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Today on Episode #4 of The Sage Executive Podcast, join our host Robb Fahrion and his guest, Chris Heller, as they talk about being an authentic leader. Chris is the Real Estate Chief Officer at OJO Labs in Austin, Texas. OJO Labs is a technology company that uses artificial and human intelligence to help people make better decisions when it comes to real estate. Robb and Chris get into the value of helping others as a leader and how practicing what you preach are one of the foundations of being a leader. Stay tuned, and enjoy the show!
A Common Theme On What Leadership Entails
Over the past episodes, we can observe that all the Sage Executives we’ve talked to touched on the rewarding sensation of being able to help others and creating an impact on their lives. It’s because it’s a constant theme that we have to value this piece of advice! If you’re a leader, it might be good to focus on providing value for your people. Even non-CEO’s can be a positive influence where they work! Be someone that helps out colleagues and try to reach out to your leaders to see what you could do for them. Life is not about taking things for yourself but helping others to make a difference in the world!
Walking the Talk
As leaders, you have to lead by example. It’s hard to get any credibility, respect, and validity without walking the talk. Be authentic to your message and do the right thing even when it is hard to do! Work with the highest level of integrity. Remember that the people you lead are your foundation – you won’t survive without them, and they also won’t make it without you. If you want to be a Sage Executive that leads, be true to your people because someone that doesn’t live by what they preach can’t be trusted. If there is no trust, the foundation is weak, leading to a collapse of the structure and framework of any relationship. With such a fragile connection with your people, can you still be called their leader?
About Chris Heller:
As Chief Real Estate Officer, Chris Heller brings deep expertise having held influential industry positions including CEO of Mellohome and former CEO of Keller Williams Realty International (KWRI). Chris earned his real estate license when he was 20 years old and built one of the most successful real estate teams in the United States. From Rookie of the Year in 1989 to becoming the top-producing agent in San Diego County and the #1 Keller Williams associate in all of North America, Heller has earned the respect of colleagues and clients for the results he delivers.
Under Heller’s leadership, the Chris Heller Real Estate Team sold more than 100 homes a year for almost three decades. Named President of KW Worldwide in 2010, Heller launched the company’s first regions outside of North America, leading Keller Williams to record productivity and profitability. His vision and leadership helped grow the company into the most dominant worldwide real estate franchise in history.
In 2015, Heller was named CEO of KWRI, leading the transformation into the technology company KW is today and continuing record growth and profitability. As CEO of mellohome, Chris set the strategy for cross-functional groups tasked with creating simpler and smarter consumer home buying, financing and improvement experiences. Under his leadership, Mellohome doubled its growth and drove significant change within the experiential and product landscape for the homeownership industry at large.
As Chief Real Estate Officer of OJO Labs, Chris is shaping partner strategies, creating a cohesive structure between real estate professionals and OJO, and accelerating adoption in the industry. Outside the office, Chris enjoys staying physically and mentally fit through daily exercise and reading, and spending time with his wife and four children.
Outline of the Episode:
- [0:30] What does Chris Heller do?
- [1:24] Helping and impacting people. It’s starting to be a common thread!
- [1:50] New business acquisition through direct consumers and partnerships.
- [3:42] Walking the walk and leading by example. Be authentic and operate with integrity!
- [5:44] The best leader Chris has ever met.
- [6:32] Reflecting on what worked well and could have been done better. Having some quiet time and exercising.
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What Business Leadership Entails Transcription
Robb Fahrion: Hello everyone, this is Robb Fahrion with another episode of the Sage Executive Podcast where top executives and business leaders share their sage advice. It is six questions in nine minutes because the wise speak in few words, we have an awesome guest for our show today. So let’s get right into it. First question in a few sentences, would you mind telling us who you are and what it is you do?
Chris Heller: I’m Chris Heller. I’m the chief real estate officer at OJO Labs here in Austin, Texas. We’re a technology company that that employs artificial and human intelligence to help consumers make better decision when it comes to real estate. I can go on a lot more but that’s the quick high level.
Robb Fahrion: Perfect, love it. Chris, what would you say is the best thing for you about being a leader in business being an executive throughout your career?
Chris Heller: Yeah, I don’t think about what’s the best thing, I guess the real answer is being a leader enables you to help and impact more people. And so there’s more people that I can make a difference for and more people that I can help bring along and elevate and make a positive impact with.
Robb Fahrion: Yeah, we feel that as a common thread as we’re starting this, this show that just the ability to have an influence over others provide a better way of living for others through employment or whatever other means that may be is is definitely a constant theme. Third question. So we hear a lot of times from executives of all level that acquiring new business and acquiring new clients and customers is a challenge. There’s so much noise nowadays, so much competition. I’m just curious what your thoughts are on new business acquisition and how Joe goes about that and what your take on that is.
