By Annie P., Lombardo Homes Marketing Coordinator
Our sales team is the heart and soul of our company. Each sales manager wears a variety of hats, from guiding our homeowners through the sales and building process, to handling mounds of paperwork and serving as a liaison between our customers and staff.
Jaime Byrd is one of our Ann Arbor area sales managers, managing Arbor Ridge, a highly sought-after community in Pittsfield Township. I recently chatted with Jaime to learn a little more about her – where she started, what she likes about her career, advice for homebuyers and more.
How long have you worked for Lombardo Homes?
Since August 2008.
How long have you worked in new construction sales?
Yikes… since September 1996!
How did you get into this business? What interested you in the beginning?
My mother worked for a home builder, The Selective Group (later acquired by Centex). They were hiring for a sales assistant on the weekends, and I was a high schooler who just happened to need a weekend job. I ended up adding more hours after school during the week. Then, I stayed on while I started college to be a veterinarian. But then I decided that I really liked new home sales, so I switched my major to marketing.
What do you like best about your job?
It’s a lot of things that, to me, go together. I love seeing a new community before the streets are in, imagining what it’ll be like in a year. At the same time, I get to know everyone who’s buying their new home, and I get to watch as this big empty field turns into an actual neighborhood.
A year later as I’m walking to my car to head home to my own family, I see people outside grilling, spending time with friends and neighbors on their patio, or riding bikes with their kids. Sometimes I get a little bit emotional about it when I think about the impact we have on peoples’ lives.
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
My husband’s a high school teacher, so since my days off are Wednesday and Thursday, I really only get to spend time with him and our kids on my days off in the summer. So summertime is all about spending time with my family. When the weather is nice, my patio is my favorite spot for a book and a glass of wine.
When the kids are in school and it’s not so nice out, my guilty pleasure is definitely playing Guitar Hero TV on the PlayStation 4. Oh, and I love photography. I’m the team photographer for my daughter’s gymnastics team (I take a lot of photos in the new homes that we build, too.)
What’s your favorite restaurant in the area? What do you usually order?
Oh my gosh, it’s so hard to decide! There is a Chili’s right by my house that we go to a lot, so I guess that’s my answer this month. My waistline isn’t happy with me about this, but my favorite there is the Chicken Bacon Ranch Quesadilla. Every time I order it, I think “this is the absolute last time!” But it never is.
What’s one thing you wish all prospective homebuyers knew before they visited the sales office?
A lot of people come into the office to just see what we have… and that’s great! Our models are gorgeous and we love showing off what we offer. But if you’ve decided that this is truly the time for you to buy a home, it’s so much easier if you’ve spoken with a lender first. Keep in mind, a lot of lenders will tell you what you’re approved for, but many people don’t realize the monthly payment that goes along with that approved amount.
I really recommend talking to a lender (especially Homesite Mortgage) about the monthly payment first. Based on your payment comfort zone and available down payment, they can tell you the purchase price to look for. I’ve seen so many people fall in love with something, only to find that it isn’t in the budget, and then decide not to move at all. But if you know your budget up front, we can help focus on something that will fit all of your needs and wants, and keep you in your budget.
What advice do you have for new homebuyers to help the building process run smoothly?
Trust yourself. It’s a long journey and many people forget what they chose six months ago and start to panic. I get a lot of phone calls and emails from clients that are afraid they picked something awful, since they can’t remember what it is.
So trust in yourself; you picked out your favorite cabinets, countertops, and floors that will come together as a beautiful home, so enjoy the wait! When they are all installed, it’s an exciting surprise!