The First Date… or Meet & Greet

The First Date… or Meet & Greet

Many years ago, I met my wife for the first time. It was a blind date and one of my remodeling clients set me up to meet this great girl she knew was just perfect for me. In remodeling, we always say that referrals are the best type of lead. This was somewhat like a project referral, but definitely of a different sort! We met at a Bonefish Grill and sat at the bar. I considered it our first date that night at Bonefish, but not long after when I referred to that evening, I was quickly corrected and told it wasn’t a first date. It was just a “Meet & Greet”.

Whatever the label and nature of the interaction, there is no denying that finding a partner in life and a partner for your next remodeling project share many important similarities. If you choose correctly, you might just choose a remodeling partner for life as well.

Here are 6 things to think about in your “Meet & Greet” with potential remodeling partners.

1. Start with a Conversation

Just like in dating, there’s no harm in having an open conversation. The initial meeting is about getting to know each other and discussing your project’s objectives. Whether this meeting takes place via an initial phone call, at the remodeler’s office or at the project site doesn’t really matter in the early stages as each company handles that process differently. What’s important is that the key decision makers from both sides get to have a conversation.

2. Shared Objectives

Both the remodeling partner and the client should share what is important to them. In our remodeling company, we would readily tell a potential client the only 3 things we are looking for is as follows:

  1. Are you nice? 
  2. Are you reasonable. 
  3. From what we know at an early stage, do our budgets relatively align?

We don’t care about project size. We care about building relationships and finding a good fit. Our hope is that we can effectively convey that to clients who are looking for a good fit on their end as well. The goal is to ensure everyone is on the same page and committed to the project’s success and the best way to do that is to start from a place where trust is present for both parties.

3. Setting Expectations

As remodelers, we need to reassure clients that they don’t need to have all the answers in the first conversation. We simply need them to tell us what they are thinking and tell us what they know at the moment about they want. If they can describe the project, their goals, and their priorities, then they just went a long way to enabling us to help set appropriate expectations for them in return.

4. Budget Discussion

Remodeling companies are different in their approach to this topic, but we prefer to set budget expectations for our clients. We really don’t even want to know what budget they have initially until we share our “expected price ranges” first. This allows us as the remodeling partner to provide a cost range without magically hitting your budget that you just shared with us.

5. Project Categorization

We ask clients to categorize their spending and product selection approach to the project into one of three buckets: Bucket One is simple and cost-effective. Bucket Two is what we refer to as “Nice, Not Crazy” and it is a middle of the road approach to the project. Bucket Three is more of a luxury project where the client knows they like nice things and we sometimes refer to this as “Do it once, do it right and don’t do it again.” This categorization helps us as the remodeling partner tailor our approach to project price discussions to client preferences.

6. Respect Your Unique Situation

We can’t stress enough the importance of respecting each client’s unique circumstances and preferences, ensuring the partnership aligns with their goals. How long have they been in the home? How long do they plan to stay? What are their unique wants and wishes? Capturing this information in early discussions builds trust and therefore builds a relationship.

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