How to Build a Relationship with Homeowners


By John Lack,

There are differences between commercial and residential construction, especially when it comes to building relationships with owners. If you are a home improvement contractor or a residential contractor who works for homeowners, you may be aware of the importance of nurturing that relationship.

When a homeowner is having work done on his or her home, the project can become very personal. Even the smallest project can create anxiety and feel disruptive to the homeowner.

Below are 5 simple tips for building relationships with homeowners.

  1. First impression. Never underestimate the importance of the homeowner's first impression of you. They will be evaluating if you are the contractor they want to work with. People skills are important in making a good first impression. A contractor's etiquette can show professionalism and lay the foundation to be trusted.
  2. Communication. Clear and effective communication will help avoid confusion. A realistic schedule should be clearly presented to the owner and followed. The contractor should explain what is happening each day and how it may affect those living in the home. Is the water going to be shut off for a day? Is the dumpster going to sit in the driveway for a few weeks? Will the kitchen be unusable for some time? 
  3. Ground rules. Lay the ground rules early so there are no surprises. What time does work start each day? Are any areas of the home off limits to workers without permission? Does a portable toilet need to be provided by the contractor and, if so, where should it be placed? Are there any kids or pets in the home? 
  4. Homeowner's needs. It is important the contractor understands the homeowner's needs, desires, and budget. A payment schedule should be agreed upon in writing before work is started, and the homeowner should be made aware of any additional costs once discovered. Keep in mind that special events at the home might require an adjustment in the contractor's schedule.
  5. Clean & safe job. Work areas should be cleaned at the end of each day and sometimes more thoroughly for the weekend. To be on the safe side, consider any potential weather issues, such as rain or snow. Install handrails where needed and cover floor openings. Keep chemicals and tools locked up and sheet materials like drywall and plywood stacked on the floor and not leaning against the wall. Always keep kids and pets in mind, and do not use caution tape as a barricade.

Organization and professionalism from the start can minimize a host of problems down the road, enhance a good relationship, and possibly lead to future business. Providing a 24-hour emergency phone number can also help build trust with the homeowner.  

John L. is our Construction guru
I bring over 35 years of experience in the construction industry in both field and office positions to Acuity including carpentry, welding, project management, contract negotiation, and much more. Also, I founded my own commercial general contracting firm specializing in building grocery stores. Over the years I’ve worked closely with architects, civil engineers, and developers. I’ve found it instrumental to build solid relationships with all involved in the construction project, including insurance companies. This is why I am here, I want to help you the contractor better understand insurance and help Acuity to offer products and services that meet your unique needs. I feel a close connection to construction and with my background I feel that I can make sure contractors have a better insurance experience.


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