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49 Defining Principles for Customer Experience - Alaina Money-Garman

Defining Principles for Customer Experience - Alaina Money-Garman

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Production by:  KT Maschler and Josh Williamson

Editing by: KT Maschler 

Join Alaina Money-Garman from Garman Homes on this week’s episode of the Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast. Greg, Kevin, and Alaina discuss how defining your core business principles will boost customer experience, as well as the impact of women and BIPOC in home building. 

Alaina is the founder and CEO of Garman Homes, she managed both the sales and construction teams before ultimately serving as Division President until 2017. She is also known for her award-winning blog, Build Like a Girl, and her passion for the role of women and BIPOC in homebuilding, acknowledged by being the first female recipient of the award by the Home Builders Association of Raleigh-Wake. She is on the Board of the HBA of Raleigh-Wake and also serves as Education Committee co-chair and an NAHB National Delegate, and has been featured in Forbes, USA Today, NC Business, Professional Builder, and on the cover of Building Women Magazine. Alaina is a full member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and Chair for the Residential Neighborhood Development Council - Blue Flight.  

Show Notes

Guest Links:

References:


We have a favor to ask; if you enjoy the podcast, please take a minute to rate it on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you listen to the show. A quick rating and short review help others discover the podcast.

Production by:  KT Maschler and Josh Williamson

Editing by: KT Maschler 

Transcript

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

Kevin Weitzel: and I'm Kevin Weitzel with Outhouse.

Greg Bray: We are excited today to welcome to the show, Alaina Money-Garman, the founder and CEO of Garman Homes. Welcome Alaina, thanks for joining us.

Alaina Money Garman: Thanks for having me happy to be here.

Greg Bray: We really appreciate it. For those who haven't had a chance to to meet you yet, kind of give us that quick introduction. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Alaina Money Garman: Sure. I am owner of a beautiful [00:01:00] little home building company in North Carolina, my husband and I own together, Garman Homes.

We build about 150 homes a year. We sold 200 last year. We're growing. We started in 2007, which as you know, it was perfect timing for starting a home building company in preparation for 2008, when the world got weird the first time. We offer a really intense, personal experience to our home buyers, but we build on production.

So a lot of us came, Jim and I both, from home builder professional backgrounds, large national companies, and we wanted to take all the good from those experiences and layer, an intensely personal customer experience on top of that. We built the whole company through referrals till just about last year.

Kevin Weitzel: That's the business Alaina. What's the personal Alaina. Give me one factoid about you that nobody on this podcast knows on this.

[00:02:00] Something that like do you juggle? Do you shoot bow and arrows in the backyard?

 I don't know.

Alaina Money Garman: Something, a lot of people don't know, some people do, I'm a super nerd, like for my 42nd birthday, my husband took me to Harry Potter world and I cried. I was so happy. When I'm depressed, when I get a case of the Sunday nights, I watch Harry Potter movies until I'm better.

Greg Bray: I enjoyed Harry Potter world. I mean, we came home and were looking at the receipts that how much butterbeer did we get?

I mean, there's the frozen one, there's the frost, there's like five different kinds. Oh my goodness.

 There's even ice cream right now, I guess. So that's good stuff. I can understand the emotion.

Alaina Money Garman: I also can roller skate really well.

Kevin Weitzel: Backwards and forwards, the whole works? Can you do hockey stops?

Alaina Money Garman: No, I can do like really pretty turns [00:03:00] though. Hmm.

Greg Bray: All right. What I do looks like a jump, but it's not it's it's more of just a free fall. Yeah. There you go.

Kevin Weitzel: So out of curiosity, you said that both your husband and you both came from a professional home builders, is it okay to ask what companies you were with originally?

Alaina Money Garman: Yeah, I started on site for DR Horton.

Kevin Weitzel: Oh, okay. So it's just a small

builder, you know.

Alaina Money Garman: Small and little known. Then I worked for CalAtlantic when it was StanPac and then eventually became One-Arm so yeah, tiny little boutique shops.

Greg Bray: Well, what got you interested in home building in the first place?

Why did you decide to start working with them?

