Meet ERA’s New, Tech-Savvy COO

May 18, 2017

The newly tapped ERA Real Estate Chief Operating Officer Simon Chen says he loves the path his career has put him on. On his LinkedIn profile, he describes himself as “leading innovation and growth where real estate and technology collide.” And Sue Yannaccone, president and CEO of ERA, says “Chen is perfectly positioned to amplify our value proposition to ERA-affiliated brokers and agents.”

Here’s how he got here:

Chen is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, and throughout the ’90s and early 2000s he worked in roles that intersect business and technology—largely in California—with an emphasis on mergers and acquisitions. In 2002, he founded Century Pacific Group, a real estate investment and technology consulting firm, and in 2011, he joined®, becoming senior director of corporate development and strategy. Then, in 2016, Chen was named COO of Realty ONE Group in Irvine, Calif., the fifth largest independent real estate brokerage in the U.S. He has also served as a mentor for two real estate technology incubators: the National Association of REALTORS® Second Century Ventures’ REach program and Moderne Ventures.

“That has led me to this pivotal point as I join an innovative brand with the moxie and capabilities to move the needle not just for the brand but for an entire industry,” says Chen.

The move to bring Chen on board comes at a pivotal time when ERA is working on technical advancements and backend systems for its affiliates. He will oversee platforms and programs designed to enhance broker and agent productivity, build market share, and fuel business growth. This includes ERA’s Zap platform—a combination of consumer-facing websites and back-end CRM—and the brand’s training program. In an interview with REALTOR® Magazine last fall, Yannaccone, who previously served as COO before her promotion, said, “We need to be forward-thinking. I work very hard to encourage our team to be thinking about what’s next … and to be creating with an eye to the future.”

Source: ERA Real Estate

—Erica Christoffer, REALTOR® Magazine