What Do Homeowners Look for in Contractors?
In today’s modern era where everything is dominated by technology, contractors are still an indispensable part of the community. In fact, the tech boom has benefited contractors to find and land projects more easily
Now, landing clients and projects is the most essential part of being a contractor. You can the best builder on the planet but if you can’t get clients to actually do your work, that talent goes to waste.
A good way to understand the process of getting clients is to actually go into the minds of a prospect. Understanding what prospects want and what their decision making process is going to help you a lot in negotiating projects.
In this post, we’re going to cover the qualities and signals that homeowners look out for when hiring a builder or contractor.
How to get construction contracts as a builder
Usually, homeowners would want to look for a builder or contractor who is a tradesman with respectable experience in home construction; basic repairs and having knowledge about designing and building homes is a massive trust signal for prospects.
Even if your business hires subcontractors to do the work, it is extremely important for you to show the prospect that you understand how to do the job yourself.
This means that you must be the one who maintains responsibility and accountability for the job, schedules the work well, and making sure that every subcontractor finishes their work on time and delivers great results.
Ideally, you would want to have previous experience in construction of buildings similar to the project that is being worked on. This is also applicable to projects that do not involve homes like buildings or schools, for instance.
You’d also want to have a belt of medium to large projects under your belt as doing small projects only is likely to overwhelm you when you receive a decently large project from your prospect.
2. References and testimonials
Excellent contractors will keep information about clients or projects that they’ve worked with in the past to use as referrals. Therefore, it is inevitable for a prospect to ask you to provide several references during the negotiation process.
While some contractors deliberately fake testimonials to land client, you should never do that. Customers will contact your referrals to ask about reliability, work ethic, and the quality of the work done.
A fake referral could easily lead to a lost project and negative word of mouth about your business could spread.
Prospects will also look for your reputation when finding a contractor to work with.
The reasoning behind this is simple: prospects want to look for someone with a great reputation as they want to make sure that the money spent is worth it.
This is also a great thing for you as when you provide good service, your prospects are very likely to tell their friends and close ones about your services should they need a contractor.
Prospects also relate a contractor’s reputation with the quality of service that they offer so give your best in every job and never, ever disrespect your client.
Even if you or the client were to make a mistake, be resilient. There will be periods when times are tough, but you should persevere as much as you can. It’s completely normal and acceptable to not do everything right; do not give up and do not let yourself be affected negatively by your work.
4. Reliability and integrity
Reliability and integrity are two important qualities that need to exist in your business.
Put yourself into the shoes of prospect; if you were to hire a contractor who does not stay true to his word, the project of building your dream house could easily turn into a nightmare.
Therefore, it’s extremely important that you have references (as mentioned in the point above) to reduce your prospect’s doubts as much as possible. You should also always commit to what you have promised. Over-promising just to land a project is going to overwhelm you as well as disappointing your customer.
Remember, if your prospect has even a slight doubt about the reliability of a potential contractor, they will move on to find a more suitable candidate.
This means that you should over-charge a customer even if they don’t know what you’re doing. Some contractors take advantage of a prospect’s lack of knowledge to charge higher prices – don’t do this, people know when they are over-charged and it will spread to the local community.
You should also be responsible for the wok that you do. If you made a mistake, take full responsibility and solve the problem quickly. You should also maintain the work site well by keeping the site organized and disposing of rubbish and excess materials responsibly.
5. Your personality
Prospects will also gauge your personality to determine if working with you is the right choice. Your clients will be communicating with you constantly during the project and if both of your personalities clash, the project is likely going to be an unpleasant experience.
Since it’s your client’s home or site that is being worked on, your client should have a fair share on the direction of the building process. You must allow them to tell you exactly what they want and why.
They may request for things that downright impossible structure-wise or is not within the budget of the project; it is your job as a contractor to explain why it cannot be done and offer a solution to satisfy heir demands.
Again, communication is extremely important in building projects. It is important that your client understands everything that is being worked on and they are updated about project. Things like the cost estimate for the project to progress updates are things that the client should know.
You should also be a good listener to your client so you are able to understand his or her point of view and respond to any questions or concerns that your client might about the project.
6. Organisation and licenses
Organisation is another quality the clients look for in a general contractor. A good contractor must be well organised in the planning and execution of the project as well as being able to multitask efficiently.
You must be able to manage their time efficiently in order to finish projects before the deadline. At a minimum, you must be able to successfully manage everything from the negotiation stage till the end of the project itself to land good clients.
Another important thing to have is proof of your licenses as a contractor and insurance for your business. You must be able to present paperwork that features vital information such as your contractor’s license, bonding and insurance, compensation for your workers, as well as general liability.
To learn more about building tools and other articles like this, head over to our blog where we have guides and how-to’s for builders and homeowners.
- Teresa Nguyen