Alaina Money Garman: So, this is an interesting story. my degrees in my background are in healthcare. I have a pre-med degree and I have a master's in healthcare administration. So naturally it became a home builder. But I went into healthcare consulting and cried every day [00:04:00] to, and from work.

Hated it.

Greg Bray: That was a different kind of cry from the Harry Potter cry, just clarify. Okay.

Alaina Money Garman: Yeah. Then I quit when I was seven months pregnant with my first child. That's super good time to be unemployed. and I had a mountain of debt from all that school, and I kind of went on this a couple months, trip of finding people who loved what they did.

 I wanted to have a job that I loved. I wanted to love what I did. So it didn't feel like work every day. I found the first person to answer me in the affirmative when I asked, Do you love your job with someone who worked on site for DR Horton, so I thought I can do that. So I did and I loved it.

It was really fun and I could make enough money to pay back all that debt. I had a flexible enough schedule that I could be with my daughter two days during the week and work on weekends when my husband could be with her. So it was a nice balance of parenting as well.

Greg Bray: So how do you go from kind of that new home sales? I'm assuming you're [00:05:00] more on the sales side to actually wanting to kind of run the show and be a builder yourself.

Alaina Money-Garman: I worked for great women and great sales leaders at both of those companies. And when I was ready to move on in my career, I wanted to become a sales manager. That was the next logical step.

My second daughter was pretty young and I had entertained maybe interviewing, when I was with StanPac, but I knew it would be like a tremendous sacrifice of my motherhood at that point. My second daughter was really young and I wasn't willing to work seven to eight. And that's what it really takes, that's the kind of hours that sales managers work.

So I got wind of the fact that Jim, Jim and I both worked at Garman Home or at I'm sorry, DR Horton, and then I got wind of the fact that he had started a home building company and friends had connected us. I told him I wanted to come and start his sales team. We still joke that he didn't offer me a job,

I offered myself one [00:06:00] sales, you know, that's the best skills you can have. I did, I started his sales team and in 2010, when we were really just fighting through the recession, we were driving through a neighborhood where another builder had gone bankrupt and we were looking at their home sites.

Cause we could only afford anything that was on the clearance rack, anyway. So we were looking at these lots to purchase and I asked him, from a sales perspective, the recession just seemed to me like they weren't putting the right people in control, like companies weren't putting sales leaders in control at that division president spot.

It seemed like you had to come from construction or land or operations, if you wanted to be a division president at a home building company. And to me, I was oversimplifying, but it also seemed like a logical answer. Why aren't we putting anyone from sales in charge of home-building companies, because of the recession, couldn't we solve a certain amount of it just by selling our way out of it.

So we had this discussion about it, about why women weren't at the top of home building companies. He [00:07:00] said, maybe it's because they're not coming from the construction operation side, maybe because a lot of women haven't built a house. So I said, well, then I want you to teach me how to build a house, because I want to earn the chance to put myself in the ring to run this company someday.

So I built a house and I blogged about it, it's called Build Like a Girl. It was a turning point in my career of, you know, schooling myself on how to build a home, but it started out as me wanting to kind of cross something off, check something off the list. It became about so much more my connection to our trades and my understanding of what home building is really about and that symphony of trades and how you conduct them as a construction superintendent and how we can really enrich the experience by knowing more about the human hands, that build our homes and wanting to infuse that sort of in every part of our brand from that moment forward.

So I became a division vice president after that. Then division president and then I became an owner [00:08:00] in 2018.

Kevin Weitzel: Symphony of trades. I love that. So you're basically not saying that the home just erect themselves. Do you actually have to have a flow of a slot building, if you will.

Alaina Money Garman: You do, you do. It was the most enriching experiences, these personal interactions I would have with our trades.

Cause I would show up on the job site, at the time I had this giant white minivan. My kids were really little and I would show up on the job site and be like, Hi, I'm Alaina, I'm the sales manager. Can I frame this house with you? Like you're who, what? And it was wonderful.

It was a fish out of water experience. It's all the experiences that are just the other side of your comfort zone are the most enriching and the most enlightening. So when I started to get to know our trades, I started to learn so much more about the impact we could have as a home builder [00:09:00] experience.

