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Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast Digital Marketing Podcast Hosted by Greg Bray and Kevin Weitzel

184 Female Mentorship in Home Building - Abby Cornelius

This week on The Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast, Abby Cornelius of Abby Cornelius Coaching joins Greg and Kevin to discuss how female mentorship can offer women in the home building industry the support, guidance, and understanding they need to be more effective leaders.

Because of the relatively small number of women leaders in the home building industry, there is an awesome opportunity to help advise and support one another. Abby says, “As a woman in the industry, there's so few of us, and those that do have the ability to rise are so busy keeping their spot and working for that next spot that they don't have a lot of time available to offer mentorship and coaching. So, I found that there was a need there. I know how valuable it was for me to have those women pouring into me and helping guide me on my career.”

Creating a circle of female mentors who provide friendship, advice, and understanding is crucial to the growth and success of women in the home building business. Abby explains “So, for me, it was growing my network outside of my organization to realize there were more women in these roles, and connecting with these women and forming these relationships and realizing that these doors are open. How can we get there? What should I say? What should I ask? What do I have to work through in my head to make that an opportunity for me? Once I tapped into that level of mentorship and coaching, that was female-specific, it was a game changer.”

It's important for women to seek direction from other women, and in the home building industry, there is no shortage of females who will be more than willing to offer their experiences and insights. Abby says, “I think it's being vulnerable, putting yourself out there into these situations, making these connections, and finding who gets you. Having coffee, having phone calls, doing Zoom calls like this, you figure out who you click with, and then utilize them. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Don't be afraid to pick up that phone call and say, hey, I'm facing this. Do you have a minute? Can I pick your brain? Because people want to help people. The heart of people is good, and the more you can create those connections.”

Listen to this week’s episode to learn more about how women can help other women be more effective in the home building industry.

About the Guest:

Abby spent 17 years in Homebuilding working for two of the TOP 5 NATIONAL HOMEBUILDERS, Ryan Homes (NVRInc. and Taylor Morrison). She has first-hand experience in sales, training, leadership and strategically growing the business.

In 2021, Abby decided to take her industry expertise and passion for training/coaching and went out on her own forming Abby Cornelius Coaching. She is dedicating this next chapter in her career to helping women rise in homebuilding. She coaches women leaders in homebuilding who are buried in the day-to-day, build a new set of skills and implement strategies to maximize their time, develop a more self-reliant team so that they can increase their impact and results.

In addition to providing one-on-one coaching, she hosts a weekly podcast, Rise and Shine, which is dedicated to helping "home girls" rise professionally and shine personally.


Greg Bray: [00:00:00] Hello everybody, and welcome to today's episode of The Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast. I'm Greg Bray with Blue Tangerine.

Kevin Weitzel: And I'm Kevin Weitzel with Zonda Livabl.

Greg Bray: And we are excited today to have joining us on the show Abby Cornelius. Abby is the owner of Abby Cornelius Coaching. Welcome, Abby. Thanks for joining us today.

Abby Cornelius: Thank you. Happy to be here.

Greg Bray: Well, let's start out and just help us get to know you a little bit and tell us a little bit about yourself.

Abby Cornelius: Sure. So, I am the owner of Abby Cornelius Coaching. I've been doing this for a year and a half, but [00:01:00] before that I had a 17-year career in home building. And I decided to take my passion for helping others and training and development and go out on my own. In addition to running this business, I am a mama of two little girls. I've got an eight and a six-year-old and I'm married to my college sweetheart, which is very rare, but we are still together 20 years and growing.

Kevin Weitzel: Now, is it a Midwest school? Where was this school? Because I have a theory on marriages that when they meet in college.

Abby Cornelius: No, not Midwest. Northeast, which is probably not typical.

Kevin Weitzel: All right. Please, before we get started and diving into the world of Abby Cornelius Coaching, please tell us something personal about you, no business, no family, or no kids related, something personal about you that people will learn on our podcast.

Abby Cornelius: Oh, something just about me. No business or kids. Oh, kids is my go-to, Kevin.

Kevin Weitzel: Yeah. I know. I knew it.

