible and approachable. She opened doors for so many of us, inviting us to have a seat at the table. The impact Sherry has had on all of us is hard to quantify; she makes the industry a better place to be. I certainly wouldn’t be where I am without her.

Sherry Chris changed my life and my business exponentially. There just aren’t quite enough words to express my gratitude, but I am eternally grateful. Thank you, Sherry, for your vision, for sharing your insight and experience and most of all — thank you for your time.

Linsey Ehle, vice president of productivity, BHGRE Gary Greene

Linsey Ehle

My earliest interactions with Sherry Chris were in the early days of Twitter, and the first time I saw Sherry speak was years ago at Inman. She was sharing the launch of the new lifestyle brand for Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate. Little did I know I would have the good fortune to work with the brand for nearly a decade.

In an industry that has been dominated by successful women, for years the ubiquitous lists of industry leaders sorely lacked that representation. However, Sherry was there. Her leadership has been an example that I have been incredibly grateful for, and I’m certain she has contributed to the change we are beginning to see today as more women take a seat at the table.

Her reassuring voice of strength during the uncertain times of COVID, her deep commitment to diversity and inclusion, and her leadership during shifting environments has left a legacy for the industry and has meant a great deal to me personally. Congratulations, Sherry!

Share your favorite stories, memories or lessons learned from Sherry Chris in the comments section below.

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