It was about position marketing. I don't think people knew who we were before that they knew we were this like crazy startup builder. Then once I started blogging about it every day and getting names to the people who were building our homes, you know, as a sales person, it's so much more impactful if you're like a concrete crews coming in, Pedro's in charge of them and he does a great job. You know, naming people is important. Giving identity to all the people that build your homes is important.

Greg Bray: So from that leadership journey where you were kind of told, you don't have the right experience to lead. Right, so you went and got it. Now that you've done that, do you agree with that assessment or do you think you could have become the leader without going that direction and doing the building piece?

Just wondering

Alaina Money Garman: No. My path was my path and so other paths could definitely be different. I think the things that made me a great leader, if I can say that, is it's putting myself beyond my comfort zone. So [00:10:00] for me, that was building a home, but for so many other people, I don't think you have to come from a certain background to lead a home building company.

I think it depends on the home building company. For ours, we are heavily focused on the sales and the experience. We have a woman who runs ours, who is our regional president, Rebecca McAdoo, who was the vice president of sales for a large private builder for many, many years.

She's the best leader I've ever met. She's not built to house.

Kevin Weitzel: Don't speak too highly of her because there are people trying to steal her.

Alaina Money Garman: They can go ahead and try and they should. She's fantastic. I wouldn't be a good person. If I held her back from her highest and fullest potential, but I like to believe that's with us.

Greg Bray: Well, you know, we recently talked with Kristi Allen who I believe you're friends with. You know, and kind of this idea of you don't see a lot of women in the top [00:11:00] leadership roles in home building. Do you think that's changing, do you think there that the women should be in those positions more?

What are your thoughts there?

Alaina Money Garman: I do I, I mean, I know more women today than I did 2010 when I originally had that conversation with Jim and women like Kristi are certainly braving their own path and doing it in a really genuine and authentic way to who they are as people. Pierrette it's doing that as well.

I know there's women here in the triangle who have done it, Michelle Simms with Terramor, there's a lot of great women in this industry who make space for other women. There's the women's housing leadership group where we kind of get together and and are able to, understand our positions, understand that we're still in a great minority, but trying to make space for as many of each other as possible while also making more space for ourselves.

And It's getting better, but it has a long way to go.

[00:12:00] Kevin Weitzel: Well, I think that it's definitely gotten better, especially on the sales and marketing side of things. You know, there's tons of women in those regards, but, what hurdles do you see women having to encounter when they want to enter the trades worldwide?

Why aren't the trades going up with a shortages the way they are, why aren't trades going after, you know, women to be framers? They can handle a saw, they can read a schematic, they can measure just like any guy can, I mean, probably better. Who knows? I don't know. So why is that? What are the hurdles that are there?

Is it just the psychological aspect of it's a man's job? What is it?

Alaina Money Garman: Probably there's a lot of that. It's hard to speak to the trade, cause I don't know that path as well, but I remember being a little girl and no one ever looked at me and said, wow, you're really good at XYZ. You'd be, you'd make a great home builder.

Part of the problem is we don't identify jobs for women that are traditionally not held by women. You know, like when I was growing up, no one said you're going to be a great [00:13:00] builder. Still the first question that people ask me when they find out on the home builder, was your dad a home builder?

Is your husband a home builder? Up until two years ago, my husband wasn't a home builder because I wasn't married to him, but it's insulting. If you wouldn't ask a man, you shouldn't ask a woman, but it happens a lot. That perception of I still walk into a room when I was a division president and I was going to land meetings or any meeting with a developer.

One time, this developer, we were their number one builder I'm not going to name them. I went to a meeting where all the builders were called for like a marketing projection for the year. I went up and introduced myself and he said, Oh, are you the onsite sales person? I said, no, I'm the division president of your lawyers from the builder.

Kind of [00:14:00] like that's what I'm talking about. When I say, you have to make space for yourself and then you have to make space for other people, other women, you know, if you're a person of color it's even more difficult. It's really, really white and male out there.

It's getting better, but we have a long way to go.

Greg Bray: Well, we appreciate your efforts to help address some of that. Until we can talk about it openly and honestly, you know, it really doesn't change very quickly.

