to steal a line from the toast my dad made at my brother’s wedding: “The key to success in real estate may be location, location, location, but the key to success in marriage is communication, communication, communication.”

Similarly, for remodelers, providing and sharing information in a timely and efficient manner is one of the most valuable tools an owner has to create a strong bond with both clients and employees and to keep projects running smoothly.

Max Hirshfeld

For consultant Katherine Morris, writing in this issue in the People section, reaching beyond clients’ oral cues is crucial to a strong design. Instead of asking what the clients don’t like about their existing kitchen, Morris advises designers to visit the client’s home to observe firsthand how they use the space. This helps designers understand issues that homeowners may be unable to articulate and will ensure that the views of all family members inform the design.

In that same section, we cover how Mitchell Construction owner Tom Mitchell hired a coach to address interoffice communication but shifted the training focus to improving communication with clients during the sales process. We also show how remodeler Jonas Carnemark uses new parts of his company’s Web site to convey project information to clients and trade partners.

In the Process section, contributor Bridget McCrea explores how Conneely Contracting uses online video tours of its projects to help convey to potential clients the quality and craftsmanship of its work.

And during my interview for the profile about Atlanta remodeling company HammerSmith, owner Warner McConaughey said that the reason he brought design in house was to better control communication from project start to finish.

Whether it’s marriage or running a company, you can’t afford to leave communication to chance. Constantly reevaluate how and how often you share information, and make a point of removing any roadblocks. Technology may help smooth the path, but it’s no substitute for the personal touch.