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62 Recruiting Builder Executives & Matching Culture - Erica Lockwood

Recruiting Builder Executives & Matching Culture - Erica Lockwood

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Production by: Josh Williamson and KT Maschler 

Editing by: KT Maschler 

On this week's episode of the Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast, Greg and Kevin chat with Erica Lockwood of Joseph Chris Partners. They discuss what to look for when recruiting builder executives to boost business and match your company's culture. 

Erica Lockwood is a distinguished Executive Recruiter focused exclusively on the construction industry. She has been instrumental in securing top talent for builders nationwide for nearly two decades. Erica has evolved into a respected industry thought-leader by continually nurturing relationships and staying connected with today's influencers and up-and-coming leaders. Erica is frequently featured in industry blogs and podcasts and recently part of a collaborative group of industry professionals who published the book "New Homes Sales & Marketing Best Practices.


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 Outhouse. 

Greg Bray: And we are excited today to welcome to the show Erica Lockwood, an executive recruiter at Joseph Chris Partners Executive Search.

Welcome Erica. Thanks for joining us. 

Erica Lockwood: Thank you for having me Greg and Kevin. My pleasure. 

Kevin Weitzel: Oh, wait a minute. Is that just a fancy term for bad-ass head hunter? 

Erica Lockwood: Uh, yes, that is absolutely correct. Good call. Good call. 

[00:01:00] Greg Bray: Well, Erica, for those who haven't had a chance to meet you before, why don't you give us that short introduction?

Tell us a little bit about yourself. 

Erica Lockwood: Well, sure. Again, I'm Erica Lockwood. I'm with Joseph Chris Partners and we are an executive recruiting organization that we focus on a national level in real estate construction development. The majority of our focus does end up being on the home building side.

So we work with builders of all sides and all locations markets and really all the skillsets across the industry. So we'd love it. I've been here 21 years this year, so I love my job. 

Kevin Weitzel: And just to be clear, when you say executive recruiter, your specialty isn't just anything in the home of those training.

Like if somebody lost an online sales counselor, you're not going out and you're looking for like those VPs and you know financial officers and center. Correct. 

Erica Lockwood: Well, it's funny that you asked that, [00:02:00] you know we have had some clients that we've worked with for a long time, that if that's a really critical role that they need help filling.

Absolutely. We are not a company that will. Walk away from a client that's in need. If that's something that they are really struggling to find the right talent. And so we've been known to help out. But I would say our sweet spot is definitely in the director and up levels. But we are here to service our clients, whatever they need at the end of the day.

Greg Bray: So Erica, we do have to ask though for just some little personal tidbit or nugget that nobody else knows, because that's kind of us just liking to know personal things. That's kind of where we're at.

Erica Lockwood: well I'll have to tell you this. I am probably on the rare side of, I love candy corn.

Yes, [00:03:00] I will, especially Halloween time. You know, if there's unwanted candy corn, it's welcome. I mean, people just throw it in my office. Yeah.

Kevin Weitzel: That's the way it goes with  me and peeps. But let me ask you this, but is there an actual functional difference between the candy corn, the actual candy corn and the one shaped like pumpkins?

Are they the same? 

Erica Lockwood: I don't believe so. Cause the one's shaped like pumpkin are kind of gross.

I mean, I, and even not the yellow, not your traditional colored candy corn, when you start getting the funky colors in there. Nah, you know, it just tastes different. That's not, it's not my favorite. 

Greg Bray: you're just the traditional classic candy corn.

Erica Lockwood:  Okay. It is true. It is true. I love it. No, and I do like black licorice too, which most people just get it like a gross look on their face, but I'm a black licorice too.

Greg Bray: Yeah. Awesome. Well, thank you for going deep and behind that.

[00:04:00] Erica Lockwood: I don't share that information with everyone. 

Greg Bray: Well, you just did, or at least at least the five people who will listen to this. Right. So, all right, 

Erica Lockwood:  I'll take your candy corn, if you don't want it. 

