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  • Alison Monette

Carmin - Roadmap to Building Custom Homes

Updated: Aug 12, 2020

What do you do for a living?

Real estate developer focusing on residential and commercial builds, new and re-construction. In other words, I build people the home they want to live in.


What does a day at your job look like?

My job is to remove any obstacles to getting the houses built. There is lots of communication with clients because the houses are custom built, so their needs and desires are always at the top of my priority list. Early mornings are a must, to meet with contractors and get them situated. Making sure orders are placed correctly and on time. Managing communication through emails and phone calls until the job is done. So project management along with marketing, brand management, advertising and promotion of my company.


What path did you take to get here?

Graduated high school-->

Bachelors in Psychology from LSU-->

Got married and moved to IL-->

Worked in organizational development-->

Moved again for my husband's work and took time off to be with my children and figure out what I wanted to do-->

After I took a programming development class I got hired as software developer at a company for school districts and decided I wanted to be an entrepreneur because I could see how to do things more efficiently than the owners of the company-->

Worked IT at corporate Ace Hardware while getting a Masters in Computer Science from DePaul-->

Started MBA program at Northwestern where I discovered marketing and knew it was my calling-->

Started my own tech consulting firm-->

Moved to Kansas City for my husband’s job and had my fourth child-->

Got multiple job offers in tech but had to move back to IL for my husband’s work and couldn't find a house that fit our needs as a family-->

Decided to try building a business of building custom homes, starting with our family home-->

Got brokers license-->

I had difficulty getting in front of developers to buy a lot to build a new home so I decided to buy a tear-down from a private individual-->

Took inspiration from the shotgun houses of New Orleans which are perfect for narrow lots, so named my company Magnolia Custom Homes-->

Contacted HGTV and was accepted into Dream House series-->

Built our family home-->

Have built over 50 houses since


What are the Challenges of your job?

Not taking everything personally. It’s not about money for me, it’s about building a house that my client is going to love but also maintaining the boundaries needed to run a business.


What are the blessings of your job?

1. I'm able to have the flexibility to be there for my family while still doing work that inspires me.

2. To be able to point at something real and beautiful and say “I did that”


What 3 characteristics do you have to possess or develop to do your job well?

1. Being able to manage many balls in the air at one time. It’s the perfect job for women and moms because we're multi-taskers.

2. Tenacity - don’t take no for an answer right away. Look at all the angles before you accept that something can't be done.

3. Likability - not just with clients, but also to motivate the people who work for you. Connecting with people to show them you like them and we’re all similar.

What are 3 concrete things you’d tell someone on their journey to doing your job?

1. Have the confidence to believe you can do this job first. Come up with a plan for what you want to build and then research where you want to build it.

2. Study what others who are successful in this field are doing, and then adapt what works for you. Find a benchmark that you want to emulate.

3. Again, don't take no for an answer. Don’t be afraid to ask for exactly what you want and often times you'll get it.


www.magnoliacustomhomes.com

IG: @carmin_chic

FB: Magnolia Custom Homes


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