Dec 5, 2023
Episode: 34

You’ll Care About Our Company Culture When We Work In Your Home

Join us for an engaging video where our Geoff offers deep insights into the complexities of building and maintaining a positive company culture. Drawing lessons from the story of Uber as showcased in a recent Netflix documentary, this talk goes beyond the surface to uncover what truly makes or breaks a company’s internal environment.

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Culture is a hot topic in popular culture today… so much so that I ask a serious question to begin.

Do you believe culture is important or overrated in its significance?

I recently watched a Netflix documentary series on the evolution of Uber. If you haven’t seen it yet, let’s just say it provided a captivating glimpse into the culture that shaped the company. We all recognize Uber’s monumental impact on our lives, revolutionizing ride-sharing and technology’s role in seamless service delivery. However, this got me thinking about the importance of culture within a company, as it impacts the client experience.

At The Lifestyle Group, culture is paramount to me, as I sincerely believe the well-being of our employees directly influences the client experience.

And, to take it a step further, I don’t think there is any way we can “hide” that culture from our clients, whether it be good or bad. People will know. They will see it in how our employees carry themselves in the home of clients. They will see it in the way decisions get made when a problem arises.

Clients Have a Vested Interest in the Remodeling Partner They Select

Would you rather have a company in your home that values its employees and creates an environment where client service is the priority… or a bunch of less invested, disgruntled individuals whose only goal is to get in and out as quickly as possible? Trust me when I tell you that everyone will certainly know in the first two days of a project what kind of partner has been chosen because it will be readily apparent in their actions within the home. The question is really whether the first two days is when you would want to find out what you’ve just done to yourself?

When an Issue Arises, Culture and Character Reveal Themselves Quite Quickly

Remodeling is a very tough business for companies with the best of intentions.  It is stressful for homeowners and a process most people haven’t experienced often, so it is a bit difficult to understand what to expect and prepare for mentally, let alone actually live through during the darkest days of drywall dust!  In times of high stress, even the smallest of problems can feel significant and overwhelmingSo, everyone must realize that the decisions made very early in partner selection directly impact the client experience when you come to one of these crossroads as the first problem arises. 

4 Questions to Discuss Early in the Process to Protect Your Interests

“Don’t be afraid to get right to brass tacks!”

My wife and I were at a dinner a couple weeks ago and heard a guy on his first date with a young lady ask her what she is attracted to in a guy. She said verbatim, “20 minutes in and you are getting right to it, huh?” He said, “I believe in getting right to brass tacks!” (Side note: It didn’t work out for him; thus he chose to cut his losses quickly and asked for the check before dessert.)

While that may have been a bit quick to get right to it in a typical dating scenario, there isn’t anything wrong with getting right to the brass tacks of the remodeling company selection process. Here are 4 things I would recommend assessing or asking to quickly understand the culture of the remodeling partners that might be considered.

  1. Culture starts at the top. It is modeled for employees every day… good or bad. Ask to have a high-level conversation about the company and the process with a company leader if “fit” is important. We talked last week about “Meet & Greets”. An early conversation like that is a perfect time to determine if the culture of the company and its people align with your goals in finding a partner.
  2. Ask for references of past clients where a problem arose to see how the remodeling partner handles challenges and get the feedback directly from those who experienced it firsthand.
  3. Ask to meet some of the people who might be working on the project in the home before you sign the contract. Do you know when most people meet their “temporary new family members” for the project duration? Day one of the actual project is the most common time. That’s too late if relationship is a priority!
  4. Want to really dig deep to be sure to select the right partner? Ask for the names of a few past clients who have done more than one project with the remodeling company and then ask those people why they have used the remodeling partner repeatedly. If a company cannot or does not provide this, that probably is a red flag.

The truth is that there will be challenges that arise daily for remodeling companies, so it’s not about avoiding problems but about how companies choose to react and treat others in difficult situations. One of our core values talks about doing an excellent job to earn a client’s trust for “all” of their future projects. We say it isn’t something you can talk about. You must show up and show out every single day.

  • It is evident in how you handle the day to day and how you address problems.
  • It’s evident in how you proactively communicate with a client during a project.
  • It is evident when a remodeling company doesn’t turn its problems into a client problem.

Lifelong relationships are created when trust is present. Trust is earned. Our client, Chris Pope, said it best when he described giving partners a “trust balance”, almost like a bank account. He puts some initial “trust currency” in that account, but a partner can spend that quickly and run the balance to zero if they aren’t about the right things. Building a culture is about allowing everyone in the company to be about the right things to keep “trust balance” high and the relationship strong. I’ll end where I began.

Do you believe in any of this culture stuff? Just in case you couldn’t tell, I do.

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Remodeling Unscripted Podcast

Have you checked out our Remodeling Unscripted community?

Remodeling Unscripted Podcast

A podcast for remodeling industry owners and homeowners. Geoff Horen, a home renovation expert, hosts the podcast, which includes real remodels, challenges, and talk. The podcast is available on Apple Podcasts and YouTube.