Greg Bray: That's right we're going to do a collection box. Well, Erica, how did you kind of get started in specializing in the home building industry?

Tell us a little bit more about that path. 

Erica Lockwood: Well, you know, that's a really an interesting question too, because you know, most people like when you're in kindergarten class and they're like, what do you want to be when you grow up? I don't know, many, five or six year olds that say, I want to be an executive recruiter.

Right. You know, they want to be a fireman, a nurse doctor. And so it just so happens that, just like, I think what happens in our professional world, you know, just knowing someone that knows you. And so I just a few years before I started with Joseph Chris Partners, I worked with an executive search firm that [00:05:00] worked some in the home building industry.

And then I just really enjoyed it and got to work with different builders across the country. And, and then I ended up joining Joseph Chris Partners. And so it wasn't really intentional. But I think that can be said for a lot of people. Right. You know, it's not necessarily something you think about the industry as a whole.

But I love it. And, you know, even during the downturn, which you know, is a difficult time, there were a lot of people that left and, you know, we stuck it out and I wouldn't want to work in any other industry. So filled with great people. 

Kevin Weitzel: Morbid curiosity. Do you have clients that are angry with you because they've had employees that you have helped relocate to other clients?

Erica Lockwood: Ah, that is a really good question. Kevin, it's not as morbid as I thought it was going to be either. Thank you. So, one thing that we do that [00:06:00] we are really serious about is when. We are working with a home builder client and we have a great relationship with them. And we've placed someone, especially when we play someone we don't take out of their company.

Right to, you know, it's a definite partnership. It's, really, it's a long-term commitment really, but we don't put people in the front door and take them out the back door. I can't say that. That is the same for all recruiting. People. But I know that that is something that we are adamant about, 

Kevin Weitzel: But more specifically, do you actively, and I'm not trying to go too far behind the curtain or anything, but do you actively head hunt people that are engaged in employment at a company, or are you finding people that are in between maybe just disenchanted and they come to you and said, Hey, do you have any opportunities out there in the XYZ department?

Erica Lockwood: Yes. So I would say. 90 to 95% of the people that we work with are passive. You know, they're not looking. And so just through the [00:07:00] years of building relationships and talking with people in different skill sets in markets, you know, I will actively seek those people out and see if they would be open to other career opportunities.

And sometimes, builders. Yeah. They're not happy with us when we do that, but I am a big believer in if you're, if your people are. Interested in looking at other opportunities. That's not my fault. That's right. You know, and, and I'm not trying to be you know, smart about it. It's just maybe there's just not an opportunity to move up into that next role or, you know, whatever that is.

Most people are not disgruntled that we work with. You know, they just want something more and they might not be able to have it where they are. Right. Yeah.

Kevin Weitzel: So does the conversation go something like this, Greg, how happy are you there at Blue Tangerine? Have you ever thought about exploring other opportunities?

Erica Lockwood: It really can go like that. So I would say Greg Hey, this is [00:08:00] Erica Joseph Chris Partners. How are you? Are you happy at Blue Tangerine? 

Greg Bray: I am ecstatic at Blue Tangerine! I'm just going to go on record here that it doesn't get any better than Blue Tangerine. And if any of my people are listening to this and Erica calls them, I need to know right away.

Erica Lockwood: Good point. So what happens when Greg answers maybe a little differently? Like, yeah, I'm pretty happy. My response is pretty happy. You're not ecstatic? Right. So what could make you incredibly happy? You know, it, is it available to you there? So sometimes it's just listening. You know, it's a lot of listening skills that we have to have really, we all do.

Kevin Weitzel: All right. So did you just put designer shoe or like a comfortable, flat, a practical shoe into that door that he just opened up? 

Erica Lockwood: Well, again, hopefully if it's a good [00:09:00] fee, it'd be a designer shoe

or you  do it. 

