The Ideal Mayflower Client Part One
There are hundreds of home improvement companies in the DMV area each offering their own set of services and unique way of presenting themselves to potential clients. To help clients decide whether Mayflower might be a good fit, we’ve come up with a list of questions to consider and what our target client’s answer will look like. We value our clients’ time and understand that not everyone is looking for the same thing in their kitchen or bathroom contractor. These quick questions help potential clients determine if we’re the type of company they want to interview.
1. Do you prefer a company who is upfront and honest or the “tell me what I want to hear” approach?
While this may seem like a no brainer, you’d be surprised how many people are comforted by the contractor who tells them their planned budget is completely doable and encourages them to move forward without really discussing the details. The only problem is that the price is built within the details. Whether a client is spending 10K or 100K, the vision for their renovation is always pushing the limit of what it actually costs. At Mayflower, we tell it like it is. We’d rather be upfront about your expected budget even if it means disappointing you and telling you your budget may have to increase. It’s better, in the long run, to start with honesty, than to get your hopes up and disappoint you with change orders once you’re locked in a contract with us.
2. Is price the most important factor in your decision or is quality and customer service more important?
This also seems like a no brainer as most people would think they will choose an item that costs a little more if it’s going to function better, last longer, and come with better service should anything go wrong. However, in the renovation world, the difference between a cheap contractor and a good quality contractor might be 30% to 40% more. When one company offers a significantly lower price, some people start to second guess themselves and wonder whether the quality and experience once contractor is offering is really worth the added cost. Our ideal client picks the company they feel will give them a renovation they never have to worry about and aren’t lured away from their original standards by a low price tag. They meet only with reputable contractors and make sure they are comparing apples to apples so they don’t have such a wide range among their quotes.
3. Are you looking to form a long-lasting relationship with your contractor, or do you not care if you like the members of your management team?
Our clients become part of our family. We get to know them, their spouses, their kids, and even their pets. We interact almost daily for, in some cases, months of their lives from their very first phone call until their final day of construction. We believe in forming relationships and know a client may make a choice being two equally talented contractors simply based on having a better personal connection with their potential project coordinators. We think the best renovations happen when the client feels understood and is working with people they like.
4. Do you want active customer service during construction?
Part of our overhead expenses go towards our office staff who have primarily customer service roles. They check-in frequently with our clients to answer their questions, help them make on job decisions, and to keep them informed of their project’s progress. They also follow up with clients for one year after their project has ended to make sure everything looks good and process any warranty requests. We want our clients to have quick and easy access to a friendly, helpful staff without having to try to tag down a field team member while they are in the middle of working. Clients who require a customer service department from their contractor typically understand this will be incorporated into their project’s overhead expense.
5. Do you want to be uninvolved in construction or do you want an active role in project management?
One of the reasons our clients select us is because they don’t want to manage their own construction or ordering. Clients who want to play an active role in managing their field schedule, ordering materials, and inspecting construction daily to catch mistakes typically work best with smaller companies. There’s no point in paying extra for a project manager if you want to do this yourself. Our clients either don’t have the time, experience, or desire to take on project managing themselves. They hire us because we do this for them.
6. Have you done a major renovation in the past or is this your first time?
While we love working with first time renovators, most of our clients have completed a major renovation in the past. This is because they aren’t just taking our word for it that it’s better to invest in a good quality construction firm than to use a cheap contractor. They’ve fallen for the lure of a cheap contractor and have first-hand knowledge of everything that goes wrong when you’re trying to save money. It’s hard to explain this to a first-time renovator who has an abundance of cheap contractors telling them they don’t need to worry and that we don’t know what we’re talking about it. Sometimes, you have to live through or witness a friend’s bad renovation experience to understand why reputable contractors the higher price tag.
7. Are you planning to live in your home for at least 3-5 more years?
People who are flipping houses or planning to sell their house typically don’t want our services. The mentality of these clients is to maximize profit even if it means cutting a few corners. Building your dream renovation in a house you won’t be able to enjoy yourself just doesn’t make sense. If a client isn’t renovating to improve their own quality of life, they’ll probably end up selecting from their cheapest estimates.
To summarize, our target client cares about upfront anticipated budget transparency, quality, customer service, and building relationships. They’re willing to set a higher budget for their renovation in order to get this from their contractor as they understand the pitfalls of using a cheap contractor, and they are building a home they plan to live in and enjoy themselves.
In part two of this discussion, we’ll focus more on the planning process and what our clients expect out of their contractors before construction starts. If you’re planning a renovation and are looking for a contractor like us, give us a call!