Reduce Homeowner Barriers & Stress: Develop An Article Series
As contractors, we often move a little too fast for our customers. We deal with industry requirements (such as pulling permits, getting inspections and building to Code) on a daily basis, and sometimes we forget that our customers aren’t familiar with our lingo.
And as the contractor who is asking homeowners to spend their hard-earned money to build a new home or improve the one they’ve got, it is important to remember to SLOW DOWN and help them understand all the steps, components and decisions that go into building or remodeling a home.
When a customer signs on the dotted line, in essence he is saying to you, “Yes, I agree to trust the most important investment I’ll probably ever make (my home) in your hands.” Wow. That’s a lot of trust and that’s a big hurdle you’ve overcome, but don’t get sloppy. This isn’t the last hurdle you and the homeowner will have to jump over together.
Let’s get real for a second. Although the customer understands that building and remodeling involve a level of stress, I can guarantee that 99 out of 100 customers don’t understand the DEGREE of stress that will exist over weeks or months (depending on how large the home improvement project is).
There is a long list of stressors for you and your customer to navigate:
- Designing the project so it is “just right”
- Financing the project (and getting all those pesky papers in order for the lender)
- Selections (and more selections and more selections …)
- Pre-construction meetings
- During-construction “survival”
- Staying in communication with you, the contractor, so they understand what’s happening, what’s changed and what’s completed
- Managing work, family and an insane T-ball practice, schedule all while the home is being constructed (which means your customer is moving) or renovated (which means your customer doesn’t have use of their entire home)
And I am sure you can throw in there hospitalization of a beloved family member, a bout with pink eye or an unanticipated business trip that takes your customer out of town for a week or more.
Yes, building or renovating a home is extremely stressful for your customers. Even though you, as the contractor, have refined your systems and have your process working like clockwork, keep in mind that this may be an “once-in-a-lifetime” event for your customer – and it can be overwhelming.
It is important that you, the contractor, make them feel comfortable and have peace-of-mind over the choices they’ve made – especially if you want referral business down the road.
So how do you do this?
Perhaps the easiest way is to inform your customers about the process your company takes from the start … before they ever sign on the dotted line. One way to do this is by developing a series of articles.
Each contractor is different; however, each of you has developed an efficient system by which you run your projects. Why not reveal your hassle-free system in a series of articles?
You can use these articles in a number of ways:
- Post them on your blog.
- Use them as a lead-generating tool. The potential customer gets the first one free in exchange for their name and email address (which is automated through your website), and then email them one article in the series every 7 days (from the time they signed up). This keeps your name in front of the prospect, creates credibility and trust, and with the right follow-up strategy, will move them along in the sales process.
- Use them to stay-in-touch with prospective clients by emailing one article out every week.
- Compile them into a brochure.
- Use the key points in a “checklist.”
- Create a booklet that is given to the customer (again) once they sign onto a project with you. This will help them remember the process that sold them on you in the first place.
Be proactive! By taking these steps, not only will you inform your customers on how thorough your process is (reducing some of the stress that comes along with any construction project), but you’ll also be laying the framework to provide the same comfy feeling to prospects who are checking you out before they ever buy.