Greg Bray:Yeah, when you do your job hunting, you know, on your own time. So but Erica, one of the things that I've found kind of interesting as we learn a little bit more about you is as you've actually been someone who's, you know, written and published and kind of talked a lot about kind of sales and marketing in the home builder industry over the years.

And so that kind of intrigued me because as a person who is. More on the recruiting side. How did you kind of become that, that student of builder sales and marketing and how has that been part of your career? 

Erica Lockwood: Well, sure. Well, you know, at the end of the day, recruiting really is sales, right? We, we are selling our services to our potential clients, right.

And yet we're also selling a potential role to a professional. And so it's very sells. And marketing oriented, you know, we're doing marketing we're creative or whatever, but I will say [00:10:00] that when I started in the industry, one of the positions or more of the skill sets that I just kind of normally gravitate toward.

And I think it's just because of my personality being more outgoing and, you know, just can strike up the conversation is I love working with sales and marketing. People. And so what happens is you, you start working a lot of those roles and then you get a lot of referrals for those same kinds of roles, you know?

So I've just kind of become the person that knows a lot of the sales and marketing people and, and have placed a lot of great people that, you know, are still in their roles 15 years now, or, or whatnot. So it's just kind of a normal gravitational thing. It's I love that skillset. 

Kevin Weitzel: Speaking of longevity of placements.

Uh, do you have any, just top of mind, anybody that you've placed said is just just a rock star and you can go, I help them find that position or I help that [00:11:00] builder find this person. 

Erica Lockwood: Absolutely. there are a lot of people that are. Uh, you know, just have been with the company placed in there 10 plus years and it's a long list for sure.

Greg Bray: So Erica, just because we are marketing focused on our particular audience, you know, just to kind of stay there. Yeah. If, let's say a builder is looking for that new VP of sales and marketing or some type of level there, what are the things that you do talk to a builder about that position and how do you kind of go about starting that process to find that right fit for them?

Erica Lockwood: Right. Well, the big thing is culture, and I know that's kind of has become a overused word, in today's world. But at the end of the day, the culture piece is really important. I would say one of the, one of the things that I keep hearing from our builder clients is that some of their sales. [00:12:00] Leaders sales and marketing leaders.

They can tend to lack the accountability piece to hold their team accountable, and that's a hard thing to recruit for. And when you can talk to someone and you can ask open-ended questions. So, you know, just kind of understanding the client's needs, what their team looks like, where they are, what the kind of training they.

Do you,what kind of consultants that they work with? Oftentimes I'll even make suggestions on, you know, potential sales consultants or digital marketing, whatever, you know, just, just to kind of get an understanding where they are and that the thing about it has really come full circle really is you can have a magical resume, right?

It's in black and white and it can look perfect. And I'm sure both of you have looked at a lot of resumes and hired lots of people, right? So you can [00:13:00] have a resume that looks magical and like, this is it. This is the person. But if that person doesn't fit the culture of the company, or if the culture of the company doesn't fit that person, it's a two-way street.

It's not a fit, you know? So it's really digging in. And the great thing about is working with a lot of clients for a long time. You can really get a deep sense of understanding what their culture is like and you know, what the ideal person that works for XYZ builder kind of what their background looks like.

And that can help. On the screening part of, you know, talking with people and understanding what they're looking for. So it's, again, it's a two way conversation, cause they need to know exactly what our clients are looking for and he didn't know what the person is looking for in their career to, 

Kevin Weitzel: and obviously there's a limited field of professionals in our industry.

How often are you going outside of our industry to poach? If you will talent, 

Erica Lockwood: you know, in. [00:14:00] some skill sets. That's a little easier to do. But I would say it's less than 5%, quite honestly. It's, it's very, very small, you know, and I think that's why we're so we're successful in what we do and our clients know that.

So they call on us and say, Hey, I need you to find the best of the best. Now they might even know everyone in their marketplace, but. It might take a conversation from myself or one of my colleagues to say, Hey, you may be happy, but here's some reasons why I think you should consider maybe at least having a conversation.

