The other day I was reading an article from your Builder lamenting about his Homeowner who refused to try out from the rules which are stated within the Building Contract. It was obvious in the tone of the piece how the Homeowner was ‘one of these clients’ – we have all seen them before. But suppose we’re able to ensure that the Homeowner did play through the rules and turn into section of our system and a part of we as opposed to an adversary? Maybe the Homeowner wasn’t following the principles because we never clearly defined those rules.
Looking back on this problem client, what could we now have done better? As a professional Homebuilder we all know the required steps to successfully make a home, but why do we assume the Homeowner understands? They are certainly not a Builder. Homes are not their business. That’s why they hired you.
Most Builders have clear procedures spelled out inside the Building Contract. They have probably added paragraphs and addendums as time passes to cope with specific conditions have arisen inside the past. But once that contract is signed, how many Homeowners (or Builders for that matter) have a very copy of the contract designed for quick reference? The contract is normally filed away and rarely described once the ink is dry. Under the best of circumstances, ‘quick reference’ might be an oxymoron because the contract is written inside the language of legalese.
So what’s the solution? As experienced professionals, we owe it to the Homeowners to define the actual PROCESS that is followed to get specifics of the house and execute a finished product. We usually just pull the minds and hopes for our clients out of their heads and help them articulate their wants the finished project. It is approximately us to make sure that that Process is apparent and straightforward for your Homeowner to check out.
Yes, the Building Contract defines the guidelines in the legal relationship, but don’t we owe it to the Homeowners to have a clear written checklist to back it up? Don’t we owe it to your Homeowners to clarify their responsibilities? Isn’t that what good communication is about?
The Homeowner is looking to get guidance and direction; we fail the Homeowner if we’ve got not defined an obvious roadmap to success. Most builders don’t have a roadmap. Most Builders don’t have a Process. If you think you use a Process, ask yourself if that Process clearly defined and written down – when not, then you certainly don’t possess a process.
So the first task: build your Process and write it down. It is not enough to give the Homeowner a Selection Schedule for making decisions for the home. Answer the questions: How do they generate that decision? Who does the Homeowner talk to? Where will they shop? Who is the contact during this vendor? Which employee on our staff is accountable for assuring an entire decision is manufactured? What constitutes an entire decision? What other decisions have to be coordinated achievable initial selection?
A Homeowner’s Guide or Homeowner’s Manual given at the beginning of the project is an easy initial step to earning a black and white process for that Homeowner to adhere to. Explain what are the results during the entire construction cycle, explain when decisions must be made, explain why the decisions should be made at this time, explain what constitutes a complete decision, explain just what the Builder does use the decision and how your team executes that decision. Make the Homeowner part with the system, part with the team.
Define and create a written Process. Give it to your Homeowner in a simple narrative or checklist format. Assign a unique individual on your staff to guarantee the Homeowner understands the Process and follows the System. Hold the Homeowner’s hand if needed, provide professional guidance as well as an understanding shoulder, but always make sure the process is followed. That is your responsibility as the leader of the company.
At the final with the day, your Process roadmap (or lack thereof) will define business energy as a Custom Builder. The additional benefit – the written Process can be proven to prospects and the Process all alone turns into a sales tool. Ultimately you will sell your Process as opposed to your Product and you’ll attract clients who view the importance of ‘the rules’ and will also be more inclined to follow along with them.