Abby Cornelius: Okay. Okay, just me. I am oddly creative and logical, [00:02:00] and this creates a dichotomy within me very, very frequently. I have an overly creative mother and a very logical father, and therefore, I am the by-product of this. So, I am constantly balancing, I want to create something and do something. I want to sew. I want to paint. I want to have all this fun artsy stuff to then like, ooh, but I really like a spreadsheet. So, kind of odd. I don't think you see that a lot in people. So, that's probably a unique Abby trait that loves painting as much as Excel. It's not common.

Greg Bray: All right. Well, Abby, before we talk about your new venture, tell us just a little more about your journey into home building and how you kind of decided to be part of this industry.

Abby Cornelius: Yeah. So, I was in college and my cousin was working for a home builder, and this was like 2005, so the market was really hot, and she was totally loving it, enjoying it entirely. And she said, my company actually takes interns in the summer. [00:03:00] And so I started with a summer internship for Ryan Homes. Started there, it was an amazing program back then. They would have interns company-wide. They'd fly us all to the corporate office. It was a really big experience.

You got to do a little stint in sales, a little stint with construction. You got to spend some time in the office. And so, that summer I got a little taste of what the industry was like, but I had to quit my job to take that internship. And so, when summer was over, I asked if it was possible if I could stay on because I was paying my way through college. They were like, we don't normally do that. We only take full-time employees. And I was like, I'll do it full-time employee, full-time student.

And I worked for Ryan Homes for my last year and a half of school as a sales coordinator. So, I worked in the models. I helped make brochures, back when paper was king and all those years ago. Stocked fridges and did tours and all of that and just really fell in love with the process of seeing communities come to life. Also, being face-to-face with customers [00:04:00] and that interaction, it was really fulfilling. And I was going to school for finance. So, here's my logical side. I got my degree in finance.

And so, my choices were go sit in a beautiful model home and make six figures and have fun with people, or go sit in an office and make like 45 grand until you get a name for yourself as a financial analyst. And so, I decided to go into new home sales. And that's kind of where it started, and it just grew and grew and grew. I don't know how much of the detail you want, until at the end of my career, I was a general manager of land acquisition on a path to be a division president.

Greg Bray: So, then tell us just a little bit about your coaching company right now, and then we'll kind of try to connect those up. But tell us a little more about what you're doing today.

Abby Cornelius: Yeah. So, as a coach, I focus strictly to do one-on-one coaching with women in home building. That's where my heart and my passion are. As a woman in the industry, there's so few of us and those that do have the ability to rise are so busy keeping their spot and working for that next spot that they don't have a lot of time available to offer mentorship and [00:05:00] coaching. So, I found that there was a need there. I know how valuable it was for me to have those women pouring into me and helping guide me on my career.

In my corporate role, I was a regional trainer for three and a half years. So, I have training experience. I'm very passionate about that. So, marrying those two things that I really care about, and I see an opportunity for is why I decided to go out and form coaching. But exclusively focused on that one-to-one interaction, which I think is so valuable in the market today.

Greg Bray: So, I noticed on your website, when we were kind of preparing a little bit, you had this phrase that really jumped out at me because you're talking about why you wanted to get into this coaching. And you said something to the effect that corporate training or traditional corporate training wasn't giving you what you needed.

Abby Cornelius: Yes.

Greg Bray: What was it that you needed that was missing? What was kind of that aha moment that said, gosh, this just isn't getting the job done for me?

Abby Cornelius: There was two main things that I think corporate training misses the mark on and still does to some degree, depending on the [00:06:00] organization and so on. But for me, corporate training, you become a leader and they send you to this like week away, or you watch these virtual videos and it's all great information, but you haven't experienced any of it yet. So, when you get out into the field and you get your first employee interaction where you need to do a performance improvement plan, you're not remembering that training session that HR gave you six months ago, a year ago. You need somebody right then to help you figure out what's my next step.

Some of the training is so generalized. It's not industry-specific, so you're comparing apples and oranges. I know I sat through a negotiation training and we were negotiating like car parts or something, and it's like, we're doing land people. Can we have a land negotiation seminar? Like, that would be helpful. So, there's that disconnect of like real life and practicality versus theory.