So the going outside of the industry, I think as it continues to heat up, which it's been incredible, like on fire, crazy busy, I'm seeing more. Of that, you know, where you'll see people transition, but I still feel like just because the market is so strong right now, builders [00:15:00] really feel like they don't have time for on the job training.

And that makes it difficult. 

Kevin Weitzel: definitely can hear where you're coming from because you know, when you're hiring for sales, you can hire a personality. You can hire somebody that just has that possess. But you can't hire that for marketing main marketing is it's a whole different beast. And, you know, even if, especially with the higher up, you go on the executive chain, there's so much more working in a working knowledge that you have to have to be able to take those positions on.

Erica Lockwood: Absolutely. Absolutely. I think, yeah, the sales, the entry level sales, you know, if a company has a solid training program, you know, they'll bring them in from, you know, high-end you know, retell, you know, Tiffany's or jewelry or cars. And. Then even like HR is a little more transitional, you know, I think there's just, there's certain roles that you can transition in a little bit easier, but marketing, especially strategic marketing people.

I mean you've got to know. The industry and the understand the demographics and what's [00:16:00] going on out there in order to be able to affect, to be effective. 

Greg Bray: So, Erica, I'm curious if you see, as you work with, you know, different clients and lots of different companies. Do you see a lot of consistency in the way that executive teams are structured as far as who marketing reports to, and who's responsible for that?

Or do you see a lot of variety in how those teams are put together? 

Erica Lockwood: I think there's, there's probably more of a variety than what people think. You know, even among the big national builders, you would think that there would be a lot more consistency on, you know, what a traditional org chart might look like.

But the, I think when you're looking at really high volume builders, it gets really difficult for a person to be truly a VP of sales and marketing. You know, it's got, that's one of the things, the feedback that I've heard from people at those levels is that you can't do [00:17:00] either one at a hundred percent.

Right? So, but usually the marketing people, if you have a VP of marketing, then everything in marketing is going to roll up under them. But if you have a VP of sales and marketing, it gets a little more. It gets a little more convoluted. And it just depends on the structure. And there are still a lot of companies that outsource and, and partner with some of the great marketing companies that service our industry.

But I still think there's a trend to have things internal versus outsource because. Just have more control on the direction of it, but know this, the structure, it really can vary. And a lot of it just depends on the size of the company and really the leadership. When you, when you're going with a smaller builder is if the president CEO is that's kind of their passion, they, they might structure it differently.

Then, if it wasn't their passion. [00:18:00] 

Kevin Weitzel: how often does timing come into play? Especially on the disgruntled aspect? Like how often do you get a, a will do to staff that goes man, and somebody in my homes stole my red Swingline stapler. I can't work here anymore. You know, how often does that happen? 

Erica Lockwood: Not very often at all.

Really, really. And Will's never complained about that. 

Kevin Weitzel: that needs to start stealing Will's, stapler. 

Erica Lockwood: Okay. Will, you heard it, you heard it. I've had once in a while and it's one of those things where I talked to hundreds of people a week. Right. And so most people say I'm happy. And they treat me well.

And you know, if there was an opportunity in Hawaii, I would take it or something silly. Right. Once in awhile, I would say over a 30 day span, there might be. One person. That's like, you know what? I've worked here a long time and I'm just tired of it. You know, just not treated [00:19:00] like a person anymore or, or whatnot, but really, I think people are generally happy.

And if they're open to looking at other opportunities, it's just because of a professional decision to move upward. And instead of you know, just. Being disgruntled about the stapler kind of thing that if you take my tape or my scissors, I will be oh, 

Kevin Weitzel: red Swingline stapler. 

Erica Lockwood: So of course, 

Greg Bray: Erica, I just kind of, again, will curious as you've been talking what, what are your thoughts just on diversity at the executive level, in the home building industry, you know, just, is that something that you guys.

