Eric Chebil of Cher® tells us how shared homeownership is now made affordable and simple.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Cher®.
Eric Chebil: I am the CEO and Founder of Cher®. As an immigrant from Canada and watching firsthand my parents from Tunisia and Ukraine make a name for themselves from nothing, I became very driven to do the same. I graduated from the University of Washington with a BS in Construction Engineering double minoring in Architecture and Finance. With over 14 Years of experience in real estate, including managing teams and billion-dollar construction projects, while working for top global general contractors, including Kiewit and Swinerton Builders, I’ve represented both homebuyers and sellers in real estate transactions. From working at Christie’s International and originating loans at Chebil Realty, I have a deep understanding of real estate. Credentials include a California Bureau of Real Estate Broker’s license, mortgage loan originator’s license, and certification of LEED AP BD+C status. I previously founded Chebil Realty, managing several Realtors in the LA area. As a renter myself and seeing how so many underserved renters will never be able to afford homeownership, I decided to create a free platform that enables co-owning homes with friends, family, or others you meet on our marketplace to own your first home with.
Do you have small habits that made a meaningful impact on your life and business?
Eric Chebil: Be coachable and apply the 70/30 rule. I aim to speak no more than 30% during a conversation and spend the other 70% listening.
How does Cher® market its product/services online?
Eric Chebil: Through organic traffic from posting regularly on social media channels and occasionally paid advertising on TikTok. We target renters who have expressed interest in homeownership or other fintech applications that improve their financial health.
“Providing superior real estate services to renters transitioning into homeownership.”
What Is Cher®?
Cher® is the first real estate digital concierge helping renters earning low to moderate-income achieve homeownership. We do this by utilizing our all-in-one software that streamlines the process of shared homeownership where buyers co-own, co-live, and share both the costs and equity in a home.
Our services provide financial literacy, hands-on support, accessibility to competitive loan products, data feeds to thousands of homes, connections to local real estate agents, educational resources, and opportunities to meet other prospective pre-qualified buyers to co-own with or sell to. Our processes save first-time homebuyers up to $5,000 in closing costs fees through our origination process and dramatically reduce co-own homes’ coordination time.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to manage your online marketing?
Eric Chebil: We utilize HubSpot and AWS as our tools to manage our CRM.
What is your hiring policy/process, and how do you retain your employees?
Eric Chebil: LinkedIn and AngelList have provided great candidates. The best way to retain employees is to have them fully understand the position, culture, and opportunities before hiring them. Other perks we provide that our employees value is company culture around “there is no wrong idea,” 100% work-from-home option, and equity opportunities.
How are you funding your growth?
Eric Chebil: Grants along with raising equity capital from strategic investors in the Fintech, Proptech, and SaaS space.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Eric Chebil: Indirect competitors include Unison and Pacaso. They are focused on vacation homes and refinancing mortgages. We plan on staying ahead by speaking with our clients regularly to ensure we continue to innovate and have a product-market fit.
Tell us a customer success story of yours.
Eric Chebil: Abigail is a mom who has been living in her car for the last 6 months. She still had a full-time job earning $3,000 per month with a 540 credit score and $2,000 saved for emergencies. As rents were being raised, she simply could not afford her rent plus other expenses. She began sleeping in her car, which she parked in the driveway of her daughter’s apartment complex. Her daughter, Jessica, earns $3,500 per month, has a 610 credit score, and has saved up $9,000 for a downpayment and closing costs for her future home. After speaking with Jessica and Abigail and educating them on the free services we provide and the ability to co-own and sell on their own terms, we were able to approve them together as co-owners for a $350,000 mortgage. Independently, they were each qualified for less than $200,000, making it very difficult for them to find a home or even find a lender willing to work with that low amount or their credit scores. They now own their first home with Cher and are happy to live together in a nice condo in Long Beach! Home prices continue to rise, and as a result, they’ve earned over 15% since they purchased their condominium, which is $52,500!
Your final thoughts?
Eric Chebil: Regardless of your credit, savings, or income, Cher® is here to help renters transition into homeownership. We specialize not only in individual homeownership but co-ownership. We’re here with you every step of the way.