Take advantage of the honeymoon period to establish good client-contractor communication
Managing customer’s emotions during a renovation can be tricky. At the beginning of a project, the relationship between client and contractor is usually pretty good. They’re excited about signing the contract, they’re bringing you coffee in the morning and donuts in the afternoon. But somewhere down the line, the honeymoon period ends.
What can you do at the beginning of a job, when things are great, to prepare for that time later when emotions go a little haywire?
Don’t wait until that moment, advises Mike Draper at Renovantage. Address the potential for conflict at the beginning of a job when things are going well.
“After the agreement has been made to go forward, talk about a process that you’re going to go through if the homeowner has concerns about the project,” Draper says. “Make it so that they can feel comfortable coming to you with issues so that that you can deal with them.”
At the beginning of a job, establish everything that may take place over the course of the project – including how to maintain open communication, resolve disagreements, and get potential conflicts out on the table.
If you want to maintain good communication with clients after the project is complete, focus on the job even more during the final few weeks and days and weeks of a project, advises Draper. Don’t cut corners and leave a deficiency list.
Toward the end of a project “contractors start pulling away,” he says. “They fear they’re not going to get their last cheque. But you’ve got to push in, get it done, and get out.”
Get out with the relationship on great terms (for future referrals), the deficiency list extinct, and with your last cheque fully paid.