Consciously focus on at all, or is it more just about individual candidates or how, how does that come into play? 

Erica Lockwood: Well, it's funny that you ask that because we're, we are really, we are focused here on the diversity, equity and inclusion. It's [00:20:00] a big part of what I actually am overseeing here.

And I am partnering with us. Several organizations to help them build a stronger initiative and strategize. But I will say, I think with the surge of more people being involved in the professional women in building. And through the NAHB and also, like the women in construction or, you know, it's not just about women, but, you know, I think that there's been more of a heightened awareness of it.

And I am thankfully seeing more diversity in leadership, whether that's a division presidents or you know, I think if I look at it, demographically, there are a lot of women who are in sales. And, and they can rise to that to that level. But where I see probably a more disparity just.

A mix of people as, [00:21:00] maybe on the purchasing side, definitely on the land development side, you know, where there's maybe an engineering background that it's just a typical group that, that tend to be in the engineering. So I think we've got a lot of work to do, but at the same time, I think the industry is aware of that.

And I know the NHB is kicking off at their level, a focus group. On the diversity, equity and inclusion as well 

Kevin Weitzel: on that same subject. Well, I'm sorry, a tangent, if that subject, when we're talking about diversity, let's talk about skill sets. Now, granted, you're looking more at executive type levels per se, on the regular, I should say.

But what about you know, especially in the digital world, you know, specific skillsets on understanding certain systems or knowing how to use different, platform program platforms often, does that come into play? 

Erica Lockwood: you know, when you, when you are working in the skill sets that require technical a lot of technical aptitude and experience that, [00:22:00] that definitely comes into play a lot, you know?

 I do think on that, no, there, there's also a disparity with the technology. There's, there's a void. No, I know it was sarcasm for me too. Um, no, so I've had a lot of clients say, you know, I have a CFO and he asked me to take a look at an Excel spreadsheet because he didn't understand it.

And I was like, Mm. Okay. So, you know, there are technology voids, you know, where there's the different generations that are all getting mixed together now. And, you know, unless you are really making an personal effort to be on top of your game, if your skillset is very technical or if you need to really know Excel like on steroids, Don't wait for your employer to teach you [00:23:00] that, you know, you can there's classes, you can do things for free online.

You can ask your 17 year old, they'll show you in like two seconds while they're playing a video game. Right. So, you know, it's all, it's about personal development. And, and I think even in sales and marketing, it's Hey, some people work for builders. Don't do a lot of training. You know, and, and you can either be personally interested in learning more, whether if it's just you and you go and listen to Meredith Oliver stuff or Kimberly Mackey stuff, or, you know, fill in the blank.

So it's about you don't wait for someone to teach it. To you. I think that's what makes you stand out in the crowd. And if technology is a big piece of it and you know, you're weak there, but it's a problem. It's, it's definitely a problem. 

Kevin Weitzel: I think, and Greg, just one quick Quip here. I think if you have to [00:24:00] tell an executive level director level person that they need to do some training, if they're not doing that themselves, they're not the right hire.

Erica Lockwood: Exactly. Yeah, that is, that is very true. I always tell my clients when they're making an offer to especially a purchasing person manager, director, VP, if that person doesn't come back with a counter, do not hire that person. If they're not a negotiator, if they're not even going to do it on their own offer employment offer that you probably don't want that purchasing person.

I'm just saying. 

Greg Bray: Oh, that's a great insight little trick there to, to watch for. But as we think about, you know, looking at not today's executives, but you know, the executives is five years from now, those who are still a little younger in their careers that want that position in a few years.

And you know, what kinds of balance between these technical skills. Versus kind of the leadership and some of the more soft skills, you know, you [00:25:00] mentioned accountability, for example, you know,  how, how do you kind of advise someone like that who's looking for that position, you know, five, six years from now, how do they educate themselves and, and balance kind of those different needs?