Alaina Money Garman: True. We have to talk about it early and often, and I'm constantly telling my daughters, like, you should do this, you could do this.

I think it's being purposeful and intentional about the fact that you can do anything you want to do. At least at Garman Homes, you don't have to come from those traditional avenues to ascend to a leadership role. You just have to be great.

Kevin Weitzel: So be it known that you just have to be good at something, not have an aspiration to only be a princess.

Alaina Money Garman: Right, exactly. That princess culture is hard to [00:15:00] escape.

Greg Bray: Well, Alaina, if we could change tack just a little bit, cause one of the reasons that I wanted to talk to you today is, you know, Garman Homes is known kind of for a more unique customer experience. You know, that's something, at least that I've seen out there. I'd like to dive into that a little bit more and understand and kind of why you chose that direction.

And some of the things that went into kind of making that happen.

Alaina Money Garman: Yeah. So when Jim wanted to start a home building company, he went to the local man that was running the Home Builders Association and told him we wanted to start a home building company. And the guy tried to talk him out of it, like, dude don't do it.

He said, look, if you're going to do it, be different, find out what makes you different. So we have these four Garman differences of things that make us different than any other home builder out there. It's rock stars wanting, which means we hire people with great attitudes and we fire people with bad attitudes, including customers, and that we offer a guarantee closing date.

So we give you a closing date, no matter [00:16:00] when you sign your contract. If it's dirt and a dream, or if it's already being built, everyone has works better with a deadline. Then the warranty, the G team, the way we come back and service your home you're closing or when you close on your home. That's the beginning of the relationship of the next chapter of our relationship with you?

People still text me and say, like from 10 years ago, like do you have my paint color, which is great. I love that. Then give it back for every home that we build, we give back to a cause that we care deeply about. Over the years we've been able to do some significant things. Like we built 10 blitz homes with Habitat for Humanity of Durham.

We have built two homes to honor the widows of fallen soldiers through Operation Coming Home. These are significant ways that we feel like we're living into our dream of being a humbling company that can change the world. Everyone who comes to work at Garman Homes believes that, cause that's the bar we're [00:17:00] setting.

We want to change the world so we do that in small ways and big ways. One of the small ways is just showing up with a great attitude all the time, no matter what. It's easy to have a good attitude when everything's going your way and it's much harder when things are difficult. One of the things I'm so proud of last year, in addition to Zero Home 22 that went to the widow of a fallen soldier, was that our home builders association named that the home building company of the year.

2020 was a ridiculous year. It was hard and it was hard to keep a good head on her shoulders. It was scary. We had to have a tremendous sense of responsibility for keeping everyone in our company safe. We remained essential. We never got a stop work order here in Raleigh, which is wonderful.

But we had to be so careful and I'm so proud of our company for earning that distinction from our peers and for being someone who can stay steady and have a good attitude and keep our eyes on on a longterm plan [00:18:00] for our company.

Greg Bray: Alaina, you listed four things that drove that, right?

 Can you hold up the card you were reading from when you told me those four things? Because you know those inside and out, don't you? You didn't have to think about that. Right? That's just part of what you guys have. And I love that. I love that you have some very clear defining principles that drive.

The question was about customer experience, and we're talking about all these four principles. I love that. So congratulations. I was just teasing about the card she's not reading people. You can tell. She's not

Kevin Weitzel: So in your market, you actually have several different types of builders. You have several types of buyers. What market are you actually serving? Because I know you have the fresh paint series. How do you delineate in differentiate yourself in that regard?

Alaina Money Garman: So, Garman Homes has two brands, two building [00:19:00] brands under one company and fresh paint by Garman Homes is a brand that we started in 2014 as a way of simplifying the home building process for a millennial buyer. That was our initial idea and within a large master plan community, we wanted to be the, from the price.

That's what I like. That's my sweet spot from the price. I want to offer buyers more than they're expecting. I want to leverage all the tricks that I know about production home building and scale something with trade-off for repeatability. The fact that we get really good pricing, right?

So I want to get great pricing on my home so I can offer the buyer more and fresh paint is curated whole home design. So you pick from a package, you don't pick your selections, you know, just kind of soup to nuts in a design studio. We curate them for you and you pick the package, which means you have finished selections at the time of contract, which allows us to build your home faster, which allows us to use less people [00:20:00] to build your homes.

