Part of your project success can be dependent on what type of client you are.
Want to know how to be a good client? Here’s how to be the opposite …
How to be one of “those” clients (ie a terrible one)
- Don’t communicate
- Change your mind All the time (some change is understandable)
- Don’t pay your bills on time
Many homeowners – especially women – tell me they struggle to give feedback because they don’t want to put their designer or builder off-side, or they don’t like confrontation.
It’s your home – and so you’re entitled to set expectations and demand professionalism from those you work with.
And, if you avoid doing these three things, you’ll be an awesome client! And you’ll create relationships with those you’re working with that achieve awesome outcomes for your home.
And here’s the transcript, if you prefer reading to watching …
This is something I often see, particularly with women, when you’re working on your new home or renovation. It’s this fear of becoming one of “those” clients.
There’s this fear of …
- rocking the boat,
- being difficult,
- and doing things that are basically going to put your designer, your builder, any other consultants that you’re working with offside.
I think there’s a fear of them thinking poorly of you because you’re actually wanting to do things a certain way or achieve the outcome that you’re seeking to achieve.
So I wanted to share with you three things that will, that define terrible clients.
So if you don’t do those three things, you’re pretty much going to be the most awesome client your builder or design professional or consultant has worked with, okay?
So these three things are what define “those” clients …
1. Not communicating
So this can be just not speaking up when you don’t like something. Not being forthcoming in your feedback about things, not replying to emails, not reviewing drawings when you’ve been asked to, and basically being silent when your designer, your builder, other consultants need information from you.
So, the hardest thing is that when you work with a client, be it as a designer or as a builder or as another consultant, you generally are allocating time in your business to work with you as a client.
And so when you’re not getting that kind of flow and streamlined process, it can make the rest of conducting the business quite difficult.
So if you can just be really proactive, really responsive as a client in your feedback, and always open and communicative about how you feel about things exactly when you feel about them, then that’s actually going to help a really great flow of conversation and communication and ensure that you stay on track with your project overall.
With these things time is money, so for you to be able to do things efficiently as possible in your project will save you money in the long run.
So avoid that thing of not being open and honest and communicative in your dealings with your builders or your designers.
2. Change your mind all the time
Now of course there are things that you’re going to change your mind about as you go, because really this is a process of learning as much for the homeowner, as it is for anyone else in the process.
But the more work you can do upfront, to really nail down what your brief is, what you want to do for your project, how much you want to spend on it.
Invest some energy and effort in getting a really clear picture of that up front, then that will actually help you not be changing your mind the whole way through the process.
As you can imagine when you work with a builder or a designer or any other professional, you give them a brief, you say what you want to do, and then they’ll work out a scope of works on that basis, and a fee or a cost to build, based on that scope of works.
And so if you are, as you move through the process, changing your mind about what that scope of works is, then of course that’s going to come with a time and a cost attached to it as well.
So the worst clients are the ones that just haven’t actually invested any time or effort or energy to think about what they want and so they change their mind as they go.
It’s like you’ll be five or six months down the track and the kitchen’s been designed for months and they say, “Actually, I’m going to need three ovens, not one.”
And so that’s going to change the whole design of the kitchen. And then they get frustrated that that might mean there’s lots of drawings that need to be done again and those types of things.
3. Someone who doesn’t pay their bills on time
So of course as you can imagine with most designers and builders, they’re not charging you until the work is actually already done, which means that they’ve had to cash flow their business up to that point and then get reimbursed by you based on the terms that you have.
Now when you’re getting your costs and fee proposals from any professional, from your builder, whoever, there should be included in that, before you agree to what the fee is, there should be included in that what the terms of the invoicing are.
So you should know, are you paying monthly, are you paying at certain stages, how quickly will you have to pay. They’re often be chunks of money that you might have to move between accounts and so that might take some time so understand that before you agree to any costs with anyone and so that you understand how you’re going to be able to pay on time.
If you can avoid those three things …
- Not being communicative, not being responsive.
- Number two is changing your mind all the time throughout the process and I mean like seriously like waxing and waning all the time about what you do and don’t wanting to do
- and number three, not paying your bills on time.
If you don’t do any of those three things, you are going to be the “best client” that any designer or builder has worked with.
If you can listen and you can build that relationship of trust through your process of working with them, it’s actually what achieves the best type of outcomes.
Do please, please, understand, this is your home.
And whether you’re renovating or building, you’re most likely to be investing hard earned money, time, energy, and effort into creating it.
It’s not unreasonable for you to demand professionalism from the people that you’re working with and for you to be really honest and open in the feedback that you give.
I just think that particularly with women there’s this fear of speaking up, a fear … an avoidance, this “I don’t like confrontation”.
It’s not confrontation, it’s you actually just setting expectations and boundaries about what you do and don’t want for your home. And you have every right to do that.
And it doesn’t have to get nasty, and it doesn’t have to be horrible and argumentative if you’re speaking honestly and openly the whole way through and being really communicative about what you want.