All builders and remodelers will encounter difficulties with clients at one time or another. However, the best strategy to avoid this scenario is doing your best to prevent problems before they occur. Here’s how the pros do it.

  • Be an active listener. Active listening is essential for good client management. This means that you fully concentrate, understand, respond and then remember what your client tells you regarding their remodeling wants and needs. Often just by practicing active listening, you can increase comfort levels, solve problems and prevent conflict.
  • Hold a pre-construction meeting. This important event will help you establish expectations regarding who will be the point of contact, when communication will happen and so on. A pre-construction plan review is the time to walk your client through the remodeling process, timelines and paperwork step-by-step to prevent future misunderstandings and ensure that everyone is on the same page. It should include details around the products you are using and the benefits specific to their home. “I go over the features and specifications of their siding choices,” says Brent Taylor, owner of C. Taylor in Raleigh, NC. “I save the warranty comparison for last. By doing this, I am allowing the client to make a well-educated decision regarding a very large investment in their home.”
  • Use visual technology to help them envision the final product. Today’s homeowners expect to see more than a few photos of what their remodel might look like. While providing these elaborate 3D representations may seem daunting, even small firms can compete in this area by utilizing digital tools such as Hover. By utilizing visual technology, you can understand your client’s vision and help them see exactly what they’re getting.
  • Nurture open communication. Communication is important in any industry, but its importance can’t be understated when it comes to building and remodeling – where poor communication can result in stress, monetary losses for both parties, lawsuits and more. Provide one point of contact for your client, and make sure the contact communicates with the homeowner clearly and often. Taylor sends daily texts or emails regarding what happened that day on a client’s project. “The high level of communication helps temper most client concerns and allows for potential design changes to be addressed earlier in the process,” he notes.
  • Serve as an ongoing resource. After the final draw has been cashed, don’t drop your client like a hot potato. Make sure they understand the warranty coverage included with their siding and other building materials, and let them know they can contact you for help if any future issues arise. Learn more about how to increase customer referral rates.

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