For the Team. From the Heart.
Shari Chase is widely recognized as one of the most influential people in real estate. But she’d rather talk about others.
Chase, the president and CEO of Lake Tahoe-based Chase International Real Estate, grew up in British Columbia, where she played for a basketball team that won six regional titles and two Canadian championships.
“The greatest thing is the team spirit and bonding, being able to accomplish so much more as a team than you can as an individual,” says Chase. “It was fun playing basketball, but there are lessons you take from it that you begin to recognize as you go through life.
“As we’ve grown our company, it’s a team. I wouldn’t be where I am now without the team that’s supported me over the years.”
Chase oversees nine offices, including one in London, with a staff of 250 sales associates and professionals. After moving to Lake Tahoe and settling on a career in real estate, her plan was to find and acquire properties around the globe for wealthy families worldwide. She redirected her focus to her adopted hometown when a number of clients expressed interest in properties there.
Her accomplishments over a 25-year career include the then-record $50 million sale of the Thunderbird Lodge in 1998 and she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate in 2009. The key to success is what she calls “heart-centered real estate” and empowering those around her.
“I learned through sports you can do anything if you’re focused, which is the core of our philosophy, to unlock people’s potential without obstacles,” says Chase. “Doing this from your heart rather than your brain is a rewarding experience. When you do that, people sense authenticity. It creates a beautiful union. All things come together in a glorious way.”
Doing it the Wright Way
Jim Schiefelbein’s avant-garde philosophy is akin to that of his inspiration, Frank Lloyd Wright.
Growing up in Wisconsin, Jim Schiefelbein felt a connection to Frank Lloyd Wright and even considered a career in architecture. “I was attracted to it visually, but when I discovered there was a lot of math to be done, that’s where it sort of fell flat,” he says with a laugh.
Instead, Schiefelbein followed his talent to write. It led to an award-winning career in real estate marketing in Chicago, where his interest in Wright found a home. Since 2010, Schiefelbein has served as chairman of the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust’s Board of Directors. The organization’s mission is to promote Wright’s legacy and maintain historic sites and collections, including Robie House and Wright’s Oak Park home and studio. Wright designed 125 structures from the Chicago suburb during the first 20 years of his career.
“The Chicagoland area is home to the largest number of Wright-built residential structures anywhere,” says Schiefelbein, who for 16 years has been the VP and chief marketing officer for Baird & Warner Real Estate. “Wright had long been of interest to me. I’ve always been drawn to his work and his iconoclastic nature.”
Schiefelbein, who attended Frank Lloyd Wright Junior High in West Allis, Wis., not far from Madison, where Wright spent his adolescence, designed the Chicago area’s first real estate website in 1995 and has earned numerous honors over the years. Although he chose a career path other than architecture, Schiefelbein remains influenced by Wright.
“Wright’s design philosophy and philosophy for life was to live outside the box,” says Schiefelbein. “That attracted me to him. A lot of my experience has come from being plunged into the deep end of the pool. I’ve been fortunate to work for companies that let me try new things.
“I, like Frank Lloyd Wright, refuse to believe there even is a box.”