Less construction superintendents, less chance for error because you can't make any changes to the packages, a more streamlined approach. So you don't have to take off work to come to your selections. You don't have to agonize over the color of grout because by the time you get to grout, people are like on the floor throwing a temper tantrum in the design studio because like it's torture.

So it was just offering a different, a more simplified, humbling experience for fresh paint. We use a lot of paint and quite literally. Our tagline was rage against builder beige because there was so much of the same, you know, it's that sea of sameness, which I call the sea of beigeness.

But now it's the sea of grayness, not being afraid to express ourselves in color. I want our homes to look like the homes that you see in a magazine. You know, I don't want someone to come out and just, not know that they were someplace special or that someone didn't put a lot of thought and energy into trying to offer as much as possible for the [00:21:00] least amount as possible.

Attainability is something I take very seriously. So that's fresh paint, it was originally millennial targeted, but you know, who loves it? Boomers?

Kevin Weitzel: I am your customer, I have no fashion sense whatsoever. So you can show swatches all day long and I couldn't tell you what goes with what. I want to just put it, I don't care how you put the whole menu together.

I want to point at the pretty picture and say, that's the steak I want.

Alaina Money Garman: Exactly. You know, at a certain level at the upper tiers there's we have curated packages at different levels. It's like concierge level. So it goes from being super attainable to being well, we can trick out this house if there's no ceiling on the price.

But yeah, you can go crazy with it, but so it's been a wild ride with fresh paint and wonderful.

Kevin Weitzel: And you say there's no what to the price.

Alaina Money Garman: There's no ceiling.

Kevin Weitzel: That's a crazy concept. But you mean the starting price doesn't ever have a spot where it just stops.

[00:22:00] Alaina Money Garman: Right. Exactly. We can't go past this price.

You must stop

Kevin Weitzel: Absolute max. You cannot spend more than this.

Alaina Money-Garman: You can, but at a price.

Greg Bray: Alaina, do you see other builders starting to get into this packaging concept a little bit more? I think it's long overdue. Honestly. I'm a little surprised more aren't doing it, but what are you seeing?

Alaina Money Garman: It's difficult because you have to say no if you're going to do it right and you do a curated whole home package.

I have made a covenant with my trades that I will not let people mess with that package in exchange for starting at level two or three finishes, not level one. I don't want to build a basic house. I want to build a beautiful houseand I want you to give me the best price you can. If you start letting people switch things around, like, I don't like that backsplash, or I don't like that pink color.

I mean, if we call it a fresh paint no, it's like that emoji with the cross. A fresh paint no is you don't even ask anybody if you can make a change, there are no changes [00:23:00]. That's the covenant we made with our trades to get the pricing and be able to offer you more house for less money.

Kevin Weitzel: But the beauty of what you do is you offer that, but then you also have another pathway for the Greg's that maybe has much better fashion sense than the Kevin's do.

And could come in and say, you know what I want in my house, I know exactly what plan, I know what kind of backsplash I want, and what kind of flooring you have that as well. Right?

Alaina Money Garman: Yes. And that's it, It used to be called just Garman Homes path, you know, just the heritage brand.

We've recently we launched it in 2020 Non-Fiction, which when we first started this home building company, it was about telling our story to the buyer. You know, like this is why we're different and this is who we are. And as we matured as a home builder, we realized that the real honor and privilege of getting to build someone's home is telling their story.

So Non-Fiction became about earning the chance to tell somebody's story through their home and really making it a reflection of who they are. Non-Fiction is about not is about no [00:24:00] fake news like your life is your life. We respected an honor and authenticity and genuineness is prized above all else.

And we want to reflect that in your home and create something truly unique just for you.

Kevin Weitzel: Now from a digital standpoint, how are you telling the story of those two pathways that your buyers can take by virtue of? And maybe I'm asking too broad of a question, but by virtue of how you have established, how you set up your website and then also how you market digitally, how you send out social media campaigns, you know, how do you speak to both audiences?

