By: Christina Stanfill
How to Manage Your Homeowner’s Fears:
There comes a time where every homeowner feels that their home is mundane, or boring. That little voice is asking for a change of scenery. Whether it be as simple as new paint color schemes for the walls, or maybe something more complex, such as room additions or bathroom and kitchen remodels. Once the decision has been made for visual change, a homeowner may begin to experience certain fears. Although many fears are very understandable, this blog is designed to assist you in what steps to take to manage those fears.
Allowing a stranger, or “general contractor” into your home can be very difficult. For many, our homes are our most prized possessions, full of what makes us, us! It is our personal and private domain, and our natural instinct is to be protective of what is most important to us.
If you have watched the news, read remodeling articles and/or listened to radio talk shows, it is highly likely that you have heard the horror stories of an unsuspecting homeowner being taken advantage of. Naturally, you are afraid of hiring a “crook”, or someone with an ulterior motive to “rip you off”.
Expressed by actual homeowners, after job completion, here at Design Builders, Ltd., we always like to get feedback from our customers. The alleviation of homeowner fears is easily rectified when you take the time to hear concerns, as well as verbalize possible concerns for troubleshooting. Having an honest and professional contractor with a high level of integrity is key when it comes to home remodels.
Below, you will find the top three concerns of actual homeowners. These fears are coupled with what we, as an experienced contractor, believe to be the resolution to the mentioned fear.
1. Control: The fear of losing control of the home and unexpected finances during the remodel tops our list. As many of us can agree that our home is our largest investment, it is easy to understand why a homeowner would fear losing control of their home once the reconstruction has begun. Many of us want “guarantees” set in place, yet unfortunately with remodels, there are many unknown factors. Contractors cannot always provide the types of guarantees requested by the homeowners. Realistic and experienced contractors realize this from the initial conversation with the homeowner. Therefore; hiring a general contractor involves trust; which is hard for most of us.
As a general contractor, how do we gain that trust? We understand the top 5 practices of trust, and we use them as our guideline for job performance and integrity.
Honesty: It is important to always be forthcoming with all information regarding the project. Keeping the homeowner aware of details is comforting and builds that beginning foundation for their trust.
Communication: By giving very specific and detailed weekly reports, our customers always feel at peace knowing what to expect.
Consistency: It is important to be consistent from one customer to the next. Although personalization is important as well, setting routines and following them consistently is necessary to provide accuracy and build professional customer relationships.
Promise Keeping: Here at Design Builders, Ltd., we do what we say we will. Saying is one thing, it is the follow through that allows for a wonderful contractor / customer relationship.
Reassurance: We all need to be reassured when it comes to the things that we love and care for. We make it a priority to reassure our customers on a regular basis. Our customers know that they can count on us every step of the way.
2. Money: Often, homeowners are not fully aware of the costs associated with a remodel. The actual cost of a remodel is mostly underestimated. There are many uncertainties, as well as unforeseen issues that may arise. This can include termite damage, bad electrical wiring, dry rot and much more. Whether planned, or not, these are all issues that must be repaired by the contractor.
How does a contractor relay additional costs without upsetting the homeowner? It is always best to discuss common unforeseen issues prior to beginning a remodel. A contractor that is knowledgeable and that takes the extra time to explain things in great detail will help make the process much easier for the homeowner.
3. Disappointment & Disruption: Many homeowners fear that the end result may not be what they expect. It is a scary process to have your home disrupted, and then fear the possibility of being disappointed and not getting what you want. This process may be the most difficult for the homeowner, and it is important to take the time to understand this.
It is important to understand that a homeowner having their normal routine disrupted can be a very emotional process. Experienced contractors gear their efforts towards the overall reduction of those fears. They work through the inevitable mishaps professionally and with empathy. Working with emotional homeowners is expected, and we accept that it comes with the territory.
For us, it is about surpassing the normal expectations set forth in the industry.