Ask A MIRM: Why The Nationals Matter

Alisa Poncher picAlisa Poncher is the director of training and implementation for William Lyon Homes in Greenwood Village, Colo. She won the Gold Award for Sales Manager of the Year at The Nationals 2015. The annual awards program is presented by the NAHB National Sales and Marketing Council.

Q: How did winning a Gold Award at The Nationals help you in your career?

A: I believe it's important to know where you came from to appreciate where you are, and more importantly to know where you want to go in the future. I remember The Nationals 2015 like it was yesterday and yet it seems so long ago.

When the finalists were being announced for the Sales Manager of the Year category, I sat there convinced I didn’t have a chance and just felt blessed to be a finalist. I knew some of the other finalists, and I knew how fantastic they were at what they did.

As they began to list the traits of the Gold winner, I thought to myself, “The winner sounds great at what they do.” Then I heard my name announced. I was truly shocked, as I believed it had to be somebody else. I wasn’t even planning to enter The Nationals, and now I was walking to the stage to receive a Gold Award.

Everything seemed like it was happening in slow motion. I didn’t have a speech prepared, and I wasn’t sure what I was going to say.

My journey in the industry quickly came to mind. Winning gave me the confidence to believe in myself like I hadn't before. I started in new home sales without any experience, but so do many other people. I worked hard, but so do other people. What made me different?

I don’t know the complete answer, but I do know I wanted to keep getting better professionally and personally—always challenging myself to be the best I could be.

So how did winning at The Nationals help me in my career? Winning gave me the confidence to believe in myself like I hadn’t before. I always thought I did a good job, but after winning I had the self-confidence to really believe in my skills and abilities.

I had to come to terms with those that didn’t believe in my abilities or support my growth and make professional changes. Change is never easy, but with change comes our greatest growth.

Winning has also given me the opportunity to learn from some of the best of the best in our industry. I’ve been able to increase my sphere of influence to include people that I now look to for motivation and continued growth.

I’ve spent time with some of our industry’s top producers, instructors and industry leadership, many I’m lucky enough to consider friends. These people have encouraged me to continue to learn and grow and follow my dreams.

Since winning, I’ve had an opportunity to speak at the International Builders’ Show, earn my MIRM [or Master in Residential Marketing], become certified to teach multiple courses through NAHB including MIRM and CSP [Certified New Home Sales Professional], and have mentored others.

Most importantly, winning at The Nationals gave me an opportunity to see where my true passion is and to pursue that passion which is helping others reach their full potential: training.

This article originally appeared in Sales + Marketing Ideas magazine. Sales + Marketing Ideas magazine is now available to download on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android. Search “NAHB” and look for the gray Sales + Marketing Ideas icon.


Anne Ladewig