And so, although I think those sessions are good and I think they're important, I think they plant a seed. But what corporate training lacks is that real-time coaching and development and feedback cycle that you need when the problems come up. So, that's kind of where I feel like there's an [00:07:00] opportunity to add that extra level to get true performance improvement.

Greg Bray: So, you mentioned that you specialize in working with women. Is there something about women in home building that is, I don't know, holding them back that you're trying to address, or is there some other kind of reason that you decided to focus in that direction?

Abby Cornelius: Yeah. No, I think that there is stuff that holds women back in home building. I'll be the first to admit a lot of it was self-imposed, a lot of my mindset and my limiting beliefs. Also, not seeing women in the roles. Representation matters. You hear this all the time, but when you don't see women in that next role, you then limit what you see as your potential and your opportunity.

So, for me, it was growing my network outside of my organization to realize there were more women in these roles, and connecting with these women and forming these relationships, and realizing that these doors are open. How can we get there? What should I say? What should I ask? What do I have to work through in my head to make that an opportunity for me? Once I tapped into [00:08:00] that level of mentorship and coaching, that was female-specific, it was a game changer. I had plenty of male mentors in my career and we would sit down and have tons of conversations, but I'd leave half the time being like, nope, never going to do that. Nope. Didn't resonate. Nope. Doesn't make sense for me because we were wired differently in some regards, right?

So, for me to have that woman who's like, oh, yeah, I know what that's like. You know, when you're going to have a kid do this and make sure you're asking for this at your appraisal, and this is how you need to be prepared to handle that pitch and, you know, how to hold yourself in a meeting. We play a different game. I hate to say that, but we do. We play a different game and therefore I needed a new set of skills.

Greg Bray: How did you go about then finding someone that you could turn to, you know, when you were trying to get these skills and looking around? You said, all right, I'm not resonating with some of the advice or guidance. So, where do you go to find that? Or is it just like, gosh, maybe it's me? You know, I don't resonate with this. What am I missing? Or is it the person giving you the advice? How do you navigate where that [00:09:00] line is?

Abby Cornelius: Yeah. I think, first of all, trust your gut. We know ourselves better than anybody. My dad used to say this when I was in school. He would say, if you get reprimanded by a teacher or a coach, take what's for you and leave everything else. The coach might go off about 400 things, but maybe I needed one of those lessons. I didn't need the other 399. And so when I walk out of those meetings with leaders and mentors in the industry, it would say, hey, what in that was for me and what wasn't? And then trust your gut and what didn't resonate with you and where you might need to go.

For me, it was twofold. I did a lot of work and still do in personal development. I love reading books. I love listening to podcasts. I just love filling my mind with positive things so that I stay focused, and then you can learn from other people's experiences through that too. But really, I just started networking. So, going to seminars. One of the biggest things that opened up doors for me was attending Jeff Shores 4:2 Formula Academy. I was a trainer at the time. I wanted to learn more about how to be a better trainer, about what great sales training content looked like.

I hopped into one of their meetings, introduced myself and Amy O'Connor became a mentor of mine. [00:10:00] She's phenomenal. She was always an email or a phone call, and still is, away for me if I had questions about my career and where should I go. I think it's being vulnerable, putting yourself out there into these situations, making these connections, and finding who gets you.

Having coffee, having phone calls, doing Zoom calls like this, you figure out who you click with, and then utilize them. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Don't be afraid to pick up that phone call and say, hey, I'm facing this. Do you have a minute, can I pick your brain? Because people want to help people. The heart of people is good, and the more you can create those connections, that's how my network started to grow.

Kevin Weitzel: All right. This is going to be a very long drawn-out question because I have to have a predication on this question. I want to set the stage. One, I am the son of a single-mother household. I'm a firm believer in women's equal pay and women's right to choose, the whole gamut. I'm in that club, I'm there. But, I do have a fundamental issue, and I'm only asking this question because I [00:11:00] hear it all the time. And as a guy, and as a son of a single mother that struggled, you know, through life, I have a hard time with some of the comments that are made sometimes in our industry, that women don't have representation in our industry.