Erica Lockwood: Right. Well, I'm, first of all, I'm a big believer in having mentors, you know, someone that, that you can lean on and, and more than just one, you know, just different people at different levels. You have a mentor that's kind of like already made it. And, you know, even someone at your level and you can learn a lot from those people and, you know, it can be someone outside, probably it should be someone outside of your company.

Right. So get, you know, really be and intentional about having a mentor. And I do think, you know, there's so many things online now that when I started 21 years ago, I was always laughed. Like there wasn't LinkedIn. I don't know, Google what's that I don't know, but, there wasn't as much at our fingertips.

You can go on [00:26:00] YouTube and just watch just about any kind of training video and it's just about bettering yourself right. Professionally. And it it's really important for someone to align themselves in an organization that they believe in. And that the culture is about helping people develop and communicating a clear pathway to get to that goal.

And, you know, You have to, you've got to intentionally look at that and, and make considerations for that. And, you know, outside of that, I really think emotional intelligence is incredibly important. Especially if you wanting to get more into that leadership kind of a focus and you know, the great thing about emotional intelligence versus your IQ.

You know, we were born with our, our. However smart. We are going to be, this is it right? But your emotional intelligence, you can improve. You can make improvements all the time. And some of us should, uh, still, [00:27:00] you are still you, you can still do it. Kevin. I believe in you. Um, you know, I think that's a big thing.

The emotional intelligence piece of it and, and, you know, just re taking it every year. Just, just to see the difference, hopefully you're growing. Hopefully you're making the improvements in the areas where you might have some weaknesses. 

Greg Bray: No, I do need to say if, if Kevin, if you want Kevin to be your mentor and he's taking applications, right.

Kevin Weitzel: well, I'm all about, you know, it's funny because my entire life I've always been this way. Even in the Marine Corps, I got in a lot of trouble, for being childish. And I thought everything was funny. You know, how much, how many pushups I did in the Marine Corps, because I laughed over and over and over again, it was ridiculous.

I got so strong in the core, but, you know, like in my case, I'm really good at my job. My sales numbers are always, you know, top tier, but I am a very childish person. I'd like to have just tons of [00:28:00] fun. So it is important that I'd find a company with culture. So let me, and I've made the mistake of going to a company where the culture didn't really match and align with the way that I am.

And it's not that their culture was bad, it just didn't match me. So it was not the place for me to go. So. With that regard. What mistakes are you seeing people making when they are out there in the hunt from both sides of the equation? What mistakes employers making and what mistakes you're seeing the executives making, seeking different opportunities?

Erica Lockwood: Well, you know, not, I think one of the things that happens most often is people who are hiring other people. Are probably not always the best person to be hiring other people. Right? So some people really hire with their gut and sometimes your gut is right. Sometimes it's really wrong. Sometimes companies can oversell an opportunity that really isn't accurate.

I get that a lot, you know, just feedback from professionals that have said, [00:29:00] yeah, that one. Time that spot on my resume. Uh, I wish I didn't do that. And I said, you know, not that it makes you feel better, but a lot of people have that one spot, you know, like that one bad decision. And likewise companies do as well.

So, you know, it's a lot of it is rushing when there is a sense, a high sense of urgency to, oh my gosh, I've got to fill this search. You can. Sometimes make the wrong choice and the person potentially taking that role. If they feel like, gosh, you know, this person, this company really? Yeah. He wants me in there courting me and you know, the money's great and they really didn't do their duty diligence.

That's where some problems can happen. You know, it's, it's really about feeling better, about meeting more than just. The person you're going to work for to meet the whole team and kind of see them in action and do your due diligence, like go online, look on their [00:30:00] website, see what kind of culture is coming from that, you know, what, what is it that they're trying to promote or not promote?

And, you know, some companies are just, they're huge. They're monsters and that's how they run. And some people really Excel in those cultures and some people don't, you know, and I think that's the great news is because I'm seeing a lot of really entrepreneurial people, organizations start up even during COVID, you know, and, and sense that are really creating a unique.

