Estimated reading time: 4 minutes, 15 seconds
When you boil it all down, what we are selling is service. Yup – we are in the service industry, no more, no less. I used to naively believe that we were selling remodeling projects. I am clear now on the distinction. Having spent several decades in the emergency medical services realm, it feels natural for me to be working in people’s homes while they are stressed to the max.
In the best of projects, we are able to serve as consultants, counselors, and confidants. When it goes badly, we are the villains ones that are inevitably responsible for all of the client’s problems. This is not reasonable, but unfortunately it is reality.
Remodeling is Harder for Some People to Handle.
At our best, we are ushering our clients through some turbulent times. How we do this with style and grace is a testament to our calm and nurturing natures. We do the dirty work day in and day out, so that they can get the most out of their homes. Not everyone is suited to have their home disrupted or deal with the baggage that comes with having their nest and lives invaded by a remodeling team, despite the fact that we are all seasoned professionals. They have nothing to compare us to, just their imaginary and unrealistic expectations.
As I have learned recently, a great selling process can weed many of these folks out as prospects with the proper due diligence techniques. Despite everything we do to prevent it, about every third year or so a client flips out because the stress of the remodeling process is too much for them. As discouraging and ominous as that sounds, we manage to always look for the silver lining.
Ramifications of Remodeling A Home
For our more delicate clients, it means their daily routine is disrupted for weeks on end. To the extent that the daily progress (or lack thereof) is the focus, they can quickly lose track of the joy that will come from the finished project. As a compassionate person, I can see how it can get really discouraging quickly for some clients, especially when they harbor expectations of instant gratification.
David Lupberger, a dear friend and the patron saint of the remodeling blues says, “There are inevitably going to be some up’s and some down’s, the trick is to soften the extremes by communicating well, anticipating and planning for them.” As in childbirth, by coaching we alleviate some of the pain and mystery associated with disruption. As a result, we actually elevate the euphoria of how the newly designed space will be enjoyed for years to come.
Services we provide:
This is the service we provide “We usually take worn out, poorly designed homes and rearrange them to work with how we live today.” The joy we bring far outweighs the unlikely event of a disgruntled client. I checked with other like-minded remodelers around the country, and this is a pattern that repeats itself like a recurrent bad dream.
Here is how Levco stays focused on the prize.
- Plan the project backwards from a finish line to the beginning.
- Share the plan with all parties.
- Give kudos to those that follow the plan.
- Make uncomfortable consequences for those that do not follow the plan.
- Swiftly move through the bummer phases.
- Pause for a breath during the high points.
- Communicate changes.
- Apologize for shortcomings.
- Celebrate successes.
- Learn from every project.
Hindsight is always 20-20
Whenever a patient told me what a wonderful experience they had during their hospital stay, I would remind them that their experience was a reflection on how they behaved as a patient. I am convinced that the inverse is just as true. Let’s face it, those with realistic expectations, an ounce of gratitude, and good communication skills cruise through the difficult times that remodeling inevitably brings.
Regardless, we analyze every project, try to anticipate those that are not going to deal with the disruption well, and work like heck to get them educated them before we commit to remodeling their property. Unfortunately we cannot always determine who will soar and who will be crushed. To that end, we reevaluate every client’s experience, look for patterns, and learn from everyone.
What we look for when rehashing a project
- What went right?
- What went wrong?
- How can we repeat great client experiences?
- How can we spot and reset the expectations for those that did not handle it well?
Your comments are welcome. To ask questions or get more information about remodeling, click here to email me directly, or call 208-947-7261
If you or someone you know is considering remodeling or just wants to speak to a trustworthy remodeling contractor please contact me, you’ll be glad you did.