On the sales and marketing side, it is predominantly women. Whereas on the other side of the fence that was addressed with like The House That She Built movement, it is the trades where women aren't really necessarily represented in even barely paltry numbers. So, when you say that women need special coaching within the home building industry, how is it that you're defining that based on the sales and marketing side?

Abby Cornelius: Yeah, I'll clarify. Women leaders. When I was a sales and marketing representative, all day, this is a great world, Abby's wonderful, got my girls, got my fun, whatever.

Kevin Weitzel: I gotcha.

Abby Cornelius: But when I became a leader, whoa, game changer. Oftentimes, I was one of few, if any, on calls. One of few, if any, in meetings. That's when [00:12:00] the dynamic really shifted for me because I knew how to be persuasive and lead up with my sales manager, male or female because I was an expert in that. But now I'm putting in this situation where it's not all salespeople, it's not all my safety net. Nobody else has to go pump because they're breastfeeding, nobody else has to leave early because their kid's sick. Not that that doesn't happen for men too, but you know what I mean.

It was just a whole different set of obstacles that I had to get over feeling like I couldn't ask for what I needed, or I couldn't self-advocate because I didn't have somebody else showing me what that looked like. I never had a boss who had a baby. I didn't know what maternity leave was going to look like. I never had a boss that did this big transition move into management to coach and guide me through that, that had my unique experience.

Greg Bray: Hey everybody, this is Greg from Blue Tangerine and I just wanted to take a quick break to make sure you know about the upcoming Home Builder Digital Marketing Summit that Blue Tangerine is hosting together with OutHouse, October 18th and 19th in Denver, Colorado.

This is gonna be an amazing event full of digital marketing insights, knowledge, best practices, and most importantly, some fun. So, be sure that you get registered today and come hang out with us, an amazing team of speakers and presenters that are gonna be together. Again, that's October 18th and 19th in Denver, and you can learn more and get registered at buildermarketingsummit.com. We'll see you there.

Kevin Weitzel: [00:13:00] So, on a personal level, and obviously we don't want to name names on this, but did you ever find one of these two conditions? Did you ever find that you were dismissed by those male leaders because you were a female, or two, you were pushed aside for other males to take those leadership positions even though you were equally or better qualified?

Abby Cornelius: One hundred percent.

Kevin Weitzel: Personally.

Abby Cornelius: I'll share an example without naming names. So, after I had my first daughter, I was looking for a relocation. I interviewed for a promotion, [00:14:00] which I was more than qualified for. And I had been told by a lovely mentor to always ask, what concerns do you have about me in this role, as part of your interviewing. It's a great interview question. There's a tip for everybody. I asked that question, and the response was, we have concerns about you being a young mother and how that's going to impact you in this role.

Kevin Weitzel: Wow.

Abby Cornelius: My heart's beating right now just thinking of it. I did not handle it well. Abby today would say something very different than Abby then. I built my life around the opportunity to succeed in a male-dominated industry. My husband was a stay-at-home husband for eight years because I felt like I need that rebuttal of that's not an issue of my husband's a stay-at-home husband, just like you have your wife that stays home. I should have never had to say that. Nobody's asking a new dad if he's coming back to work. Nobody's asking a new dad if he's suitable for promotion because he's got a baby at home.

Even when I was pregnant, I got, are you coming back? Are you coming back? What are your plans? What are your childcare plans? We should not be doing this. This is like HR violations. But this happens [00:15:00] out of fear, out of past experiences and maybe women choosing not to return to work, which is their choice. But we don't project that onto the next person, right? We don't make somebody feel uncomfortable or defensive or that they have to build this life a certain way. If I want to rise, then this is the path we have to take.

Greg Bray: So, are these yesterday's challenges, or are they still alive and well?

Kevin Weitzel: Great follow-up, Greg. Great follow-up. Because I was coming there too.

Abby Cornelius: I would love to say that they are yesterday's challenges, but they aren't. And I don't want to say this is everybody, I'm not a global person. I don't think this is happening everywhere at every organization. I don't think every male boss has a preconceived notion and concerns, but I think there's still not a full awareness of the impact of that type of statement. I don't think there's a full awareness of bias that goes into decision-making when it comes to career planning, so on and so forth, woman versus male.

