What Makes a Project a Success?
It’s as much about the experience as the result.
Some homeowners have asked: How does a builder know when a project has been a success? Well, there’s good news—the answer to this question is one of the things that defines a great builder.
To a pro, every successful project crosses the finish line with three outcomes. First, the homeowners are thrilled with their new home; second, they walk away with good memories of the builder and the project; and third, they are eager to recommend the builder to friends, family, and colleagues.
While homeowners tend to focus on quality and budget, professional builders work to ensure that the clients’ experience is a good one. Builders work hard to minimize stress and eliminate surprises. Their business processes and communication protocols are engineered to do just that.
This effort starts during the sales process, where the builder helps clarify the homeowners’ vision and creates a project concept that satisfies that vision. It continues during design, where plans and specifications become the first tangible rendering of that vision. It includes a contract that eliminates surprises and clearly defines everyone’s roles and responsibilities. It then moves to a successful handoff, where the project manager studies the vision and outlines a plan for building it. The time invested during this planning stage is the foundation of a successful project and satisfied homeowners.
A successful project isn’t without occasional unforeseen problems or errors—from a defective product that has to be returned to a long rainy period before the house is weather tight. The professional owns these problems, makes sure the homeowners understand how they will impact the schedule, and corrects them where necessary.
The common threads throughout the project are solid business processes, good service, and great communication. Builders at the top of their game have gotten there because they are skilled managers and good communicators. They understand how to listen to the homeowners’ needs, hopes, and concerns. And they know how to work with the homeowners to address them. This includes regular meetings where the homeowners are kept up to date about exactly what’s going on and what’s about to happen.
Professional custom builders understand that their success depends on satisfied clients. The most powerful advertising is a referral from a delighted homeowner. Builders work hard to raise their referral rate high above the industry average. This requires top quality work and strong, trusting relationships with clients. It’s a finish where everyone wins.