Alaina Money Garman: So we used to have two different websites up until last year, which was a lot of work. We weren't always leveraging the full impact of the brand of Garman Homes. So Fresh Paint sort of had its own identity. Garman Homes had its own identity. And we had these back doors from one website to the other and back again, cause we build both brands in the same neighborhoods in a lot of cases.

So with non-fiction we merged the websites and kind of, we had to [00:25:00] fix our identity crisis of like, Garman Homes is the parent, and these are our two brands. This is the Fresh Paint brand, and this is the non-fiction brand and they exist together. It's just the experience that the home buyer chooses.

So we have to be very explicit about the fact that the four Garman differences go with both brands. You don't, there's no trade off of that. That the heritage, the soul of Garman Homes is in both of them. But they're just two different experiences and allowing the buyer to determine their own path for home building, what fits their budget and their tolerance.

Their patients, their budget, everything. How that works for them is up to them. But yeah, digitally, we have to be very explicit about what about which one? Which one we're building in which neighborhood it's kind of fun though. It's a fun little puzzle.

Greg Bray: Do you find Alaina that with the Fresh Paint, with the packaging and things that you have ever lost a customer, because they weren't able to conform to what you've got.

Are you able to shift them [00:26:00] over to the other side to keep the customer and just kind of say no, you're on the wrong side of the wall here. Let me put you in this room over here and then we're good.

Alaina Money Garman: Yeah. We've definitely shifted people between the brands when it, when it's possible.

I'm sure we've lost somebody. For just not just having the Fresh Paint now and just saying no, there's one story. This reminds me of when we had a buyer, a couple, and they they really didn't love the accent wall color that came with their pakage. Their first pink package and they hated it and they didn't want it.

They said just don't paint it. And I said, we can't, it has to be painted the accent will color. Like I've negotiated with the painters, they're coming to paint it. I'm not going to change it. So we got through it, but at the end of on the closing day, the male buyer called the sales agent and said, I'm going to propose to my girlfriend when we get to the house. So he wrote, since [00:27:00] he was going to repaint the wall, anyway, he wrote, will you marry me on the wall. The sales agent was hiding to like, capture it for him. So it was funny, it's this impasse that we had turned into this really beautiful moment that we got to be part of.

So, I mean, that's what's important building the relationship to sustain the ups and downs of the home building journey, but sticking to our guns and making sure that the brand delivers the promise.

Greg Bray: I think, I don't know. I'm fascinated by this ability. You have to tell your customers no and they still like you.

This is good. This is great, I think we're so scared to say no when it's not in their best interest.

Alaina Money-Garman: We used to think good customer service was saying yes all the time. And the parallel I draw is if I let my kids eat all the sugar they wanted, when they were kids, they'd feel like crap.

If I said yes, all the time, I'd be a terrible parent. And so for me to be a good home builder, I have to be the expert. [00:28:00] I have to love as much with tough love as I do with the yeses.  It's when you say no, you're preserving the quality of the experience that you you're there to offer.

And so we had to grow into that because we said yes, a lot when we shouldn't have, and we ruined the experience, it was our own fault.

Greg Bray: I actually love that. I think that applies to our company. We need to do a better job at that too, you know, guiding people and, and being the expert. Not that we're not, but you know, there's always room for improvement.

So thank you. I learned something today, so appreciate that. So I want to be mindful of your time today and we really appreciate it. So, but as we kind of wrap up, looking ahead, what are some of the things you're seeing change with your buyers over the last year or so that you think are going to become kind of the new trends going forward.

Anything come to mind that you've been watching and looking at?

Alaina Money Garman: Yeah. This is a great question. So we, this past year, we've been part of the American home study. Teri Slavik-Tsuyuki [00:29:00] and Nancy Keenan and Belinda Sward did a study in the third week of April when we were all at home. During the height of the quarenteen of 3,000 households about how are they were using space during quarantine and how this changes, how they use space moving forward.

They reached out to me, Teri reached out to me and asked me if I would build the concept home based on the data that they gathered. We said, absolutely, we will build the concept home based on this data, because. I don't get to build for 3,000 people, but I get to leverage the knowledge of 3000 people and their responses.