Cultures and just doing things a little differently because they can, and people are attracted to that. 

Greg Bray: Yeah. I mean, I certainly will confess that, that I have made that mistake of rushing a hiring process in the past, you know, and, and of course, we're, we're not a ginormous organization, you know, we've about 30 people right now, but So we're much bigger than we were a couple of years ago.

By the time we're ready to hire somebody it's because [00:31:00] there's work that needs to be done, that, that everybody can't get to. And we need to solve that problem as fast as possible because that work needs to get done. And I need somebody to do it. And when we hire them, it's like here, go do it because I'm busy doing all the other stuff and we don't, you know, and so I, I totally can understand. It's not because I don't care to find the right person. It's not because I don't want them to be successful. It's not because I don't want to teach them what to do. I'm just busy. I'm sorry. I'm just busy. How do you help me? 

Erica Lockwood: I, yes. and so then that's when I get the call, Hey, Erica, I'm really busy

I need help. I need a person and I, okay. Well, let me start going through the process and then, well, how soon can you get someone like, you know, I want to start interviewing tomorrow. Well you know, this is not the 99 cent or dollar value menu at McDonald's. That's not who I am, but I'm here for you to, to help you out, but you're right.

You know, just when there is a high sense of urgency to get something done, that that's a good thing, but [00:32:00] you can rush in and make a bad decision and let's face it, that in our industry, it is tends to be a very reactive. Uh, versus proactive mindset, you know, where most companies are not intentionally building their bench, so they don't have that void.

Now that doesn't mean you can always, even if you are building your bench, there, there might be certain scenarios that someone's not ready to go to that VP role yet. But, you know, I do think that people want to know that they have, again, they have that path. And that, that opportunity's there and that they see the commitment of the company wanting to get them opportunities to grow.

And our industry just tends to be very reactive. Like you're going and going. And oops. You know, I just lost a director of sales. I haven't been training anybody, you know, to move up into the sales management world. Whoops. You know, it happens, but in. In the perfect [00:33:00] world. You know, if, if there was some intentionality, it would have better results.

Greg Bray: You know, I, I got some advice early in my career that you just reminded me of. I was told, always be training your replacement because if you don't, you can't be promoted. And, and that, that kind of stuck with me. Some people see that as a threat, right. If I teach them everything I know, then they won't need me anymore or, or, you know, but, but if, if there's no one who can fill in that spot, then they can't put you in a new spot either.

Kevin Weitzel: And not if you put them in a position when you are training to be replacement, to gain fulfillment and have fulfillment in that job and that position in that role. That's the people that walk away is when they're no longer appreciated. 

Erica Lockwood: Yes they do. They say people don't leave companies. Generally they leave their manager, you know, the person that, that they were Interacting with most that is supposed to be developing people.

Uh, some people are not great at it. And you're right [00:34:00] to the comment that you made Greg about, you know, someone feeling like, gosh, I don't want to hire someone to replace me because you know, it's kind of job security or feeling threatened, but again, that's, I think that's where the emotional intelligence piece comes in.

You know, you should want to surround yourself with people that are way better at doing. What you do. Yeah. That's it that's and that's, you shouldn't feel threatened by that, you know? And it gives you an opportunity to move up and you know, and also to develop those people. 

Kevin Weitzel: I've got a two-part question.

Part one is if you had to split your client in builder and seeker, what would you say that ratio would be. From, you know, builders coming to you saying, Hey, I need a VP of this. And versus a VP of this saying, I need a company to work for 

Erica Lockwood: Right now. It's probably 99% builders and 1% outside of this market.

Kevin Weitzel: What would the typical ratio [00:35:00] be?

Erica Lockwood: I would say it's still higher on the builder side. You know, most people, especially since we're very niche oriented most people are just go along with their blinders on they're working and we just disrupt their day with a hello. So it's still, probably without this craziness, I'd say it's still 75, 25 higher on the builders side.