You know, I watched the documentary that talks [00:16:00] about the things that go on behind this wage gap between men and women. And, you know, just because a woman has a kid doesn't mean she wants to stop working, and that plays a part. But even beyond that, it's almost like this feeling of having to hide this part of our life that we love so dearly because it's not openly accepted or appreciated in some instances to have kids as a distraction, quote unquote.

Kevin Weitzel: You know, Greg, I still have a 59-cent button from a women's rights march that I went on with my mother as a kid in the seventies when women were only making 59 cents to the dollar of their male counterparts.

Abby Cornelius: We're doing better. What are we at? Eighty-something, I think, in the U.S.?

Kevin Weitzel: Eighty-something cents, yeah.

Abby Cornelius: Eighty-something, yeah. We're doing better.

Kevin Weitzel: There's some jobs where it's very equal because it's based off of the commission or it's based off of the performance and output. You can wash it out because that truly is based off of that. But yeah, there are some roles where the good old boys network still pays them more than women.

Abby Cornelius: You [00:17:00] know, people at work, talk about their money. They're not supposed to, but they do. I have frequently heard that I was underpaid, even for better tenure. I mean, just you hear it. What can you do about it? You're not really supposed to know. Right? Because you're not supposed to talk about your pay, but I 100% feel it still exists. If not in the degree that it used to be, right? Like, my mom always says, she wanted to get into real estate when she was young, but she couldn't. Women weren't allowed in real estate. It was, you know, yes, you could be the receptionist, you could answer the phones, but that was like it.

So, we've come a long way for sure, but there's still a lot of mindset stuff for women too, that we need to work on. I take ownership of that and I should have advocated for myself. I should have rebuttled differently. I should have been more prepared to ask for what I needed and to feel bold in doing that. Because what you're not advocating for the change won't come. You're just perpetuating the continuation of those kind of questions being asked.

Greg Bray: Well, Abby, if there is someone facing some of those situations [00:18:00] today and is looking for some guidance and advice, what would Coach Abby kind of suggest to them if they're dealing with some of those situations right now?

Abby Cornelius: Yeah. I would just really encourage you to find your voice and to eloquently and respectfully find a way to communicate what you need and how you feel when things are said to you. Later in my career, a male mentor said something, and it didn't sit well with me. But I, the next day, turned around and went back and said, hey, you said this. I don't think this was your intention, but I want you to know how I took it. And he was blown away. Absolutely not my intention. Holy cow, so glad you said something.

And so, I think we need to go into those uncomfortable conversations more and be bold to share our interpretation of stuff. Because just like in the sales process, we say one thing, a customer hears something different. We need to clarify. That's what we need to do when we're at the work situation too, where maybe we feel a little off put with this [00:19:00] male versus female dynamic in the workplace.

Kevin Weitzel: So, note to self, don't break somebody's kneecaps and then threaten to give them concrete boots if they ever do it again. Go more for the communicative pathway.

Abby Cornelius: Yeah. Yeah. I think there's a better way to handle that.

Kevin Weitzel: I got you. Okay.

Abby Cornelius: Better way. Better way to handle that.

Greg Bray: I think there's still a lot of wisdom in what you just said there because so often we go straight to angry in today's world, and we get offended. I have offended people unintentionally and never even realized the potential other side of that coin until it was showed to me. Because I just have my experiences and the things that I'm aware of, and I don't see it necessarily from somebody else's view. Like you said, when you open somebody's eyes, they go, oh my goodness, never crossed my mind that it could come across that way. I'm not saying that there aren't jerks out there. Okay. There's plenty, there's plenty of those too, but.

Abby Cornelius: I mean, yeah, a lot of it's just lack of awareness, right?

Greg Bray: We just have to give somebody a chance to actually [00:20:00] prove they're a jerk first, I guess, right, without just assuming on day one. So, Abby, as you work with some of the women that you talk with and coach, what are some of the commonalities you see? You mentioned early on that some of it was your own mindset getting in the way. What are some of these commonalities of beliefs or self-inhibiting behaviors or things that kind of tend to slow people down in the growth that they're looking for?

