It may be tempting to accept any contracting job you get, no questions asked. However, this approach of taking on anything that comes your way can work against you.
Instead, you should ask the customer a few questions before making a work agreement. The job pay and experience may seem attractive from the surface, but asking the right questions will help you filter out the pros and cons of working with a potential prospect.
Continue reading below to learn the ten questions you should ask before accepting your next contracting job.
1) What’s the Budget You Have for This Project?
Asking people about money can be a bit uncomfortable. However, it's crucial when it comes to home remodeling projects or other contractor jobs. It should be the first question you ask since it will dictate how the rest of the job will follow through.
Customers will naturally try to reduce the cost as much as they can. However, this is the perfect time to show your value and display why you're the best choice in town for the job. You should have a clear-cut way to show your value and justify your prices. Otherwise, clients may not understand why a particular budget is necessary for the scope of the work.
2) What Would Be the Best Results You Would Like To See?
One of the essential factors of being a successful contractor is transparency. You should ask the homeowner directly what kind of results they're seeking. Then, you can determine whether it's the right project for you and your team.
For most homeowners, the results usually boil down to receiving their desired outcome. They may also want to ensure you stay up-to-date on progress, deliver under budget, and go above and beyond to finish the project. Asking these questions is an excellent way to build rapport with your customer, which typically ends with a healthier working relationship.
3) What Kind of Contractor Are You Seeking?
As you probably know, not all contractors are the same. Some offer different services, have larger teams, and only work on certain types of buildings. However, your customers probably don't understand all the complexities of being a contractor.
To avoid any confusion, it's always best to ask your customer what type of builder/contractor they need. If your services line up, you can think of ways to display how you outshine your competitors. For example, let's say the homeowner has an older colonial-style house. If you have a case study of a remodeling job you did for a similar property, you can use that as a selling point.
4) Which Obstacles or Concerns Worry You the Most?
Touching again on transparency, you should know what obstacles or pain points your client is facing right off the bat. If you don't understand their pain points, how can you be the one to provide a solution? What's more, the client may think you're getting in the way or causing more issues if they see your work isn't helping with their problem.
While this can be an intimidating question to ask, your clients will respect your honesty and transparency. You'll show your company as one that genuinely cares about helping its clients rather than someone just after the money.
5) What Are Your Expectations in Terms of Communication and Progress Updates?
Clear communication is vital for a healthy long-term relationship with clients. When working with homeowners, they'll naturally want progress updates. You should set a fixed schedule of when you'll deliver updates so they never feel like they're not in the loop.
Before starting the project, you should have a reasonable time estimate of when you expect it to be complete. Then, provide updates every 2-3 days. You can also allow clients to come and view your work if both your schedules support it.
6) Is This Your First Time Undergoing a Remodeling Project?
Knowing if your client has ever done a remodeling project is crucial. If they don't understand the stress, time, patience, and effort it takes from both sides, then there will likely be a lot of negativity throughout the scope of the project.
Any contractor knows that there are too many variables to account for everything. Things can go wrong at any moment, and homeowners need to understand that if they wish to remodel their homes. That said, you don't need to reject a client if it's their first time doing this type of work. You'll just need to be clear about the complications that may arise.
7) Will We Be Working Alone or With Other Contractors?
It's vital to know if this will be an individual or joint home improvement job. If your company is comfortable working with other contractors, there shouldn't be any issues. However, it's still wise to know so before starting, so you can plan accordingly.
8) How Will We Contact Each Other During the Scope of the Project?
Another important aspect of communication is the method of contact. Will you be calling, texting, or emailing your clients? You should establish a clear method of communication before starting the job, so there's no confusion down the line.
9) What Is the Policy for Making Changes?
After the work is complete, there may be a few minor changes needed. In that case, what kind of policy does your company offer, and will that satisfy the customer? The last thing you want is confusion about making changes after finishing a job.
10) What Areas of Your Home Can We Not Touch or Enter?
As a contractor, you want to do everything you can to respect your client's privacy. To avoid any awkwardness, ask them directly if there are certain rooms you can't enter or any parts of the home where you can't work. Make sure you follow their guidelines and always ask if you need to enter a room for work purposes.
The Bottom Line
Knowing the right questions to ask your potential clients will go a long way if you're trying to grow your business. Not only will it make your jobs easier, but it will also ensure you maintain a good reputation in the community.
If you're looking for more tips on becoming a successful contractor, feel free to reach out to us here at Contractor Training Center.