What you get for free has no value.
Let me say that again…NO value.
Just take any friendship, for example. We all know that friendships go both ways and that they—like any relationship—require work. Right?
But then, somehow, we forget that sometimes…and, conveniently, we forget that right about when a friend needs something!
When it comes to service relationships, most folks think that the money you spend is what you “give.” It stands to reason, then, that if you spend more money, you can expect greater service in return.
It’s not ALL about the money, though. In fact, there are some specific things I want you to think about the next time you have work done in your home. I can promise you’ll be happy you did, because your relationship with your service provider or contractor is something you really want to be at its best!
Now, take a look at my three “best practices” that will ultimately mean more successful projects for you.
“Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing.”
Best Practice: Don’t Ghost!
Maybe you’re talking to multiple professionals, or maybe you’re not even sure if the time is right to move forward with your remodel! Still, let’s say you have a GREAT conversation with a contractor on the phone, and so agree to have measurements taken and get an estimate put together…
But then, weeks pass. Things change. You’re not sure what you’re going to do. Or maybe you ARE sure, and you just aren’t thrilled about calling the contractor to tell them that you chose someone else.
It’s actually in your best interest to come clean and tell a contractor that you’re not going to move forward with a project—no matter the reason. “Ghosting” is a nasty practice in dating and friendship, and it’s JUST as counterproductive in a service relationship. What if you want to call this contractor for something else in the future? Keep the relationship professional!
Best Practice: Know What Kind of Professional You’re Looking For
This touches on that “you get what you pay for” reality in a real way! If you’re shopping for a service professional or a contractor to do work in your home that touches any electrical systems, plumbing, or your HVAC system, you could end up with a disaster on your hands if you look ONLY at price.
To save yourself sticker shock on one end of the spectrum OR the potential for a major disaster on the other end, get your priorities down on a list before you even make that first call. Do you want certified professionals? Accredited companies? Proven portfolios of jobs like yours? Or what kind of insurance do you expect them to have? Experience in the area? Reviews??
This DOES mean you’ll have to spend a little time comparing companies in greater detail…you need to know how one differs from the next. Just think about a Mercedes—you know what’s different between a Benz and a Camry without thinking too hard about it. If you want that brand new Mercedes, you think of the leather interior, and the added features of the interior, and the bigger engine…
The difference is plain!
Now…even if you haven’t met as many contractors as you’ve seen Mercedes (and therefore don’t see in such “obvious” terms how one differs from the next), BELIEVE me, there are “Mercedes-level contractors” and “Camry-level contractors.” For the remodeling processes that pretty much drive themselves, KNOW that you want the expertise and guidance that ultimately will cost more. With all you’ll save in time, stress, options-overload, and the potential for disasters from house fires to floods, ALL our clients agree that it is WELL worth it to invest in the Benz of contractors instead.
Best Practice: Understand What Maintenance Is Just Part of Owning a Home!
Your house is probably the biggest investment you make in your LIFE. There IS maintenance involved, and that’s only natural! It’s kind of like buying new tires…no one will look at them and say, “Nice! New tires…” But you get safety and comfort for your spend.
In the same way, some of the factors to consider when calling for maintenance or remodels aren’t going to be the flashy stuff that the “Joneses” notice when they come over. Any home services company that tries to sell you on otherwise is just looking for a gimmick.
Here’s my best tip, as plain and simple as can be: if you’re looking just for the lowest price, you’ll probably be waiting on the service providers and contractors who run those last minute, “buy now and save $X!” specials. And that kind of urgency is usually a sign of business standards that are more about money now than a lifelong client tomorrow.
Your relationship with your home services providers and remodelers depends as much on you as it does on them! Yes, you pay a fee. But with a little conscientiousness and self-awareness around these best practices, too, you can gain SO much more from every service they provide for you in your home!!
In the end, I want your relationship with ANY provider to be a successful one. I believe you deserve to LOVE you home, and that friendship with these key professionals will make all the difference!