Abby Cornelius: I think for women specifically, there's a couple of things. One of them is we don't self-promote. Women have this tendency to be meek. We're kind of trained as little girls to be nice and kind and play nice in the sandbox, and anything that comes across as self-promoting feels arrogant or whatever. So, we try to avoid it.

I highly encourage the women that I coach to find your voice in terms of self-promoting and get comfortable giving yourself a kudos when a kudos is due. It's not about being arrogant and going into the [00:21:00] office and being like, Oh yeah, did you see what I did? Hah, I'm the best. It's more like when you're in that appraisal with your boss, being like, hey, here's three things that I'm really proud of that happened this last quarter that I don't think you got to see and I want to share that with you. So, finding that way to self-promote is something that women need to balance.

And I learned that lesson the hard way because when somebody got promoted, Kevin, to your question earlier, somebody got promoted that I perceived as a male play ahead of me. And when I asked about it, the response was, we owed it to him.

Kevin Weitzel: Oh. Oh.

Abby Cornelius: And I was angry, understandably, but then the more I started doing this research and digging in, it's like, you know what? Good for him. He utilized the value that he added. He sold what he was bringing to the table, and I didn't. I was wishing and hoping that somebody was noticing my hard work. I think that's where women get trapped a lot in roles where they're not seeing that promotion, they're not [00:22:00] seeing that growth because they're not willing to self-advocate and self-promote. So, that's probably one of the biggest things.

Kevin Weitzel: So, on that same notes about not self-promoting. This is purely from an anecdotal and an empirical personal experience that I see. I have a lot of female friends. Obviously, I sell a lot to women in the sales and marketing roles that they're in because they tend to be the decision-makers in those situations. But I have a lot of female friends really is what it comes down to.

I see something behind the curtain, if you will, where women will, in their groups, you know, self-empowerment and help uplift each other, but they tend to stab each other a lot as well. They tend to almost use their high heels to step on each other to get their position in life. Have you seen that in your world?

Abby Cornelius: I've been very fortunate where I have not come across but one not-so-kind lady in my career. No, I've been really lucky with that. But I do think there's something in that, especially when it comes to a [00:23:00] career world. When we feel like there's a lack of opportunity, it's easy to have that crab pot effect. Have you guys heard of the crab pot where the crabs are trying to get out and somebody's always grabbing them down, grabbing them down? So, if you see another woman on the rise, it can be easy to try to pull her down, or to belittle her, or to backstab because you feel like only so many women are going to get there.

But I've been very fortunate, but I've also been very intentional to surround myself with very supportive women. And I come from a mindset of not scarcity. There's ample, right? There's more than enough to go around. So, thankfully, I haven't seen that, but sure that happens. And I do see that from women that I coach from time to time. They'll say, I think this lady's out to get me. But I try to remind them that it's probably that person's insecurity manifesting in this behavior. It has nothing to do with you.

Kevin Weitzel: Well, I was at The Nationals of all things, and there was a group of ladies at a table that were all like high-fiving each other. And then when one of the gals won, you wouldn't believe some of the sailor mouth [00:24:00] expletives that came out of those ladies' mouths saying, she didn't deserve that, she didn't need it. It's like, whoa, you were just telling her that she's awesome and amazing. It just blew my mind. That was the first time seeing it in that kind of a public setting.

Abby Cornelius: Yeah, I don't love that. Ladies, we can do better. You know, if somebody else's success doesn't excite you and make you think, hey, I can get that too, then we're doing it wrong.

Greg Bray: So, Abby, for those who are listening today, who are already in kind of a leadership role, and again, primarily, we've got sales and marketing folks listening in, how can they be more aware of, so to speak, the rising generation underneath them and showing them some of these skills and figuring out how to be mentors themselves? What are some thoughts you have there?

