Should you allow your trade contractors to work directly for a client after a job is complete?
—Mitch Stanley, Stanley Home Renovation & Design, Milwaukie, Ore.
A: This is sticky because you, the remodeler, want to remain the first contact anytime a client has a need.
Try this: Before passing along the trade contractor’s contact information, visit the client at their home. Look at the work they are thinking of having done and for related work that would be triggered by the project. If there is any, point it out and suggest that you might be the general for the project, handling all the work. If there is none, then suggest that you yourself should call the trade contractor.
When speaking with the trade contractor, first agree that you want to be informed as soon as the client expands the scope of work and that you are the only general contractor your trade contractor will mention. Share the client’s contact information and give some background on the client such as what their main concerns are regarding workers in their home.
While the work is under way, call the client and ask how it’s going. When the project is done, arrange to walk through the home with the client.
Why all the points of contact? So the client remembers you and your company as a trusted resource for any work he or she ever considers having done to the home. It is the least-expensive marketing you can do!
—Paul Winans, former owner of Winans Construction, in San Francisco, is now a consultant to remodeling company owners who want to earn more money while working fewer hours. email@example.com, 541.488.6452.