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TD Magazine Article

Building for Success

In the competitive world of real estate development, differentiated growth requires a highly trained, motivated, and goal-oriented workforce.


Fri Jun 14 2024

Building for Success

AMH: 2024 BEST Award Winner, #1

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In the competitive world of real estate development, differentiated growth requires a highly trained, motivated, and goal-oriented workforce.


AMH—which is an owner, operator, and developer of single-family rental homes—credits its competitive advantage to the professionalism and training of its management and employees. At the heart of the company's success is a holistic vision where every facet of talent development aligns seamlessly with broader organizational objectives.

The emphasis on TD starts at the top, with a leadership development function that combines innovative technology applications with best practices to create effective, highly customized learning paths for leaders at all levels.

AMH views its TD strategy with a 360-degree lens. Examples include revamping its recruiting, hiring, and onboarding processes; streamlining referrals; refining the candidate evaluation process; and innovating compliance training delivery. By replacing a conventional onboarding program with a seamless and welcoming approach, the company has found remarkable success in the integration and retention of new talent.

Those combined TD efforts have contributed to a decrease in the company-wide turnover rate, currently at under 28 percent, which is 16.4 percent lower than the industry benchmark. For those in leadership roles, a more elevated orientation process has produced a 33 percent reduction in turnover among participants.

"This success is no coincidence. It's the result of a 'transformative journey' anchored firmly in" the Talent Development Capability Model, claims CJ Rodriguez, AMH's leadership development advisor. The capabilities "serve as a fundamentally sound foundation in our approach to developing and delivering quality content for our team members and support the organizational growth at AMH."


The company has redefined how it sources, develops, and rewards team members through an innovative platform that drives responsible business and a growth mindset that emphasizes integrity. "It's our investment in building our future succession pipeline," Rodriguez continues.

Ensuring collaborative growth

At the core of every TD initiative is the conviction that growth must be collaborative, with equal input from team members and their managers. That has shaped the company's approach to empowering team members with agency over their growth journeys—so that learning is personal, purposeful, and customized.

AMH's emphasis on development shines in its popular development toolkits, a systematic method for all team members below the vice president level to define, track, and complete specific and continuous development activities during their careers. The toolkits drive measurable performance development within the company. More than 90 percent of applicable team members have a development toolkit with activities in progress, AMH reports.

For those at the level of vice president or higher, the TD function created a comprehensive goal template. The company evaluates officers to identify high-potential and solid performers. Based on executive evaluation in consultation with leadership development, each officer collaborates with their leader to create a goal plan for both performance and leadership objectives. Last year, every officer worked an active, individualized, and growth-focused set of four leadership goals and three to five business goals.

Organizational agility

Through its TD initiatives, AMH has remained agile in the face of a rapidly evolving housing market and continues to innovate. In 2012, the company pioneered the single-family rental industry by professionalizing the management of homes at scale. Five years later, it launched its own fully integrated development program, which has delivered much-needed housing inventory to an undersupplied marketplace. Earlier this year, AMH once again advanced the industry by becoming the first single-family rental real estate investment trust to issue green bonds in the US investment-grade market.


The TD function plays a pivotal role in ensuring organizational agility by introducing scenario-planning sessions and training teams to envision potential futures and devise adaptive strategies. The leadership development team has created flexible, modular, and digital-rich learning platforms while using live workshops that promote engagement and interactivity in a hybrid workplace.

One such initiative is a leadership journey certification program, which is a collection of learning experiences for team members at varying stages of development. While primarily focused on leadership skills, the program also provides deep insights into the company's strategic goals, equipping future leaders to embrace its vision.

"We've thoughtfully designed this voluntary program to accompany and empower our team members throughout all stages of their formation," says Lisa Phelps, the senior vice president of HR. More than 400 team members are certified in the program, representing approximately 25 percent of the company's national workforce.

Another example is the DevPro program, which integrates core human skills training from leadership development with technical skills training, in modules ascending from tactical to strategic. Its curriculum incorporates online tools, direct coaching, feedback from a manager or supervisor, and practice activities involving co-workers to achieve each level of certification.

That adaptive approach to learning has empowered the AMH team to continue the company's legacy of innovation. "All of our team members work hard every day to make us one of the leading housing providers in the country," says CEO David Singelyn.

With its award-winning learning strategy and infrastructure, AMH is poised for continued success in the competitive world of real estate development.

View the entire list of 2024 BEST Award winners.

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