Abby Cornelius: Yeah, a couple of tips. I say this a lot. We need more leaders, less managers. Not that we don't need managers, and I don't know who says this so we'll have to find the quote to give them credit. But managers make sure we're doing things right. Leaders make sure we're doing the right things. In home building, we have a lot of [00:25:00] managers that want to make sure we're doing things right.

In my career, we went from no computers to like, everything's got a tracker for that. There is a tracker or Big Brother is watching you and your CRM. Like, somebody is watching everything you're doing. So, we're trying to make sure people are doing things right. But we need leaders to rise up and make sure that people are doing the right things, and that comes through more coaching.

And I think that we really need to elevate the amount of time that we spend with our team members in coaching conversations. And when I say coaching conversations, I mean, following that learning cycle of tell, show, do, review. It's not just popping in and saying, hey, you're behind on your calls. I want to see an improvement in that conversion next month, right? It's, hey, talk to me about what are your calls sound like. What's going on? What kind of feedback are you getting? Why don't we role-play it for a little bit? And then me being willing to role play it as well and pretending I'm the sales professional, and then asking them to perform it and then giving feedback. Or sitting through calls or creating it to be a [00:26:00] normal place of feedback.

When I started in this industry, we were feedback-heavy and I loved it. Just like kids like to know where they stand and they like to know the rules, I think people in general do like to know where they stand. And I think if we're sitting alongside and we're giving more feedback, and it doesn't have to be all day, every day, nobody wants their boss in their office all day. I get that. But some dedicated time to skill development that includes this cycle of tell, show, do, review is how you're going to support your team. And then you're going to teach them how to be a better leader by doing that. So, you're going to lead by example. So, I think that's huge.

And also including people in what do you want next? What are you looking for? I mean, that normally only happened to me once a year at appraisal time. Well, life happens. Job situations change, family dynamics change, health stuff comes up, kids’ stuff comes up. What I said I wanted last year on my appraisal may not be true today, six months later. So, having those conversations with people to make sure you're helping support them on their personal path, not the path you want for them, I think is a huge way we can help support that next generation too.[00:27:00]

Greg Bray: I struggle as a business owner and manager to give enough feedback. I know people want it. It's just you get busy always fighting for that. And that's always been a challenge for me. But you're right. Once a year is just not enough. People should never be surprised at an annual performance review. If they're surprised, then you haven't been talking enough. I do believe that. But again, not one who has mastered that skill yet by any means.

Well, Abby, this has been a great conversation. It's a little bit of a different topic than what we talk about a lot. But I think again, given the folks who are listening, I think they get a lot of value out of it. As we kind of wrap up, do you have any last thoughts or advice that you wanted to get out there while you had a second?

Abby Cornelius: I would just encourage everybody to be your best advocate. If there's something that you're curious about, explore it. If there's something you want to do, go for it. If you're feeling like you're hitting a wall, maybe create a new path. Turn around, see what's behind you, and do not be afraid to ask for help. If I've learned anything about this industry, it [00:28:00] is full of highly supportive and encouraging people. Use LinkedIn if you need to, because everybody's on LinkedIn right now. Connect with people, ask for help. There are resources out there. You should not have to struggle through any scenario on your own. I think that's made the whole difference for me. And that's what I encourage other people to do as well.

Greg Bray: One of the things that I have learned the most in the several years Kevin and I have been doing this podcast is how willing people are to share, especially in this particular industry. There's no fear of, oh, that's my secret sauce, that's my secret marketing campaign, or whatever I'm not going to tell you about it. People are just so willing to share in this industry, and I don't think that's necessarily true everywhere. So, yeah. Reach out and get some help. Well, Abby, if somebody wants to reach out to you and connect with you, what's the best way for them to get in touch?

Abby Cornelius: Yeah. You can go to my website, abbycornelius.com. Or find me on LinkedIn. Same thing, Abby Cornelius. Happy to help answer any questions that you guys have. Just reach out. I'm only a phone call away or a Zoom [00:29:00] away. Love doing Zoom calls.

Greg Bray: Well, thank you again for being with us, and thank you everybody for listening today to The Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast. I'm Greg Bray with Blue Tangerine.

Kevin Weitzel: And I'm Kevin Weitzel with Zonda Livabl. Thank you.

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