We thought it would be fun to introduce you to some of the members of our sales team through Q&A. This is the team our clients spend the majority of their time with during the pre-construction phase. I think it is important to know who you are going to be working with on a project like building a new home. I’m going to start in order of their tenure and the first team member I’d like to introduce you to is Shelly Cauthen.
Shelly was hired in 2002 as a Sales Manager. She successfully sold our homes until 2005 when she approached me with an idea to change our approach to selling. Instead of having one person working with the client during the pre-construction phase, she proposed that we implement a team selling approach. The idea being that the Sales Manager would work with the client on designing the structural aspects of the house while the Design Consultant would focus on assisting the client with their color selections and all of the other details required when building a custom home. The benefit to our client is that they have an expert guiding them through each phase of the process which results in quicker and more efficient results.
Shelly has been our Design Consultant since 2005, and she is awesome at what she does. Not only does she keep up with the latest design trends, but she is also experienced in working with clients to get exactly what they want and within their budget.
Friends, meet Shelly.
Tell us a little about your background, your family, where you live, etc…
I grew up in a small, rural town in central PA. I am the ONLY person in my family to leave that town. I grew up on a farm with lots of animals, including horses that my sister and I used to show. I moved to Virginia after high school to work as a nanny and go to college. I am now married and live in Prince William County with my husband and three children, twins Lena and Kyler who are 17 and Kyra who is 15. We also have two dogs, Mongus, our almost 16 year old Lab who does yoga in his free time (it’s pretty funny actually, and his antics have been on the radio!) and Rue, our 2 year old, 3 legged Golden Doodle. I started in real estate in 1998 so I could maximize the time with my kids. And then I came to NDI in 2002, first a Sales Manager and then as a Design Consultant.
You’ve been in this industry a while. That means you’ve seen a lot of changes in the building industry. What are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen?
While home design trends change often, the single most impactful change has been the amount of time it takes to actually get through county permitting and all that goes into site development. When I first started at NDI, we used to tell people it took a month to get a permit. Scott (owner & founder of NDI) always tells stories about submitting for building permits in Fauquier County. He would drop off his application and by the time he got back from getting a cup of coffee, the permit was ready. My how times have changed! Permitting and site development have become much more complex over the years. That is one of the reasons we started offering our site management option.
You work with all NDI clients, helping them make selections. What is popular right now?
Clean lines! Whether its trim, door design or kitchen cabinets, the line is crisp and clean and classic. We have also seen a transition from light floors and dark cabinets to dark floors and light cabinets.
What advice would you give to clients who are anxious about making selections?
Try to have faith in yourself. If you really don’t know what you like, take a trip to Home Depot or Lowes (without kids) or spend time looking at magazines. Sometimes a little inspiration can help to get you moving in the right direction.
When you are not working, what do you like to do in your free time?
I am personally trying to figure out what this urban legend “free time” is! But with three active teens, I find I spend a great deal of time on soccer and football sidelines. I also love crafting. My new thing is wall art made exclusively from wood, reading (any Sophie Kinsella, Nicholas Sparks or James Patterson will do… you know, the highly educational stuff that we can’t live without!) And writing! I write a lot and someday, I might actually get brave enough to try and have something published!
What would we be surprised to know about you?
I think everyone would be surprised that I love winter! I much prefer the snow over the beach.
My next career might be breeding Aussie Doodles and when I was a teen, I helped build the house my parents still live in today!
What advice would you give to those considering building a home?
JUST DO IT! I do mean that but seriously, know what you want and what you need. Understand the difference. Talk to the lender and find your financial comfort zone. If you can get what you need and some of what you want, go for it! And let the process work! We’ve been around for a long time, and we know what we’re doing. Once you make the decision to build with us, follow our process and we promise your home will be beautiful and most important, on schedule!