Chris Heller: Yeah, I mean, it’s the lifeblood of most people. businesses, right. So that’s one of the if we look at the big challenges of any businesses, one of them is always client acquisition. The way we go around about that is is two ways. One is direct to consumers, you know, creating a consumer product that provides tremendous value to consumers. The other is through partnerships, you know, in primarily large ones at the enterprise level, to partner with companies that that are a good fit for a job where we can provide a lot of value to them and their consumers.
Robb Fahrion: Okay, what type of what type of companies are you partnering? Is it like real estate, real estate firms real estate advisory or what does that look like?
Chris Heller: Yeah, so so some of our big partners are really big which which owns several real estate brands, you know, Coldwell Banker, Century 21 era, Sotheby’s Better Homes gardens, we partner with the Royal Bank of Canada. Okay. We partner with Bankrate. Bankrate is a online aggregator of leads and an online provider of mortgage rates. And financial services for consumers.
Robb Fahrion: Okay, awesome. Great. We’re doing great on time. So fourth question, and this is where I give that advice out to our viewers the best that you possibly can but what piece of sage advice would you give to other executives and those in business that you might have taken away as the number one piece of advice over the course of your career?
Chris Heller: You know, there’s, there’s, there’s never one great piece of advice, I’ll just share a couple. Even though one of the things that’s really important is and I’d say more than important is absolutely critical. And that is just walking the talk, you know, lead by example. People it’s hard to to get the respect and you create the validity, the validity, and credibility without doing that. Otherwise, it’s just rhetoric if you’re if you’re talking to talk, not walking the walk The other things that are that are absolutely important is you know, being authentic, you know, being at all costs, being authentic, you know, operating from a from the highest level of integrity, and you know, doing the right thing, even when the right thing is hard to do.
Robb Fahrion: Great. No, I love both of those pieces. Thanks for that, Chris. Question five. So we’re obviously trying to build more content more value for our viewers, what other top executives like yourself, would you like to acknowledge as a another leader in the space or in another vertical that you think would make a great guest for our Sage executive podcast?
Chris Heller: There’s so many ones that come to mind quickly. Anthony Shea, who I had the pleasure of working with for a year and a half the CEO and Founder of Home Depot, right in a neighbor of yours. And then john Berkowitz, the co founder and CEO of OJO Labs is is arguably one of the best leaders that I’ve ever worked with or have ever met. And he would be awesome to to share, share insights with.
Robb Fahrion: All right, yeah, I might have to have you flagged my email to him then if I if I reach out because I’m sure he’s a busy guy.
Chris Heller: I will do that.
Robb Fahrion: All right. Awesome. Thanks, Chris. Okay, so final question. And this is a fun one, just to kind of inject some personality and character in here, after a win and personal win business win whatever it may be, what it is, what is it that you’d like to do to celebrate that win?
Chris Heller: I purposely sort of keep my emotions, you know, between the lines with not too many high to highs and not too lows. And that’s because with every big high, there’s always a little bit follows by versa. So, but to celebrate when it’s, yeah, some of it is just taking the time to reflect on what It worked well and what didn’t what I could have done different or better. And just having that quiet time to reflect on that. And then, you know, having this some time not to work, you know, sometimes just whether that’s in the evening, whether it’s a weekend, whatever it might be. And I’m not, I’m sure. I’m an introvert. I’m not the most social person, so I’m not going to have a big party or doing it.
Robb Fahrion: What’s the best thing you do to unplug then, or your favorite thing to do?
Chris Heller: Um, you know, I like that. Sounds so boring. I like to exercise on my bike and going for a ride, going for long walks, working out, listening to music, and audio books.
Robb Fahrion: Those are all great things. Those are all great things. Awesome. Well, hey, Chris, thank you so much for being on. We really appreciate it. How can people find you find out more about OJO just so they know where to look after viewing this podcast.
Chris Heller: Sure you can find me on our website OJO.com. You can also message me on on LinkedIn or on Facebook Messenger. It’s my email. cheller@OJOlabs.com.
Robb Fahrion: Perfect. Yeah, we’ll be sure to get that content in the write up. All right, everyone, this is Robb Fahrion once again with another episode of the sage executive podcast. For more insights into check out more episodes of the show. Check us out at FlyingVgroup.com/Podcast. Chris, thanks so much again for being a part of the show and make sure everyone to check out OJO on the internet.