How To Have a Budget Conversation With Homeowners
Whether you’re talking to a homeowner about a kitchen makeover or a major bathroom remodeling project, often homeowners don’t really have a real sense of how much their project will cost when they first talk with a remodeler.
As a contractor, you can understand the importance of getting some information from the homeowner so you have an idea of what they are willing to invest before you spend 20 or more hours on designs and estimates.
But simply asking a homeowner what their budget is doesn’t usually help as most homeowners will tell you what they think their project should cost or hoping it will cost but not what they are willing or able to invest in the project.
When discussing a project budget it is always wise to listen more and talk less. Then share stories of what some of your other clients have done on similar remodeling projects and what the likely range of project budgets could be. These stories give credibility one multiple fronts. Firstly, they let your prospective customer know that you have experience doing their kind of project and can provide references. Secondly, they have a credible example of what their project is likely to cost. The homeowner can’t really reject what is said as you are simply sharing the experience of other customers who have undertaken similar projects. This process can very successful. Even a homeowner that is ready to hold their ground firmly can be asked if they want to invest within the range of two shared stories. It important that you make sure the range is broad enough to cover the possible costs of their project.
Budget Before Scope
Discussing a budget is an important first step before discussing the scope of a project. Don’t share any renderings or details until you first have an idea of what your prospective customer is willing to invest. There is no better way to discourage a homeowner than showing them possibilities then falling way short on the budget so those possibilities can’t possibly be met.
There are times when an appointment can be going very well, then all of a sudden the atmosphere changes and the homeowner suddenly hints that they’re done. If a possible client is feeling cagey, simply tell them honesty that people can spend anything they want these days. Just explain to them the range of prices of items like tile, appliances, and toilets, etc. The homeowner should feel that there is no limit as to how much or how little things can cost. If a homeowners budget doesn’t fit the type of project that your company feels comfortable doing, you are welcome to disqualify the prospect. What you don’t want to do is decide on a scope of the project and then ballpark the price right there. That old-school approach often ends up costing you time and money, and creating an unhappy customer in the process. Review previous projects before meeting with the homeowner and you will be better armed to help them properly.
At Secor, we offer a variety of construction contractor and builder support services across our Rochester to Syracuse service area. Contact a Secor contractor support specialist today to see how we can help you create happy customer and homeowner experiences again and again.