A. Whatís Going OnRemodeling manager for Structures Building Co.ís ReStructure remodeling division, Marty Kersey, e-mails this form to clients along with photographs of their project. In this section he can explain in detail about work thatís being done when itís something that might not have such visual impact, such as framing. “With HVAC or plumbing, it may not look like things are going on,” Kersey points out. “This section relieves [the homeownerís] worries.”B. Getting SpecificThis is the point where Kersey needs to know specifics, particularly about allowances. “As we go through the process, weíre trying to get answers as quickly as possible,” he says. He brings up questions so clients have time to think about things they will need to decide on, such as paint selections. Itís also a time for clients to ask questions, too. “This is to maintain an open dialogue on both sides,” Kersey says.C. UpdatesItís important to let clients know what theyíll be seeing on the next weekís paperwork and in the project. If there are permit issues that may put a job into a holding pattern, for example, the homeowner should know.D. All OnboardUntil youíre building, you might not be sure how things will all come together ó piecing together stairway components is a good example. “We need to keep the home≠owner on the same page as to what weíre doing and to think ahead so theyíre not overwhelmed with too many decisions at once,” Kersey says.
A. Whatís Going OnRemodeling manager for Structures Building Co.ís ReStructure remodeling division, Marty Kersey, e-mails this form to clients along with photographs of their project. In this section he can explain in detail about work thatís being done when itís something that might not have such visual impact, such as framing. “With HVAC or plumbing, it may not look like things are going on,” Kersey points out. “This section relieves [the homeownerís] worries.”B. Getting SpecificThis is the point where Kersey needs to know specifics, particularly about allowances. “As we go through the process, weíre trying to get answers as quickly as possible,” he says. He brings up questions so clients have time to think about things they will need to decide on, such as paint selections. Itís also a time for clients to ask questions, too. “This is to maintain an open dialogue on both sides,” Kersey says.C. UpdatesItís important to let clients know what theyíll be seeing on the next weekís paperwork and in the project. If there are permit issues that may put a job into a holding pattern, for example, the homeowner should know.D. All OnboardUntil youíre building, you might not be sure how things will all come together ó piecing together stairway components is a good example. “We need to keep the home≠owner on the same page as to what weíre doing and to think ahead so theyíre not overwhelmed with too many decisions at once,” Kersey says.

The most important thing in remodeling is trust — between you and the homeowner and between the home­owner and the subs, says Marty Kersey, remodeling manager for ReStructure, the remodeling division of Structures Building Co., in Mt. Pleasant, S.C.

ReStructure helps this trust along by teaching its employees that they are “invited but unwanted house guests” who work around the homeowner’s schedule and lifestyle.

Through customer surveys done by GuildQuality, Kersey and company owner Steve Kendrick know that communication is important to building and maintaining trust and keeping clients (see “Talk It Up”). Over the years they have used various techniques for communicating with homeowners, such as a daily log book. Most communication now is done via text message and e-mail.

“I might hear from homeowners four or five times a day, and if we’re not responding within the hour, they think something’s wrong,” Kersey says. “But face-to-face meetings are the best way.”

Kersey and homeowners have a regularly scheduled weekly meeting for project updates. ReStructure’s progress report keeps the lines of communication open.

—Stacey Freed, senior editor, REMODELING.