Home Building Contractors – Why Do My Clients Hate Me?
Most Building Contractors I know get it wrong. They place their priorities on the project, rather than on their clients.
Why is that? As simple as it seems to say that the customer comes first, in home building, it’s not an easy task. I can definitely empathize with the builder. The more complicated and personal a provided service is the greater the risk that clients will become confused, emotional, and eventually accusatory.
A Home Builder or Baby Sitter?
A complaint I often hear is that builders want to be builders, not baby sitters. Builders want to do what they do best … build! Isn’t that the job after all? And by doing their best to build a beautiful home, won’t that satisfy the customer? Whether or not that makes sense, the fact is, it usually doesn’t work.
The reason many builders think like this is they learn their building craft and rarely do they learn the “people craft”. And when people are treated like they need to be baby sat, they’re eventually going to cry like babies … and hate their “parents”.
Use These Three Problems and Alternate Strategies to help you craft a better approach to your business and turn “hate relationships” into love affairs.
PROBLEM: Traditional General Contracting promotes an imbalance of power that lacks respect for the client. The contractor is perceived to be calling all the shots.
STRATEGY: The client becomes an Owner Builder and the Builder becomes the Coach. This serves to level the playing field, put more power in the hands of the client and the relationship has an “even keel” feel.
PROBLEM: There’s often very little effective communication between the builder and the clients.
STRATEGY: Preset communication schedules so that clients are “in the loop” at all times. The clients are coached through the process, educated about the process, always aware of what’s going on.
PROBLEM: Most of the time, clients feel like the wagged tail. When a client feels pushed around, they’re eventually going to push back.
STRATEGY: “Owner Builders” are involved. The Coach gives them decisions and duties to perform. The clients are motivated to save money and get more of what they want and see the value of their involvement. Involvement breeds personal responsibility which breeds more respect for the coach.
Know, Like, and Trust
Business more easily flows to those who people know, like and trust. By incorporating these strategies, as a builder, you can earn the respect of your clients. You are literally placing the client first! They will get to know and like you sooner and trust builds quickly.