Qualified Remodeler Magazine

JUN 2018

Qualified Remodeler helps independent remodeling firms to survive, become more professional and more profitable by providing must-have business information, namely best business practices, new product information and timely design ideas.

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HAVE A PLAN AND PUT IT IN MOTION After remodelers fully grasp a problem, they need to con- sider their options before they meet with the homeowner in person. Knowing their costs and time involved can help contractors conceive a realistic plan to rectify the issue at hand and defuse any tension. Customers expect them to sound prepared once they come, and remodelers should already know how the company can be flexible. "Sometimes when you pull up and get out of the truck, they're a little bit on the defensive. You have to overcome that," Peterson explains. "Formulate a plan to remedy the situation and have the pieces in motion before you arrive, even if it takes a couple of weeks to actually implement. If they know that something is in motion, it kind of alleviates a lot of the stress right off the bat." For example, East Coast Roofing, Siding & Windows recently installed a roof with three new skylights but need- ed to pack in the openings to match the size of the existing skylights, which exposed bare wood on the interior. e contract said that any interior modifications and/or trim would be the responsibility of the homeowners, which the company explained to them beforehand. e customers did not completely understand what the skylights would look like until they were installed, however, and they called to complain about the job. Peterson empathized with them and asked if they could take a few photos of the interior, so he could see the end result. He set up an in-person appointment and thanked them for the opportunity to come out and correct the faulty installation. Peterson then called a local drywall and painting com- pany that he recommends when customers need repairs. e owner agreed to accompany him on the appointment, so they could assess the installation and know their costs on site. Peterson offered to have this company finish the drywall and painting around the three skylights, includ- ing the full section of ceiling surrounding the area. eunissen advises remodelers to conduct regular progress meetings with clients throughout the project to mitigate problems before they fester. Homeowners often develop misgivings because they constantly see the job unfinished, and they worry that contractors will overlook significant aspects of the work. Once customers know what will happen next, they become more confident. "I know that there are a lot of people who would just assume not talk to [the homeowner] until the job is done. I don't think that's a great idea," she explains. "You have a lot of times when people are upset and scared; they're seeing something they don't understand, so it's causing them concern." Mark Scott, president of MARK IV Builders in Cabin John, Maryland, began meeting with each client every week more than 20 years ago. "It just seemed like all of the issues disappeared," he says. "We take notes on three-part NCR forms. Everybody initials [them] and gets a copy. at takes care of almost any issue. If it does get to the next step, then usually we can work it out." Formulate a plan to remedy the situation and have the pieces in motion before you arrive, even if it takes a couple of weeks to actually implement. Brian Peterson, East Coast Roofing, Siding & Windows Photo: iStock.com / Nicolas McComber SPECIAL REPORT: Conflict Resolution 32 June 2018 QR QualifiedRemodeler.com

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