There is a plethora of advice out there when it comes to the project planning and management of home renovations, but most of what you will find online is from the perspective of the homeowner. There’s nothing much when it comes to valuable advice for contractors.
That’s probably because you know what you are doing. Fair enough, you are an expert in your trade, but what about when it comes to building healthy client relationships and ensuring they are happy throughout the build process? No matter how experienced you are, people can be difficult.
From those who have been on both sides of the spectrum, here are some tips when it comes to project planning and management, more specifically on how to execute a seamless build (one with as little hassle or dissatisfaction form the client as possible).
Keep best practices at the forefront of your operation
We can often get stuck in our ways – after years of practical experience, you have found a system that works (most of the time), and you almost always tick to it.
If you want to grow your business and improve efficiency, you need to refine this system.
Take all the aspects of your process that work best and perfect them. If arriving on-site early and leaving early works for you, then do that every day, don’t come at different times, as this will also annoy the client. If taking a 50% deposit at the beginning of the build works for you as opposed to smaller chunks as you reach finish certain sections work better for you then stick to that.
Every contractor is different; there is no set way you should run a job or finance a build. Decide what your best practices are and then stick to them.
From handling bookkeeping, scheduling and invoicing, to training and task management, as long as that works for you, then there is no reason you should change it.
Having an effective system in place enables you to maintain your current level of success and also allows you to scale efficiently should the opportunity arise for you to grow.
Now, when it comes to the project planning and management of a home renovation, your client doesn’t need to know absolutely everything. They don’t want to know the ins and outs of what you do; they just want you to be upfront and honest in everything you do. That’s how you increase your customer retention.
Transparency is critical when working with clients, especially renovation work. It’s personal for them – it’s their home after all.
Do not say one thing and then change your tune further down the line. Again, refer to what has worked best for you in the past, and at the beginning of the job, when you’re quoting, be upfront about when you need to be paid and how you will go about reaching objectives.
Be as accurate as possible when it comes to informing them of the timeline, and how many hours a day, your team will be on site. Then honour those agreements. This will go a long way in earning their trust and getting referrals.
Flexibility is key
Being a jack of all trades is beneficial in this business. This doesn’t mean you have to be an expert in all areas of construction but knowing how to do a little of everything along with what you specialize in will get you more clients. Try to go above and beyond for your client. For instance, if you specialize in shopfitting and notice there’s an electrical problem, see if you can fix it first before being the bearer of bad news (additional costs for the client).
If you can fix it, do so and then let them know that you did it. They will appreciate you going the extra mile and will most likely refer you should one of their friends or family members need renovation work done.
Always be available
Working with people can be tricky. With each individual comes different standards and expectations. Excellent customer service is vital, so, if your client asks you to come around on a Saturday to speak about the build, or gives you a call after hours, then allow for it.
By keeping them happy, you will experience fewer complications or issues during the build. Let’s be honest; nothing is ever black and white when it comes to implementing a build, so make it easier for yourself by always putting the client first.
Use a renovation app
Many people are under the impression that a home renovation app is only for homeowners, but at KnowMyBuild, we offer an app that caters to both parties, and there’s so much you can do with it. From designing an easy to follow project planning and management process to maintaining productivity and quality control, our app does it all.