P.L.A.N.: Leading Your Contractor… And Being Led

The Lifestyle Group incorporates the acronym P.L.A.N. to describe key elements of our remodeling client process. In last month’s blog, we focused on the “P”, which stands for “Prepare.” (Be sure to go back and read it  if you missed it and listen to our podcast discussing all the ways a client can prepare for a remodeling project.)

In this blog, we’ll focus on the “L”, which centers around the word “lead.”

Generally, when we reference this word, we initially think in terms of doing our best as your remodeling partner to lead you through the process from beginning to end. This doesn’t mean we tell you what you must do. Actually, it’s quite the contrary. We do our best to be a great partner and convey the professional knowledge we have gained through our many years in the business to help you make decisions that lead to a successful remodeling project for you and your family.

We recognize that every client comes to their remodeling project with ideas of what they want to accomplish, whether it be focused on the aesthetics of the renovated space, the function gained through the remodel project or both. However, most clients don’t have the benefit of having done hundreds of these projects before, thus they don’t have the benefit of learning from the mistakes of others. Fortunately (or unfortunately in some cases), we bring those experiences and our insight to the table to help them best navigate the process.

Based on our vast experience, we believe our role is to provide our clients with the options they might have, while simultaneously leading them away from dangerous decisions that can lead to problems. Through these honest conversations, we save our clients from heartache (and wasted money) with the knowledge we bring to our relationships.

However, there is another type of leadership that takes place in the contractor / homeowner relationship and it is the leadership that a client provides the remodeler when something is very important to them. We call these “Hot Button Items” and all clients have them. These are things that are most important to clients during a project. In some cases, it might be a particular selection or feature of the project area. At other times, it might be what door we enter as we come to do our work or where we place the dumpster. A hot button item can literally be anything that creates anxiety on the part of a client if we don’t successfully achieve results in that area. Thus, we rely upon our clients to “LEAD US” in these areas so we can ensure an enjoyable experience.

In the end, like all successful relationships, it seems to come back to having the ability and willingness to engage in the give and take process. Sometimes we lead and sometimes we are led by our clients but in all cases, it is important that we work together and effectively communicate with one another. In reality, doing this keeps us ALL out of troublesome situations.

This is why your remodeling partner selection process is so important. As a client, you need a contractor who will tell you the tradeoffs for decisions you are about to make in the use of your space. You need a partner that will offer solutions to potential problems, ideally before they ever arise. And at the same time, you need a remodeling partner that will listen and is willing to take your lead when necessary.

Let’s provide you a real-life example. A client expressed an interest in a walk-in tub they saw on television where you step in and shut the door, then sit on a seat and soak until your bath is complete. While we would never make a decision for a client about what product is best for them, we want to make sure the client understands that in order to use that tub, you need to get in that tub naked as a jaybird, close the door to fill it up, then after your bath is complete, you need to sit there dripping wet and still naked, waiting until the water completely drains before you can open the door and leave the tub area. That process may not appeal to many people from a functional perspective, but others may not be deterred. Ultimately, we trust that you as the client will make the best decision for yourself about how you choose to spend your hard earned money.

From our perspective on the remodeling side, we are humble enough to readily admit that if we walked into your place of business where you have worked for many years, there is no way we could know more than you about your line of work. We rely on our doctors, dentists, attorneys, accountants, IT experts and auto mechanics every day to lead and guide us through their respective processes. In that same spirit, we feel an obligation to leverage our experience for your benefit and be the best partner we can be in leading you through your remodeling project — with the hope that you take our professional advice as constructive and helpful.

No matter where you are in your decision process, The Lifestyle Group is here to answer your questions and provide information to help determine what makes the most sense for you and your home.

Reach out today and let’s get started transforming your space.

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