Contractor Best Practices: Listening

Wrong Scenario: You invite a contractor over for an initial consultation of a kitchen remodel. You can’t wait to tell the contractor your ideas and see how he can help you put it all together into a cohesive remodeling strategy…only you never get the chance. The remodeler takes a look at your kitchen and then starts explaining his ideas for the remodel. He brushes aside your concerns as he points out all the changes he would make to your kitchen. It all sounds good, except for one problem – it’s no longer your remodel!

Right Scenario: The contractor arrives at your home and immediately asks you all about your ideas. He listens carefully, speaking only to ask for clarification. He nods often and engages in good eye contact. After you finish describing your ideas, he asks considerate follow up questions that make you think in new directions. Only after you have fully described your vision does he review your kitchen. After a thorough look, you sit back down, and the contractor explains concerns, issues and ideas he has based on what you’ve told him. All of his suggestions are helpful and practical. You feel like he truly understands your vision and is dedicated to getting it right.

A good contractor can bring plenty of great remodeling ideas to the table, but first and foremost he must bring his ears and use them.

I consider listening to be the number one best practice for a contractor. Every client has a vision for their home, and it is the contractor’s duty to understand and share this vision. Of course, in most cases, the vision needs a little clarification and fine tuning, and that’s where the contractor can really shine.

Great outcomes start by listening to the client and delivering their vision.

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