In her first six months as Anywhere Real Estate’s Chief Operating Officer, Melissa McSherry has already made an impact. We spoke with her about her vision for making real estate as simple as Uber or Airbnb.
Melissa McSherry hasn’t had the traditional rise-through-the-ranks in real estate. Instead, Anywhere Real Estate’s Chief Operating Officer spent the bulk of her career in finance, with high-profile turns at brands including Capital One and Visa.
But making the transition has been remarkably smooth. Why? As she says in this profile from Inman, both real estate and financial services are relationship-driven industries that leverage technology to help consumers reach their goals.
Melissa was also recently quoted in this in-depth Rismedia feature on Anywhere, where she talks about meeting the next generation of homebuyers in a digital context.
We recently spoke with Melissa about simplification through automation, how to help consumers enjoy home ownership, and delivering a “push button simple” transaction experience, similar to Uber or Airbnb.
Welcome Melissa! Now that you are almost 6 months into your role as the Chief Operating Office of Anywhere Real Estate, what are some of your biggest surprises and insights?
Let me start by saying I am even more excited today than I was on the first day I joined. I have been reassured to see the shared sense across so many people that we MUST improve the experience for buyers and sellers while addressing some of the economic challenges that many brokers are facing. The fact that there is a broad understanding that we need to lean into change is great – now we need to equip our brokers and agents and consumers with the tools to do that successfully.
You saw the Financial Services industry go through a major digital transformation. How will your experiences in that sector inform the technological changes needed in real estate?
How long have you got? Seriously, I think there are a bunch of learnings there. One is pretty basic, which is a lot of value can be created by taking the things that should be done by computers, because you can specify clearly what is supposed to happen and automate that work. It makes the experience faster, higher quality, and less expensive. A second is that consumers aren’t taking into account all our industry-specific challenges and barriers when they judge an experience – their standard for banking transactions was they wanted it to be as easy as search. Finally, “better” wins, and those who can let go of perceived constraints on how things have always been done have a real advantage over those who stay anchored in those constraints.
How do you believe the Anywhere technology stack and strategy will add new value for our affiliates and prospective affiliates?
Affiliates, like consumers, also want simplicity in the transactions to win more deals and increase productivity. Our technology helps them navigate the complexities of the transaction so their consumers can focus on the joys of home ownership. This is the primary focus of our current tech stack and the company’s strategy moving forward.
How will Anywhere’s focus on the consumers continue to enable our affiliated brokers & agents?
Anywhere wants to deliver a push-button simple transaction for consumers akin to the simplicity of ride sharing and/or vacation home booking, or increasingly, car buying experiences. In doing so, we also understand consumer priorities, which according to research is to keep agents central to the transaction as a trusted advisor. Our strengthened focus on consumers and using technology to remove barriers empowers agents and brokers to focus on being the trusted advisor their clients need.
Why do you think this is the best time to join one of the Anywhere family of brands?
We’re witnessing an unprecedented real estate market, and there’s lots of room for it to grow as demand for housing is still significantly greater than the current supply. Unlike some of our competitors that are focused on cutting out the agent or broker, Anywhere is creating products, training, support, and technology to strengthen the broker and agent’s value and effectiveness buying and selling homes.