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Becoming An Inspiring Leader in New Home Sales (Part III)

By Star Report 5 min read

Leadership isn’t simply a trait that individuals are born with, rather it is a skill that can be taught, learned, and developed. Arguably, the most important aspect of talent development for aspiring leaders is providing inspiration and the necessary tools to help team members constantly move up and become better versions of themselves.

To view other parts of the article series, please click on the links below.

Defined New Home Sales Career Path

To set a clear vision for progress, this entire journey has been mapped out by New Home Star’s 11-step Career Path. Ranging from New Hire Trainee to Regional Vice President, this tool describes each position and outlines the requirements and expectations that must be met to reach that step. While the process of moving across the different areas of the Career Path may not be easy, it is simple to understand what must be done and what the next step will require.

More importantly, each step gradually builds a candidate over time and does not prevent them from experiencing career progress when they may not be ready or eligible for a raise. In fact, only climbing four steps in our career path comes with a monetary raise, whereas the other steps are designed solely to empower, educate, and motivate an employee.

From the operations side of the company, this tool is also critical to recruitment efforts, making sure that top talent is consistently funneled in from the front end. By filling lower-level positions with individuals that show the potential and ambition to move up, the company ensures that it is consistently nurturing the next generation of leaders.

While the initial and top highlights of a career journey are typically the most memorable, it is those steps in between that mold an individual and their skill sets. This truth has led New Home Star’s Organizational Development team to institute two people development programs that serve as steps in the Career Path. These programs guide Sales Associates through rigorous training with the intent to prepare them for management-level positions. Rather than job positions, these steps are curriculums that individuals work through in addition to their regular Sales Associate duties.

Division Mentor Designation

The first talent development program that Sales Associates can qualify for is the New Home Star mentorship program. This program is designed to teach the ins and outs of mentoring and educating new Sales Associates. This out-of-market training session takes place twice a year in Chicago and highlights ideas and best practices for mentorship, how to lead a group of mentors, and how to effectively lead role-play exercises in a safe way that drives real-world performance. Once the training is completed, participants return to their local divisions and are equipped to assist local management with certain duties which include leading new Trainees through the New Home Star 8-week training program. The title “Mentor” has taken on a prestigious meaning throughout the company as it represents the drive to go above and beyond, venturing toward the next Career Path step.

Leadership Development Program (LDP)

Over the past few years, there have been great efforts to develop and fine-tune the most premier new home sales leadership team in the industry. These efforts have led to the next step in the New Home Star Career Path, the Leadership Development Program (LDP). LDP is an 11-month curriculum that consists of four 10 week-long courses. These courses cover the foundations of sales management, the best practices for working alongside builder partners in locations throughout the country, tips for engaging Sales Associates, and in-depth training about leadership styles and principles that allow individuals to become world-class leaders. The coursework for this class includes weekly videos and quizzes, reading assignments, online discussions, weekly conference calls led by sales leaders throughout the country, quarterly out-of-market training meetings, and course final projects that have immediate implications for their current teams. This intensive program is not for the faint of heart, therefore 90% of LDP members are promoted to management-level positions during or after their time in the course.

Identifying Leadership Potential & Ambitions

New Home Star doesn’t simply provide the Career Path as a tool for Sales Associates to use and then leave them to navigate it on their own. That would defeat the purpose. As a means for setting a clear vision and making sure that Sales Associates are consistently inspired to reach for higher career goals, New Home Star has instilled two formal processes that every leader in the company must conduct. The first is an Individual Performance Appraisal (IPA). This is a monthly process intended to provide consistent feedback and encouragement for ongoing development. Managers sit down individually with their team of Sales Associates and discuss how they are performing compared to the standards and goals that have been set before them. The IPA helps to eliminate any gray area concerning merit and promotion; it also helps those motivated professionals to work toward the next step in the New Home Star Career Path.

The next formal process that leadership guides their teams through is an Individual Development Plan (IDP), which is conducted on an annual basis. During an IDP, Sales Associates discuss with their managers their goals for five to ten years down the road. Often, these goals will align with a certain step in the Career Path, but they are not limited to this. It is the job of the manager to ensure that team members are aiming with high ambition and reaching the objectives they have set. The IDP process brings clarity to this and makes sure that both parties are on the same page and working toward a common goal.

New Home Star is proactively expanding their world-class management team. By developing and utilizing the Career Path, people development programs, and ongoing reviewal processes, the company ensures that it is able to evolve and blossom management talent from within. By having a pool of highly-qualified candidates that have been through the mentorship and leadership development programs, New Home Star can funnel individuals into management positions for growing and newly established partnerships with the vision of building the best sales team in the world.

Originally published Feb 8, 2018 under Explore the latest topics, updated March 7, 2024

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