And then the second wave, which was, you know, now we're up to 5,000 people. They, there was a second wave of the study in October. And all those responses add up to a concept from that we're building in Chatham Park and Pittsburgh, North Carolina. And that will be beginning here in the spring, as soon as we get the lot.

 You know, spaces have changed for us and they need to keep changing. I mean, I've changed two rooms [00:30:00] in my house to make a, you know, last year it was an elementary school, a middle school and high school. I had a room for each of them this year it's a high school room and an elementary school room.

 I'm constantly redoing my spaces to reflect what I need. I think as we're building homes, we're trying to include a hefty amount of flexibility to reflect what the buyer needs. Is someone going to work on the front line? Do they need to shower immediately upon re-entry to the home?

And does that need to live right off the garage, does there need to be a bathroom right there so that people can sort of decontaminate before they go into the shared space of the home? So we're really exploring how the home needs to meet someone where they are in their lives. So if we're doing life from home right now, where we're doing school playtime, all of these different adaptations we've made to our spaces and certainly people need workspaces because a lot of people are going to continue to work from [00:31:00] home, but they don't want to take up a whole bedroom. So it's, how are we mining the floor plans for thoughtful spaces that were always there, but we weren't arranging the space to maximize it.

Greg Bray: Is that a report that's out there that others can see?

Alaina Money Garman:  Yeah, The America at Home Study yeah, they can go check it out. Then we will start that building here and I get to build it which I'm super excited about. I haven't built a home in quite a long time, so yeah, I'll be running construction on that with my husband and another builder who will make sure I don't mess up his neighborhood.

Greg Bray: Are you going to be blogging that one too like you did before?

Alaina Money Garman: We are, yeah. I am going to blog about it. I think we're going to do a lot more in video though, because I certainly like to write still. I love writing and I love speaking, but sometimes it's easier to catch it in real time on YouTube or wherever. My husband's good at the film editing. I'm not

Greg Bray: Well we'll have to, we'll have to have you back next year after that's done.

Alaina Money Garman: That would be wonderful, I'd love [00:32:00] that.

Greg Bray: So Alaina is there any last little piece of advice? You know, you've got some homebuilder marketers listening out there, so your chance to dump on them however you want to, you know, give us your best shot here. What do you got for us?

Alaina Money Garman: We have enough dumped on them. I don't have anything on them. I need to applaud them for their efforts to reflect the stories that they want to tell of their home builder. I think home builders are doing a fantastic job of trying to honor where people are right now and how they're navigating their lives and, and reflecting that thoughtfully is a really hard job.

I think there are some really beautiful marketing efforts out there in our industry and I love the stories we're getting to talent and presentation matters and tell the story. We broaden our term of who contributes to this industry at the highest level. It's who we hire.

It's who we feature in our [00:33:00] ads. It's the homebuyer stories that we choose to tell. So go to the edge on that.

Kevin Weitzel: Terrific. So everybody makes mistakes. Everybody does. So out of your entire pathway through the home building industry, you got little Suzie, little Susie wants to go into home building industry.

What advice do you give a little Susie, just fresh out of high school, wanting to jump in here, both feet on the ground, you know, boots on the ground. If you will not glass slippers. What advice do you have to give to little Suzie?

Alaina Money Garman: Have faith in yourself. You're going to walk into a lot of rooms where people don't look like you or you'll be the only woman, or you'll be the youngest, or you'll be different in some way racially or your sexual orientation and, keep your head high and your shoulders back and know that you were born for whatever's in front of you and keep going.

If you want to do this, it won't be easy, but it will be worth it. Just keep [00:34:00] going.

Greg Bray: I love that. Thank you so much, Alaina. If any of our listeners would like to connect with you, what's the best way for them to get in contact?

Alaina Money Garman: Not Facebook. Instagram @alainamoneygarman and LinkedIn. Unless you want to sell something to the business, which I don't run the day to day.

So I can't hire you either, but you can say, hi, I'd love that. Or you can email me,  

Greg Bray: Terrific. Well, thank you again, Alaina so much for your time today. We really appreciate it. Thank you everybody for listening to the Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast. I'm Greg Bray with Blue Tangerine

Kevin Weitzel: and I'm Kevin Weitzel with Outhouse.

Thank you.

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