Trim? Check. Walls? Check. Satisfied client? Check ...
An often-overlooked marketing tool is great service--before, during, and after the remodeling process.
Jeffrey Winn accompanies his customers on a walkthrough of their remodeled homes 30 days after completing a project, then again at six and 11 months. "Most remodelers walk away, say see you later" after they finish a job, notes Winn, who brings a passionately service-oriented approach to Big Sky Construction, his five-person design/build firm in San Jose, Calif. His customers "love it because we're coming back," whether the job was as small as a bathroom or as large as a whole-house remodel. "They all deserve it. My clients generate work for me, so we generate a sense of security for them," he says, by "reinforcing we're on their side."
Warm-and-fuzzy, yes, but dollars-and-cents too. Winn says the walk-throughs have been a "phenomenal" marketing tool by reminding clients to call or recommend Big Sky for future projects. They also open the door to "maintenance options." As Winn moves with clients around their house, checking off items on a form that systematically addresses each aspect of the remodel, he can suggest excuses to return on a regular basis--say, to change the furnace filters or clean the gutters. Though minor, such services perpetuate his goal of "getting back into their lives" and staying foremost in their minds.
Another bonus: By addressing problems quickly and systematically, the walk-throughs help Winn avoid "the punch lists from hell" and collect final payments promptly.
Winn's walk-throughs are surprisingly easy to execute. Each takes approximately two hours, including putting it on the schedule (immediately after final inspection), reminding the client two weeks before (via letter and phone call), conducting the actual inspection, and getting the satisfied client to sign off.