Kevin Weitzel: Okay. And my follow-up to that is, do you ever see with the, with the acquisitions that happen a lot in the home building industry, you know, you have, you know, builder that builds up, they get to the point where their exit strategy is to sell, or they're seen as desirable and, you know, from a bigger fish and they say, Hey, we want that successful company.

How often do you see when that acquisition happens, that the culture doesn't match and you just see. You know, not the rats, but the people scattering off the ship jumping ship. How often do you see where an acquisition happens, then you see four or five, six people from the company saying, Hey, help me find something. 

Erica Lockwood: That is usually when people are most susceptible when there's an acquisition, an acquisition or merger, and also people are most susceptible as well when there's a leadership change, even if there's not an acquisition or otherwise.

So, you know, the division president there's changes. Places either on his or her own or not it leaves the people that are on the leadership team and below to feel like, okay, who's coming in, who's doing what, but, you know, I would say that probably the biggest surge that I've seen in the last 21 years was, you know, with the, the CalAtlantic.

You know, there's just so much overlap in each of, a lot of their markets where there were, they were already both operating in the same market. And so there, [00:37:00] there were a lot more people that were very nervous, but I always see that happen when there's an acquisition that occurs. It's kind of like.

The Titanic, right. Or it doesn't have to be the Titanic, but that didn't stop really cool. Um, let's say a ship that's in trouble. Troubled waters. Okay. So I think you have 10% of the people that are probably over reactionary. And so they just jump and they don't know that the water's freezing cold and whatever.

And. I think likewise, you've got about 10% of the people that stay in the bottom. Like, Hey, you know, it's going to be okay. I'm not going to worry about them and stay here forever. And then I think everyone else in that 80%, I'm doing my math. Right. I think most people in 80% are they're reasonable.

They kind of want to wait it out and see, but they would be open to looking. But you know, I think most of the time what happens too with acquisitions is that. There's [00:38:00] always the, it's just a comment. Like nothing's going to change here, everything. It's going to be a really easy transition. And if anyone's been through that before they know that's not true.

You know, they, they've kind of seen it and they know what to expect. 

Greg Bray: Well, Erica, you've been very generous with your time today and it's been a fascinating conversation. So we appreciate you going a little longer than we had asked you to so, but in respect of your time, we'll kind of wrap up, but wanted to give you a chance.

Is there any kind of last piece of advice that you didn't get a chance to share that you really want to share with folks today? 

Erica Lockwood: Well, I would say, just be, always be open and this could be for builders and professionals, right? It's just to always be open to learning about an opportunity. The worst thing you could say is no, but maybe you've met someone new or, you know, made another industry contact and just to be open to conversation.

I think that's one thing that's missing in our world is people don't always like to communicate on the phone. [00:39:00] And have conversations. It's just a trend that we have, and that's the best way to get to know people is just to talk, you know, it can be a 10 minute conversation. It doesn't have to be a long time, but some people are just really not open to that.

And it's, I think you're missing out on some opportunities that you wouldn't know about otherwise. 

Greg Bray: Well, thank you so much. If somebody wants to learn more about you and communicate or find a new job. What's the best way for them to get older of you?

Erica Lockwood:  Well, always to call me, and my phone number. I don't know if it's going to be on that.

Greg Bray: Yeah,We'll put that in the show notes. 

Erica Lockwood: Okay. Yeah, that'd be great. My phone and then email, you can text me. We have, of course LinkedIn every social media platform possible. Just Google me. My names will come right up. 

Greg Bray: All right. Thank you, Erica. So much good stuff.

Erica Lockwood: Uh, everybody should check their own name every now and then just to see what comes up.

Erica Lockwood: Yes, now that makes me want to get on Google.

[00:40:00] Greg Bray: All right. Homework, homework assignment for everybody. Google your own name. See what you find and then Google Erica, and give her a call.  All right. Well, thanks again, Erica. We appreciate your time 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 Outhouse. Thank you.


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