5 questions contractors should ask clients before a project begins
No doubt choosing a contractor is a major decision for homeowners. However, it’s a major decision for the contractor, too.
After all, your time (and your team’s time for that matter) is valuable. You want to land the types of clients that match and meet your business’ services as well as your standards. On the flip side, you also want to make sure you meet their standards, too.
So, what’s a builder or remodeler to do? It’s all about getting to work before the work even begins. Prior to jumping into any project, take some time to sit down with a potential client and have a chat. Ask the tough questions. The direct kind. Get all the information you need to apply the right processes and ensure you’re the right fit together.
After you get to know everything you need about a lead, construction project management software can help you land them, too. Think of it as your greatest sales tool.
Here are the five questions contractors should ask – and how apps for builders help turn any conversation into a client.
1) What are you looking for in a builder?
Not all contractors are created equal – or offer equal services. This basic question helps level set and ensure your team can provide the services clients are really looking for.
But it goes beyond that, too. Say they want a builder who is architecturally driven and delivers high craftsmanship-quality work, and that just happens to be your company’s sweet spot. What can you do to beat out the competition?
Chances are your potential clients also want a builder who is organized, transparent and uses digital tools to keep communication open. That’s what our 2020 data report found. From Millennials to Baby Boomers and beyond, today’s consumers crave digital experiences in every aspect of their lives – including when it comes to building or renovating their homes. Using construction job software like Buildertrend helps you deliver just that.
2) What’s your budget?
This one is obvious. A project can’t start until a contractor and client talk capital.
Of course, this question helps determine scope of work, but it also gives builders a chance to talk about their value. Why they’re worth a little more or what they can provide that others can’t.
With software for builders, you can give clients unmatched access to their projects through features like Buildertrend’s Customer Portal. This acts as the one place for them to login and see progress, communicate with your team, make payments, choose design selections and more.
Perhaps even more exciting for builders are the financial features that come with construction estimating software. Now, no matter how a client answers this question, you’ll have the tools to track every expense – down to the last penny.
3) How often do you like to receive updates?
It’s not just the quality of work that makes or breaks a builder. It’s the quality of service, too. A central piece to that service is the ability to communicate how clients want.
When talking about an investment as large as a new house, often times it’s the more updates the better. Through a feature like the Customer Portal, builders can share progress photos, videos and even daily logs that highlight the wins of each day. Or each week – twice a week. Whatever the client wants, however frequently they want it, can be theirs now.
Plus, all communication is handled within this portal. Messages are easily searchable, organized by job and act as your single system of record.
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4) How do you determine success?
This question may sound odd to some homebuilders, but being a good contractor is about more than just getting the job done. It’s about getting the job done right. Let your clients be the judge of that.
Maybe they determine success by staying totally in the loop of every project detail. It could be they want to come under budget. For many, it’s simply meeting the initial agreed-upon deadline. Whatever their answer to this may be, let it guide you as you interact and build a rapport.
Happy clients mean more business headed your way thanks to the power of word-of-mouth. When a job is wrapped and you know you’ve met that marker of success, you could even use Buildertrend to send clients a survey. Then just share those glowing reviews as testimonials across all your marketing channels.
We can see the line of more potential clients forming now.
5) What are some obstacles or changes you see coming?
Likely the answer to this will be “none”. Hey, optimism isn’t a bad thing! But you’re no novice. You know that with construction comes the unexpected.
That’s why this question can act as a selling moment. You can let clients know potential challenges are easily conquered by your team. Why? Because you’ve got tech in your toolbelt.
With features like the Schedule or Budget, you have more control and oversight over every day and every dollar. You’re able to plan ahead, make time for rework and forecast issues before they even arise.
Keep clients happy with Buildertrend
Whether you’re a remodeler or specialty contractor, every company likely has their own set of questions to ask clients before committing to a job. These five just can’t be missed.
The leading construction project management software can’t be missed either. Buildertrend is your way to land more leads and revolutionize your business. You’re sure to be impressed when you demo with us now. No questions about it.
blog | 4 min readJan 30, 2023
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