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International Builder Show2024, 10 Key Takeaways - PART 1

March, 15, 2024
IBS 2024 10 Key Takeaways from Roland part 1

The International Builders Show in Vegas was the highest-attended show in 15 years with over 75,000 attendees. Many of you were back home making sales and tending to your families; and couldn’t just take off for three days, and swan around Sin City, gorging yourself on education, exhibits, and Gordon Ramsey's latest cuisine! So with that in mind, I thought I would update you with some of the educational tidbits and lessons learned. 

Proud Papa of Protegees

A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.

Oprah Winfrey

I am so grateful to many mentors who have helped me along the way. One of the greatest honors as a sales coach is observing people you have coached, not only thrive in sales and their careers; but also become teachers and educate and inspire others to follow in their illustrious footsteps. This year I had the ultimate pleasure of watching four such talented women, share their wisdom with their peers at IBS 2024.  

For the record, I have asked everyone mentioned in this blog to send me their own more in-depth blog, which we will send out to you separately, so you can unpack more detailed information. I would like to share my biggest takeaways with you, of what I learned from each.

Sales and Marketing leaders Terri Smith of Bosgraaf Homes in Holland Michigan, and Jenna Parker of Stevens Fine Homes in Wilmington, NC taught: “How to Cross-Train, Streamline & Collaborate your way to maximize profits and improve Culture.”

Terri Bosgraf discusses team building retreats at IBS 2024

Key # 1 -  Team Building Retreat

Among other topics, Terri talked about Bosgraaf’s “Two Day Vision Retreat”. This is an annual Team Building event, where the whole company hunkers down and works on the upcoming year goals and strategies. They begin with a detailed SWOT analysis, then have breakout groups, and have each group present their ideas to the rest of the company. Terri shared that there were some less-social types, who originally came kicking and screaming, but have now become raving fans for the process, and cheerleaders for the company culture.

“High, Low, Buffalo.”

You will have to wait for Terri’s blog to know what Buffalo means, pertaining to goal setting, but the biggest takeaways Terri shared was that:

Transparency = Buy in

Jenna Parker of Stevens Fine Homes uses colorful symbols for homes at various phases of permitting and completion

Key # 2 –  Construction & Sales Collaboration Meetings

Jenna talked at length about the transformative effect that “Even Flow” construction has had on Stevens Fine Homes. This simple change has brought structure to both the construction and sales teams and has helped increase profits dramatically. Jenna’s favorite part of their process is the collaboration that takes place between Sales and Construction every two weeks during their in-depth “Even Flow Update” meeting. Being a fun-loving expressive, Jenna has created colorful symbols for homes at various phases of permitting and completion.

The group discusses Jenna's method

I have witnessed three of these meetings in person, and have always been impressed by the enthusiasm, synergy, and connection between all parts of Steven Fine Homes, as they all row together in the same direction to get to the same positive destination. 

Beth Byrd is the sales leader at Beacon Homes in Edmond, Oklahoma.  I had the privilege of working together with Beth and her team for a few years. Beth also had a Podcast called “Tough as Nails” dealing with construction from a female perspective, with the talented and delightful Master OSC, Cori (Fernandez Villanueva) Masters.

Dont be a lawnmower manager

Key # 3 – Don’t be A Lawnmower Manager

Beth always had a passion for training, (she is pictured role-playing on site, back in 2019 with our Discovery Belts), but it is still a remarkable achievement that she was a featured speaker at the Sales Rally, which is the Marquis event, attracting the biggest audience at IBS! Beth did an incredible job, covering tips on sales leadership, dealing with balance, and time management. One of the standouts for me was the concept of not being a “lawnmower” manager or parent. We have probably heard about helicopter parenting, but being a lawnmower is when you try to predict and smooth out all of the potential future rough spots for your kids or salespeople, instead of letting them endure life’s normal setbacks. We all probably agree that it is the tumbles and hard knocks in life, that are so valuable in molding us, and from which we often learn the most.

Beth has a passion for training

I was so happy to bump into Christa Swistak CSP, SRS, SRES, who is a top Realtor ® in beautiful Saratoga Springs, NY, for Sterling Real Estate Group, and specializes in new construction. Christa was giving a presentation for Home builders on Realtor ® relationships and how to generate Realtor loyalty. Christa works under Lisa Licata at Sterling, whom I have worked with for almost 20 years, and who has built an incredible business, serving builders in upstate New York. Lisa has always believed in training and teaches her team to follow a replicable sales process, proven to maximize results.

Educate your Realtors

Key # 4 - Educate your Realtors®.

Christa has impressively written a curriculum on how to sell new construction and has it credited for continuing education in the state of New York. My key takeaway from her program was that Realtors love education, so become the builder sales team who invest in your Realtors, and invite them out for education while also teaching them how to follow your processes, maximize their sales, and create loyalty for your builder brand.  

I had the privilege of speaking with my good buddy David Hagan, President of Sales Uncomplicated and licensed John Maxwell coach on how to be a Sales leader, not a follower.  We created this program to ensure that all salespeople are leading their clients and the sales process and have fully adjusted from the heyday of the post covid low rate boom. We shared 8 Tips for Managers and 8 more for salespeople.

If you would like the brochure and PowerPoints please email me at and write Sales Leader Collateral. Here are some of our key takeaways.

Sales leaders provide and require the use of an effective sales process

Key # 5 - Sales Leaders Provide & Require the use of an effective Sales Process

David dove deep into the importance of following a structured sales process. One that is simple to follow, effective, and replicable by every sales team member and manager.  He shared a funny story about how we first met when he was a young sales manager in Savannah. We had just completed a day of sales training and covered the importance of involvement, mini closes, and micro decisions leading to big sales. David and I stopped by the model on the way to dinner, and as luck would have it a potential customer was waiting for us.  David took them through his newly updated sales process, I was pretending not to listen from my perch in the converted garage sales office.

Every few minutes David shared a feature and a benefit and then went if for an involvement question. All I could hear was this enthusiastic lady, with a loud shrill Southern accent exclaiming  “I like it, I like it!”. This occurred at least fifteen more times. I kept hearing, “I like it, I Like It!”, until David came back to the garage sales office, recapped every “like it” hot-button feature and benefit, and closed, making a sale on the spot. Another happy customer and life changed for the good.

Men wanted sign

Key # 6 - Sales Leaders Are Always Building a Bench

I want to prevent information overload, so  I am going to save my last five IBS Key takeaways, for Part 2 of this IBS 2024 series, which I will publish this time next week. So please stay tuned. Not only will you learn the relevance of this famous old ad as it pertains to recruiting and building g the ideal team, but also share four more key takeaways, one of which came from John Lee, founder of Anewgo during the incredible Ai workshop pictured below.

Ai workshop at IBS 2024

In the meantime, please email me for the PowerPoints and booklet mentioned.  Also, remember to take the time to share your wisdom and mentor those around you. Take it from me, that your heart will swell with pride as you watch them soar and improve the lives of those around them.

Roland Nairnsey

Email Roland

By Roland Nairnsey, Founder of New Home Sales Plus
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