It’s Not Just a Job…It’s Someone’s Dream
Over the years as I have discussed building projects with people, a lot of people. There are those who have had the experience of building a new home, doing a remodel or even a small repair project. The number of times that I have heard them say, ‘it was the worst experience of my life’, breaks my heart. The experience of repairing, remodeling or building new should be counted among their best experiences, not their worst. In many cases they only get the opportunity to experience a project, especially a large one, once. This makes it even more critical that we do what we can to make this as enjoyable and painless as possible.
A building project is like having a child. For me the designing, developing and building something is an amazing experience. It is more than just the mechanical act of pouring some concrete, nailing two boards together, putting a window in a hole or slapping on some paint. The collaboration between the parties involved should be fun and exciting. A part of me is poured into each and every project. Once it is done, I step back and look at it. Something that wasn’t before and is now…it is a part of me and I am a part of it. I’m continually moved when I see projects that I was involved in over the years. Approaching construction in this perspective is key to the conception, gestation and birth of each new project.
The builder carries the majority of the responsibility. Those of us in the building industry go through the process over and over again. We can get used to the daily routine of construction. We forget that the customer doesn’t do this daily like we do. This is something that can be scary and overwhelming to the person wanting to have some repairs done, add on a room or build a new home. As builders we need to remember to approach each new customer with an open mind and a desire to help them build their dream.
Things that the builder should do:
- Communicate – Let the customer know what to expect. Remember that they don’t do this day in and day out like you do.
- Listen – This is the most important part of communicating. You need to hear what the customer is saying. This is more than just their words.
- Be on time – Show up when you say you will. Respect their time.
- Be responsive – Return communications in a reasonable amount of time. They just want to know that you hear them and care.
- Be accountable – If you or someone on your team make a mistake, own up to it. Don’t blame someone else.
Remember the Golden Rule and treat your customer the way you would like to be treated, not the way you have been treated.